Economics for the people
One significant reason for Trump’s election victory is that Clinton represents a discredited system. Politicians that people don’t trust. An economic system that isn’t working for people. And the two things are connected. Because politicians have lost trust through desperately trying to defend, promote and support the economic system that isn’t working.
So, the only way forward to restore faith in politics and politicians is to trash neoliberal economics and start again with a different economic philosophy. One that is focussed on human flourishing rather than making as much wealth as possible in the hope it will ‘trickle down’ to everyone – which, as much evidence, including the current situation in the modern world, shows, it doesn’t.
In other words, we need an economic philosophy with the aim of giving people the economic resources they need to flourish and feel a sense of self respect. This needs to be achieved within the parameters of our planet – and this latter point is an intrinsic part of the overall aim, not a separate ‘nice-to-have’.
This will include factors such as a fairer system of taxation to reduce the appalling inequality in neoliberal western societies like the UK and US.
Once we have this philosophy in place, the hope will be that politicians can talk about it in a more honest and humane way as it genuinely will benefit the many rather than the very few.
What must not happen, in the UK or in the US, is a situation where we elect another nominally left-of-centre party to carry out ‘business as usual’ – with the same old tired and ineffective policies delivering ‘neoliberalism lite’. As this is failing to address the problem, and failing to listen to people, and will exacerbate rather than solve the world’s problems, as well as people’s anger about the current system and their situation.
So, we not only need to oppose the policies and governments that are causing the west to lurch further to the right, butwe need to ensure that the left wing (perhaps we should lose these tired labels too – let’s call it ‘people-focussed’) movement that we build to challenge them offers a different economic vision from neoliberalism.
We need economics for the people.