The Economic Crisis: A Moral Threat
Widespread job loss and the general decline in incomes triggered by the global economic downturn pose a particular threat in countries where the majority population was enjoying little, if any, increase in living standards before the recession began. Such a category would include the United States. As economic history shows that the general advance in material well-being is a necessary condition to political, social, and, ultimately, moral progress, Benjamin M. Friedman hopes that our economic recovery will not be sluggish. If it is, or if increasing income inequalities continue as they were before the recession, then general attitudes toward immigrants, religious tolerance, race relations, economic fairness, and even the preservation of fundamental democratic principles, such as voting rights, will suffer, too. Social history, Friedman argues, demonstrates that these effects have ever-stemmed from protracted economic stagnation.
Watch a video of Benjamin Friedman's lecture here .