Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How Econolmists Contributed To The Rise In Populism

Economists are very much aware of the distributional impacts of free trade.  On the other hand, they have typically ignored the known problems by assuming away the problems that are well understood.  The rise in populism, and demagogues in the US and Europe, might have been avoided if economists had taken a more balanced position on trade.  The one sided views of economists on trade have made them less effective defenders of trade.  The public tends to ignore their defense of trade as well as the politicians who preach the gospel of free trade.  Moreover, the politicians have done little to alleviate the distributional consequences that have caused the public to align with demagogues who are promoting policies that may be harmful to everyone.

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