“Many work­ing- and mid­dle-class vot­ers, who feel left be­hind by glob­al­i­sa­tion, are far an­grier than es­tab­lish­ment lead­ers re­alised”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

the­ory, com­pen­sate the losers, leav­ing ev­ery­one bet­ter off.

Glob­al­iza­tion skep­tics are right that, in prac­tice, the com­pen­sa­tion tends to re­main hy­po­thet­i­cal. But the sug­ges­tion that we should try to roll back glob­al­i­sa­tion is prob­lem­atic for a sim­ple rea­son: glob­al­iza­tion can’t be un­done. Any ef­fort to put the ge­nie back in the bot­tle might not only trig­ger trade wars, with se­ri­ous con­se­quences for eco­nomic growth, but would also fail to re­duce trade to the lev­els of 50 years ago. No na­tional leader could re­store, say, steel-in­dus­try em­ploy­ment to what it was in 1966.

For­tu­nately, there is a bet­ter op­tion. We can glob­al­i­sa­tion as a given, and adopt mea­sures to com­pen­sate those who might nat­u­rally lose out.

In the US, mea­sures that could help to achieve that in­clude Trade Ad­just­ment As­sis­tance, a pro­gramme aimed specif­i­cally at help­ing those who have lost their jobs due to trade. More im­por­tant pro­grammes – which could help those left be­hind by trade, tech­nol­ogy, or some­thing else – in­clude an ex­panded Earned In­come Tax Credit and health in­sur­ance.

Democrats, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Hil­lary Clin­ton, the pre­sump­tive Demo­cratic nom­i­nee to suc­ceed him, largely sup­port these poli­cies. Yet Repub­li­cans have op­posed them. It seems likely that Trump would re­ject such ef­forts as well, even as he claims to be the saviour of the work­ing class.

Trump’s rise re­flects the ex­tent to which po­lit­i­cal po­lar­i­sa­tion in the US has deep­ened dur­ing the last eight years. As po­lit­i­cal mod­er­ates have been pushed out, pol­icy grid­lock has wors­ened, with pres­i­den­tial ini­tia­tives rou­tinely blocked by con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans, even when such take help

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