The Economic Origins of the Populist Backlash

Americans understands very well what feels wrong – and there's a piece of U.S. economic policy that the establishment and educated elites haven’t been fully honest about, says Pia Malaney.\r\n

The election of Donald Trump wasn’t business as usual – it was a message from the Rust Belt, who in some sense have lost their economic voice. Voters in the region used the ballot in November 2016 to attempt to regain control over financial policies that were not designed to benefit them. Inequality in the U.S. has increased dramatically, and economists like Pia Malaney understand that if you do a post-mortem on major financial policies like trade and immigration over the last few years, it exposes where the populist backlash has come from. There are winners and losers in every economic policy, and in recent years the U.S. has been skipping the crucial last step: wealth redistribution. Malaney gives a detailed insight into the system of winners and losers the U.S finds itself in, and emphasizes the importance of understanding the real implications that policies have in different regions.

Keep reading Show less

A Columbia Professor Grades Trump’s Economic Policy

Jeffrey Sachs, from the Rust Belt himself, shares his thoughts on Trump's economic plans and shares some red flags to watch for as new policy proposals surface.

The Rust Belt was promised a lot this election – will those promises, which are now transitioning into policies, be made good? Economist and UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs is a Rust Belt native himself, and believes it’s in the hands of people in that area to take an informed look at the economic proposals of the Trump administration – will these proposals benefit the average person, or is there misdirection and populist scapegoating at play that will only serve to make the rich richer? Sachs provides some red markers to watch for when listening to policy proposals, and offers a question to keep in mind: "Who is going to pay for that tax break?" It may not be the answer the people of the Rust Belt signed up for. Jeffrey Sachs's most recent book is Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable.

Keep reading Show less