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Reasons for hope after the Trump election

In Inside Story (15.11.16), John Quiggin considers the future after the Trump election:

‘In the longer term, though, there are plenty of reasons for hope. Most obviously, tribalist policies won’t work. Trump’s Mexican wall won’t make America great again, any more than Brexit is going to restore the Great in Great Britain. The enrichment of the top 1 per cent, and the relative impoverishment of nearly everyone else, will continue unabated.

‘More importantly, the breakdown of the neoliberal order opens the way for new ideas, and for the revival of alternatives that were discussed, but not followed, as social democracy broke down in the 1970s. Among the most important new ideas we need are positive responses to the increase in our average lifetime, an issue presented by neoliberals as a crisis of “population ageing.” Older ideas for which the time has now arrived include a universal basic income and a substantial reduction in working hours.

‘The next few years will be grim, particularly in the United States. As in the 1930s, the immediate reaction to the failure of financial capitalism has been an upsurge in authoritarianism and tribalism. But in the longer term, then as now, there is hope for a brighter future.’

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