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Economic progressivism is a political philosophy incorporating the socioeconomic principles of social democrats and political progressives. These views are often rooted in the concept of social justice and have the goal of improving the human condition through government regulation, social protections and the maintenance of public goods. It is not to be confused with the more general idea of progress in relation to economic growth.
Economic progressivism is based on the idea that capitalist markets are inherently unfair, favoring large corporations and the wealthy. Progressives believe that a fair market should result in a normal distribution of wealth, but in most countries the wealthy earn heavily disproportionate incomes. Hence, progressives advocate controlling the markets through public protections that they believe will favor upward mobility, diminish income inequality and reverse marginalization. Specific economic policies that are considered progressive include progressive taxes, income redistribution aimed at reducing inequalities of wealth, a comprehensive package of public services, universal health care, resisting involuntary unemployment, public education, social security, minimum wage laws, antitrust laws, legislation protecting workers' rights and the rights of trade unions and a welfare state.
The progressive economic philosophy is typically defined in opposition to economic liberalism, laissez-faire and the conclusions of Austrian and Chicago economics. Many organizations that promote economic progressivism can be characterized from a range of applying criticism of capitalism to being anti-capitalist and include principles and policies based on Keynesianism, Marxism and other left-wing schools of socioeconomic thought.
Economic progressivism can also be seen as a potential response to and treatment of social and economic problems such as affluenza, environmental racism, inverted totalitarianism, market fundamentalism, wage slavery, and "socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor" as well as a counter-argument to the culture of capitalism, prosperity theology and rugged individualism.
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