Is the world slipping into political meltdown? We’ll see how things unfold over the next four years, but as we’ve seen with the financial crisis, when America takes a funny turn, ripples are felt across the globe.
Surely some good has to come of Donald Trump? It can’t all be bad? Every cloud…
1. An end to austerity. Trump has promised to slash austerity policies in the US and launch public infrastructure projects to boost growth and get people back into work. This is a step-change in post-recession politics. Unfathomable questions still hang over his plans for the economy – 370 prominent economists signed a letter slating his proposed plan just last week – but 307 signed a similar letter to Hillary Clinton a couple of months ago. What can we take from this? Does the consensus vacuum among leading economists prove that none of them really know what is going on? Post-2007, who trusts economists anyway? Didn’t they help get us into this mess in the first place?
2. Curbs to unfettered globalisation. For all the xenophobic nonsense Trump has talked over the campaign (and in his life before politics…), his reluctance to embrace globalisation and free market economics signals a new direction for the USA. We’re all ‘global citizens’ now, whether we like it or not, but is there anything xenophobic about questioning economic theory that encourages optimal efficiency by chasing the cheapest production costs, wherever they may be, without consideration for the welfare of your electorate and workers abroad?
3. Anything is possible. Brexit? Trump? Pigs flying. While the situation may seem hopeless (and/or ridiculous?), something great can fill the void.
The people have spoken. They don’t like things the way they are. Social democracy must learn its lesson about building a narrative and progressive policies that people relate to. It doesn’t have to be all about hate, fear and scapegoating.
Just to clarify, this post is in no way an endorsement of Donald Trump. But it’s no use crying over spilled milk. Let’s just make sure that come 2020, all the pigs in Washington keep their feet firmly planted on the ground.
Joshua Eyre is a 1st year MPA candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to LSE, Josh completed a Bachelors degree in history at University College London and worked at salt communications, where he developed campaigns around public health and responsible business.