Reader letter: Donald Trump’s election sees the replacement of neo-liberalism with neo fascism
PUBLISHED: 13:32 05 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:32 05 December 2016
The election of Donald Trump was a rejection of the free market, free trade, neo-liberal orthodoxy which has ruled the world for the past few decades, as workers who had seen their jobs go south to Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement switched their allegiance from Democrat to Republican.
Unfortunately, we are seeing the replacement of neo-liberalism with neo-fascism.
We are seeing a re-run of the history of the 1930s, when economic crisis saw Hitler rise to power by scapegoating the Jews.
Right wing populism is on the rise almost everywhere, most worryingly in Germany, with the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany.
We will see more of this until the political establishment recognises that free market economics simply does not work.
In a free market wages will go down and rents go up, with increasing poverty the inevitable result.
When you privatise an industry, you end up with a worse service at a higher price, with increasing subsidies from the taxpayer, as the experience of the privatised rail system in Britain has shown.
When you remove government regulations, you end up with chaos, as the near collapse of the deregulated banking system in 2008 proved.
The invisible hand is very good at redistributing wealth from the poor to the richest in society –people like Donald Trump, who has ironically gained from the votes of these poor people.
It is time we listened to the economists who predicted the economic crisis of 2008 rather than those who caused it.
Professor Steve Keen of Kingston University was awarded the Revere prize for the clearest warning of the crash, claiming in 2005 that the world economy was about to collapse.
He was ignored by the orthodox neo-liberal economists, but of course he was right.
He is the author of Debunking Economics, which demonstrates that free market economics is based on absurd assumptions, and even if these were true, they cannot work because they are logically contradictory.
Will the world take any notice, or are we destined to repeat the history of the 1930s?
There is one crucial difference between the world of today and that of 80 years ago.
We now face an environmental crisis as well as an economic one.
The world’s climate is changing rapidly, with record after record being broken.
If we pass a tipping point into runaway climate change we could see temperatures rise 6C in 20 years, much faster than the 1C rise since the beginning of the industrial revolution, which is already causing an increase in extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, storms and heatwaves.
This could make World War Two pale into insignificance.
We could see billions, rather than millions, perish through famine and war, as food production plummets, and countries attack their neighbours rather than quietly starve to death.
However,the solution to the environmental crisis could also be the solution to the economic and political one.
A Green New Deal, involving re-regulating the financial sector, with massive investment in energy conservation, renewable energy, public transport, vehicles not running on fossil fuels, public transport, and organic agriculture, would both prevent runaway climate change and provide employment, taking away the insecurity causing people to vote for the far right.
Chris Keene, Dell Crescent, Norwich
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