Portrait of Martin Sandbu

Martin Sandbu

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All

Festival of Ideas Online/
Thu 16 July 2020

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Martin Sandbu

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All

Portrait of Martin Sandbu
Thu 16 July 2020,

Facebook

This event will be broadcast on our Facebook page. There is no need to book or register.

Read the transcript (large print copy available)

Martin Sandbu_Transcript; Martin Sandbu_Large Print

Fuelled by populism and the frustrations of the disenfranchised, the past few years have witnessed the widespread rejection of the economic and political order that Western countries built up after 1945. Political debates have turned into violent clashes between those who want to “take their country back” and those viewed as defending an elitist, broken, and unpatriotic social contract. There seems to be an increasing polarisation of values.

In his new book The Economics of Belonging Martin Sandbu (Financial Times) argues that we should step back and take a fresh look at the root causes of our current challenges. He believes that economics remains at the heart of our widening inequality and it is only by focusing on the right policies that we can address it. He proposes a detailed, radical plan for creating a just economy where everyone can belong.

Sandbu demonstrates that the rising numbers of the left behind are not due to globalisation gone too far. Rather, technological change and flawed but avoidable domestic policies have eroded the foundations of an economy in which everyone can participate – and would have done so even with a much less globalised economy. Sandbu contends that we have to double down on economic openness while pursuing dramatic reforms involving productivity, regional development, support for small- and medium-sized businesses, and increased worker representation. He discusses how a more active macroeconomic policy, education for all, universal basic income, and better taxation of capital could work together for society’s benefit.

In this discussion with Festival of Ideas director Andrew Kelly, Sandbu defends liberal centrism; looks at political toxicity; debates cities, education, universal basic income; defends globalisation; and looks at whether this is an issue for the left or the right. Throughout, he argues that economics was more important than culture in creating the end of belonging and economics needs to create a new economy of belonging.

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All is published by Princeton University Press. Buy a copy from our bookseller partner Waterstones.

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