A guest post by Mike Kirk:
The nice liberal minded commentariat just don’t get it.
Trump won because his voters (all 27% of the USA electorate) don’t care what respectable opinion says and they don’t bother with outraged, nancy-fied analyses of how terrible his rhetoric is. Trump voters felt that the Republican and Democrat parties had delivered bugger all to them, in terms of income gains, in the last 24 years.
The Democratic Party in particular suffered with “middle America” firstly because Clinton is unlikeable and also because they promise to support the working class (Americans call anyone not rich “middle class”) whilst undermining them by adherence to the same free market theocratic oath of the Tea Party. Globalisation ain’t popular any more.
The reality is, it never has been with most voters, most of whom would not be able to define what it means. People who don’t support free trade (read: free movement of capital across national borders plus Corporations right to move money and jobs to cheap labour spots with profits safe from nasty National taxation) are thought of as dinosaurs or called “populist.” Presumably this is because they appeal to the great majority in the USA (and Europe for that matter) who have seen the real value of their post inflation take home pay shrink for a generation.
The consequent deficit in consumer demand is the reason the Western world cannot break out of the post 2007 depression or what is referred to as “secular stagnation.” The gradual dawning on large swaths of the voters who find Trump appealing of the fact that the “system” is not working for them, has been a while coming. Trump ascribes blame to professional politicians, Corporations exporting jobs, Chinese cheating etc. But the reality is that governments in the USA have followed a consistent agenda favouring accumulation by Wall Street financialisation. Wage deficits have been filled by debt, and growth has become a function of ever growing debt.
Lots of Trump, Le Pen (in France) and UKIP voters (UK) are angry at what they see as governments favouring foreigners over natives, and political correctness.
Listening to my neighbour 18 months ago in the UK explain to me why she was going to vote Conservative, taught me a salutary lesson in why Left wing Parties no longer cut it. She complained bitterly about fellow workers shirking and benefit recipients who get help from the government when she was working her butt off. Notably, she did not complain about “the rich.” She had no ‘politics of envy.’
Trump won because he speaks plain English.. People in USA and Europe are sick of hearing nothing from politicians. “Nothing” meaning instantly forgettable, reasonable, evasive statements, a card-width different from what other parties say. The respectable Party spokesman are afraid to be honest and are totally out of touch with what 50% of their electorate believe. They have a code of having to be “correct” in relation to immigration, foreigners, Gay rights,etc. Many White folks are sick of being lectured on what is fair (equal opportunities etc) by those who are not competing with immigrants for work and not living in the same neighbourhoods. They feel that politicians favour the “other” over them and that when they complain, they are called racists. White male voters over 45 especially notice this: but remember Trump got 43% of white female voters too, despite media hoopla over his misogyny.
Trump is anti anyone who opposes whatever he is feeling from one day to the next. But he has an instinct for what the common man feels. No doubt he will do some flip-flopping in office. But he will spend more and tax less. USA debt will rise exponentially. This will (and has already ) raise interest rates in USA and world wide as more borrowing means more competition for debt funding . NZ rates were already rising before Trump won (not the OCR but what banks have to pay on the open market.) They are heading higher daily and stand 40% above where they were 3 months ago. The Reserve Bank cut the OCR last week (very bad timing.) The big 4 Aussie banks refused to follow and have been raising fixed rates for weeks. So the NZ Ponzi Auckland mortgage market will take the hit, whatever the soothsayers maintain.
However, the good news is that Trump will break the stagnation in the Western world economies and induce inflation, which of course is great for eroding debt (a subtle means of national default of course.) He might also decide to dethrone the Federal Reserve, which will no longer enjoy the obeisance of a US President who claims to represent voters. Trump wants to tear up-trade agreements. This will hurt China exports and knock NZ in turn. The nice commentators seem to think Trump will moderate in office. But Trump’s priority is the USA and stuff anyone else. Dictators don’t do moderation. Things are about to get very interesting.