My pal James McLaughlin and I went to a talk last week at the Lighthouse Bookshop. Titled…
‘Global Trumpism One Year On: Flash in the Pan or Here to Stay?’
Interestingly virtually no Trump chat was had. But that made no difference to its provocativeness.
The lecture was given by revered Eastman Professor of Political Economy, Mark Blyth, of the world famous Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University, USA and explored the thought that…
“The Era of Neo-liberalism is over. The Era of Neo-nationalism has just begun”
In a far reaching, mind boggling and just sheer brilliant exposition Blyth deep-dove into data that articulates the shape of various global economies in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis, what caused them (much of which we now now), how it could have been allowed and, terrifyingly, the fact that no lessons have been learned. Indeed the statistical scenario is worse now than it was then.
This took him onto the farce (and lie) that is austerity – as initiated by Gideon Osborne – to punish the public services, not for THEIR misdemeanours but to help pay back the money that the taxpayer was forced to use to bail out the inept UK banking sector.
Some very interesting observations:
- In the wake of widespread neoliberalism (started in the Thatcher/Reagan era) Populism is on the rise. Populism, which Did not know about, is a political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite. It can take the form of extreme left or right wing views and it’s growing rapidly in ; Germany, France (although the centre held onto power), the USA (Trumpism), Austria, Iceland, Italy and the Czeck Republic – even in the UK we’ve veered from right wing Faragism to left wing Corbynism.
- Brexit is the stupidest economic decision ever made by a major nation ever. Not only ware our banks making a killing clearing Euros but we don’t even have to be in the Euro to do so and this means we have the economic freedom that no Euro countries do to devalue or revalue our currency to cope with ebbs and flows in our economic fortunes. AND, we have free market access to 60% of our trading partners. AND we have a veto over what we do and don’t like in terms of EEC rules.
- Far from the world’s economies capitulating in the wake of Trumpism they have grown to all time highs.
- Instead of failing the banks in the late noughties most governments bailed them with the result that most national banks are now so highly leveraged as to be virtually broken
- To deal with low inflation economies those with money are squeezing the main cost they can (labour) with the result that the haves have taken over the world and the have-nots can barely afford the clothes they stand in.
- To survive, they have to borrow – and not just people, governments too (but their borrowing has been to bail out the banks). Look at this…
- And this…
- The result is debts are too high, wages are too low to pay the debt off, inflation is too low to eat the debt. The Left’s Response is to blame Capital/Globalization. The Right’s Response is to Blame Immigrants/Globalization
- The outcome is the rise in Populism