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Showing posts from November, 2016

The Economics of President Trump

Economics played a major role in the victory of Donald Trump. Rising income and wealth inequality has meant that median incomes in real terms in the U.S. have been stagnant for four decades and those in the middle income deciles of the income distribution have been squeezed. The causes of this inequality have been blamed on global trade agreements, immigration, and off-shoring.  There has also been a hollowing out effect due to technological change – routine jobs such as bank clerks have been computerised – which has had a negative effect on middle class wages. Trump’s constituency is largely comprised of this squeezed middle. The big question about Trump’s economic policy is whether he will stay true to his constituency. If he does, we can expect the rolling back of trade deals, the introduction of tariffs, trade wars with China, and limits on immigration. However, before the world loses sleep over this, we need to remember that Trump is a businessman and his outlandish suggestio

The Decline and Fall of History

History plays a very important role in society. It connects us to our ancestors and where we have come from. History also plays a very important role in helping us navigate the present and future. History helps us understand economics, national  politics, and geopolitics. Political and business leaders need a thorough and rounded education in history. But it appears that they are not getting it. Niall  Ferguson in the provocative video below explains why this is the case. In effect, he claims that university history departments are in the process of making themselves irrelevant because political, social and economic history are being squeezed out of the curriculum by anachronistic and politically correct history courses.      

POTUS - Trump vs Clinton

Election day has thankfully arrived and the months of hot air will hopefully come to an end. The U.S. Presidential race has been one of the most divisive and vitriolic campaigns  ever. The rise of Trump has been very interesting to say the least. Here is a populist from outside the political establishment, who has a large following among those left behind by globalisation and deindustrialisation. The political elite in the UK underestimated the strength of feeling among those left behind by globalisation and we got Brexit. We should not underestimate Trump and the constituency he represents. Trump's personality flaws should be enough to mean that he should  have no chance of winning, but such is the strength of anti-globalisation sentiment in the US that Trump, with his policies on immigration, trade and the Wall, will garner a substantial share of votes. Even if Hillary Clinton wins, the U.S. needs to implement policies that alleviate the pain felt by those left behind by glo