December 9, 2016NPR

On The Global Far-Right, Professor Mark Blyth

Recently Professor of Political Science and IE Brown Faculty Member Mark Blyth joined WNYC to discuss global far-right growth and where nationalist parties could gain appeal. In this interview he provides a summary - in New York minute fashion - of economic policies since WWII that resulted in the rise of the right.

Put simply, post WWII economic policy focused on full employment that drove up inflation creating an economy favorable to debtors. The Reagan revolution swung the pendulum in the other direction by ushering in an anti-inflationary regime that pushed wages down - a trend exacerbated by globalization - creating an economy favorable to creditors. Cultural and political elites followed the money resulting in the left of center parties’ abandonment of labor which had previously been their bread and butter constituency. This top heavy alignment of power resulted in policies after the financial crisis that offered bail-outs to the top 20% of asset holders but austerity for everyone else.

Fast forward to today and you’ve got what Blyth calls, “global Trumpism” - populism fueled by forty years of economic policy that has abandoned lower and working class populations. The problem isn’t the “deplorables,” according to Blyth. It’s the resulting economics of a society where the top 20% see themselves as a vanguard of a globalized world that ignores the plight and reality of an increasingly vocal and angry part of the population.

To hear the NPR WNYC show, go here.

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