Friday, December 16, 2016

US Economic Policies Paved The Way For Donald Trump

Donald Trump deviated from Republican economic orthodoxy during his campaign for the GOP nomination.  He promised workers who lost their jobs from international trade that he would restore their jobs.  Hillary Clinton depended upon her supposed firewall in the rust belt to win the general election.  Donald Trump showed that a Republican who argued against free trade could tear down the firewall.  He won the rust belt states by a slim margin but it was enough to win the election.  The Democratic Party and the GOP establishment did not go in the direction that Trump took to win the presidency.  Both parties accepted the naive idea that free trade was good for everyone.  Trump showed that he could win the presidency by being the anti-free trade candidate.

Donald Trump won the election with his rhetoric against the conventional economic orthodoxy celebrated by both political parties.  He cannot, and will not, recover the jobs that have been lost by free trade orthodoxy and by deindustrialization.  He will tease his rust belt supporters with small deals like the one that he brokered in Indiana with Carrier.  His economic policies, however, will not bring back the lost manufacturing jobs.  Deindustrialization and globalization cannot be reversed.  That will not matter to Donald Trump.  He won the election and he is in the process of consolidating his power as an authoritarian president who is less subject to election cycles.

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