Is the free market losing its buyers?
Trump's victory shows growing discomfort with globalisation
HE DEVELOPED world’s poorest country—the United States of America (usa)—has voted for its new president. The victory of Donald Trump was unexpected. But the anger that fuelled his victory was very much expected, and sends out a clear message. It questions the free market model of economy that has been the only model in existence for more than half of the world’s population.
Championed by the developed world, the free market economy has been under scrutiny since 1990. But developments in the aftermath of the recession of 2008 show that countries are increasingly losing interest in this model of economy. The recession wiped out 13 per cent of the global production and 20 per cent of the global trade. In fact, its impacts are still being felt across developed countries. Britain’s surprise vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) was the biggest reality check on the efficacy of globalisation, while high unemployment in Spain and severe economic crisis in Greece that led to adoption of austerity measures across the countries were wake-up calls. Opinion poll after opinion poll, including the one from the Pew Research Center, a Washington-based fact tank, suggests that many European countries want to follow in Britain’s footsteps and exit the European Union to pursue their sovereignty over decision-making and economy.
This sentiment was reflected during the US presidential election campaigns when unusual reports filled the newspapers. “Nobody is talking about the 43 million poor of US”. “Voters can’t buy bus tickets to go to the poll station”. “usa just closes its eyes to the inequality”. Then there were the kind of slogans Trump made: Stop outsourcing American job to India and China; Deport illegal migrants from the country. The campaign slogans had an uncanny similarity with those made in developing countries: free the market economy; create jobs for the locals; eradicate poverty. This is the reason Trump won, even though he has accumulated his fortune by reaping the benefits of free trade.
For the world yet to overcome the Brexit shock, Trump is just a rude reminder that there is some fundamental problem with the free market model. “Donald Trump’s victory should serve as a lesson for Europe’s mainstream forces ahead of their own ballots next year. Politics as usual just does not work on both sides of the Atlantic. Clearly,