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Economic progressivism is the name given to the economic views of social democrats and progressives. These views are often rooted in a strong sense of social justice. At its most basic, economic progressivism supports a mixed economy – an economy that features both a significant public sector and a strong private one.
Specific policies that fall under the category of economic socialism include: progressive taxes and income redistribution aimed at reducing inequalities of wealth, a comprehensive package of public services, universal health care, public education, social security, minimum wage laws, anti-trust laws, legislation protecting workers' rights and the rights of trade unions, and a welfare state. Economic progressivism is based on the idea of free and fair markets. In particular, progressives believe that current markets are unfair because they favor large corporations and the wealthy. Most human characteristics (e.g., personality, IQ, physical traits and abilities) follow a normal distribution which suggests that a fair market should create a normal distribution of wealth. In most countries, income distribution among individuals and corporations is highly skewed toward the wealthy. Another example of this phenomenon are social mobility tables. In a fair market, a parent's socioeconomic status should not be a strong indicator of the child's success. However, most experts have noted an astonishing level of prediction based on parents socioeconomic status. Economic progressives believe that fair markets must allow upward mobility to far greater degree than is present in even the U.S. which has the most fluid social mobility tables. Progressives believe in taxes based on use of government services. Progressive taxes, tax wealthy people more because they use government services more. For example, if you own more land then you make greater use of government services (e.g., street cleaning, surveyors, public utilities, tax services etc. ...). Progressives believe in using economic innovation that history or science has demonstrated works best. For example, many progressive support universal health care because countries with universal health care have higher life-expectancies and pay less than for-profit health care. In contrast, social democrats attempt to even the playing field for groups that have less upward social mobility than the general population. Progressive economics tends to focus on creating fairness for all which they believe will create upward social mobility for segments of the population. For example, social democrats tend to pass laws against racism in the workplace to create upward mobility for minorities. In contrast, progressives would be more likely to pass laws that limit arbitrary decision making/bullying by employers to eliminate unfairness in the workforce. In both cases, the idea is based on the principle of free(Everyone gets to participate) and fair(rules are used to ensure fair competition ) markets are more efficient. In contrast, libertarians emphasize the free in "free and fair markets" and define free differently. They define it has free of government involvement/regulation.
The economic theory that underpins most of the policies listed above is Keynesian economics. However, many organizations that promote economic progressivism can be characterized as anti-capitalist and include principles and policies based on Marxism, Libertarian Socialism, and other leftwing schools of socio-economic thought. The Transformative Studies Institute is an example of a leftwing US educational think tank that is based on the principles of economic progressivism.
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