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H.E. Matthew Barzun, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, discusses the meaning of Inclusive Capitalism

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 16/03/2016 Inclusive Capitalism

Inclusivity is powerful. Much more than being just the opposite of exclusivity, it's a distinct way of looking at the world. Its power has been revealed to me over and over in the internet business, in political campaigns, and from living in my adopted hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Inclusivity is about recognizing that the most valuable commodity in an organization, community, or an economy is a person's voluntary motivation to engage - that inner spark of energy and will to act. It's the energy of high productivity, inspiration, and personal investment. That is what drives growth and prosperity.
Inclusive leadership does everything in its power to inspire, identify, and increase that energy. It recognizes that innovation doesn't come from the top down in hierarchies, but from the outside in (and out and in again) through networks. The challenge is to lower the barriers to getting involved, raise the sense of possibility, and harness all available energy to move the enterprise forward.
It is all too clear in the United States right now that one of the biggest barriers to a dynamic, inclusive economy is excessive inequality. This is why President Obama has made addressing this issue his highest priority.
Economists such as Alan B. Krueger, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, have explained that as inequality has increased, economic mobility has decreased. Countries with high inequality have lower economic mobility across generations. And President Obama has pointed out that, "When middle class families can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that businesses are selling, it drags down the entire economy, from top to bottom."
While many forces affect inequality, public policy has had a strong effect. The wealthiest Americans are paying some of the lowest tax rates in history. Average tax rates for the top 0.1 percent have been decreasing for many years. (The notable exception was from 1992 to 2000, when growth with tax policy changes, including a more progressive income tax, raised all income groups.)
President Obama has sought to address inequality from all sides. Critically, he ushered the U.S. out of the Great Recession and has helped businesses to create millions of jobs. As he said in December 2013 remarks about inequality, "In today's economy, growth alone does not guarantee higher wages and incomes...but we can't tackle inequality if the economic pie is shrinking or stagnant."
With growth established, the administration led the passage of the Affordable Care Act, giving new economic security to millions. It has protected Social Security and Medicare, critical for older Americans. It has pushed hard for a trade agenda that benefits working Americans. It has been a relentless advocate for a higher minimum wage. And it has vastly increased access to higher education.
Critically, as the President has pointed out, inclusivity is not compatible with rigid ideology. It requires a practical, solution-oriented approach. A key step toward a more inclusive economy is therefore to engage in a more inclusive politics. "That way we can have a vigorous and meaningful debate. That's what the American people deserve. That's what the times demand." And that is what will help us harness all the personal energy that we need to move forward and both extend and share our prosperity.

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