Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Stiglitz Sees Signs Of Hope

These are dark days -- because Donald Trump appears committed to what he said he will do. Joe Stiglitz writes:

 It is now clear that what Trump says and tweets must be taken seriously. After the election in November, many hoped he would abandon the extremism that defined his campaign. Surely, it was thought, this master of unreality would adopt a different persona as he assumed the responsibility of what is arguably the most powerful position in the world.

Indeed he plans to instititute "a ban on Muslim immigration, [build] a wall on the border with Mexico, [renegotiate] the North American Free Trade Agreement, repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms, and much else that even his supporters dismissed."

Changes need to be made -- but not the kind of changes Trump envisions:

I have at times criticised particular aspects and policies of the economic and security order created in the aftermath of the second world war, based on the UNs, Nato, the EU, and a web of other institutions and relationships. But there is a big difference between attempts to reform these institutions and relationships to enable them to serve the world better, and an agenda that seeks to destroy them outright.

But, in the midst of the gloom Stiglitz sees signs of hope:

If there is a silver lining in the Trump cloud, it is a new sense of solidarity over core values such as tolerance and equality, sustained by awareness of the bigotry and misogyny, whether hidden or open, that Trump and his team embody. And this unity has gone global, with Trump and his allies facing rejection and protests throughout the democratic world.

The American Civil Liberties Union, having anticipated that Trump would quickly trample on individual rights, has shown that it is as prepared as ever to defend key constitutional principles such as due process, equal protection, and official neutrality with respect to religion. And in the past month Americans have supported the ACLU with millions of dollars in donations.

Similarly, across the country, companies’ employees and customers have expressed their concern over CEOs and board members who support Trump. Indeed US corporate leaders and investors have collectively become Trump’s enablers. At this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, many salivated over his promises of tax cuts and deregulation, while eagerly ignoring his bigotry – not mentioning it in a single meeting that I attended – and protectionism.

Franklin Roosevelt was accused of being a traitor to his class. It's clear that Trump plans no such mutiny. That is why, Stiglitz writes, people all over the world must "be vigilant and resist at every turn."

Image: Speedy Buttons


The Mound of Sound said...

I think Stiglitz has taken the pulse of the world beyond but also within America. Trump's latest disapproval numbers - 58% of Americans - are astonishing for a newly minted administration. Just as a lot of "leave" voters expressed remorse in the wake of the Brexit vote, there's said to be a similar phenomenon underway among Trump voters. The fact that Steve Bannon is running the show is not helping, not one bit. Yet it's a reflection of how ill prepared Trump is to serve as president. He's simply out of his depth. In that job incompetence can be career ending.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that most of the world -- and an increasing number of Americans -- now understand The Peter Principle, Mound.

Steve said...

Hope needs a leader, the right has thier champion, who is ours? The whole neo liberal house of cards is falling down. We need Ralph Nader at 40, not Bernie the sell out Sanders at 80.

the salamander said...

.. ach.. the #45 unpresident's honeymoon c'est toute finis ?
I myself wonder how the madness & extreme damage may be repealed..
As I suggested to a certain Mound man.. riddle me this Batman

- terminate The EPA - Environmental Protection Agency of the USA
(in Canada we await Trudeau redressing this Harper 'legacy' assault
where he installed a ridiculous Energy Board)

- terminate The Protected Species Act
(Canada awaits refunding of the Small Lakes Experimental Station
earth to justin.. hello hello ?)

- terminate the Stream Protection Act (aka allow surface coal mining pollution of surface & ground water)
(Canadians blue faced holding breath for Justin reprotecting almost every river, lake,
stream, creek, slough, spring.. that Harper stripped of protection)

Can't wait here in Canada eh.. for Trump to emulate Harper
and strip protection of habitat.. You know.. boreal creatures for example
or fish that lay eggs in kelp or clean upriver gravel
or birds that require trees to nest in, beavers that need ponds
wolves don't need forests, nor do deer.. get the forests to Asia
and we all know Orca don't really need wild salmon, its just so yummy though!
let them eat cake eh !

Its farcical.. its scandalous.. no, its downright sick..
There's folks need the old Arkansas pig nose grab
and to be led off to jail.. explain to a judge sometime later
why they should be released..
Harper/Novak fit that description..
Bannon/Trump will end up deserving it even more..
But how do we replace lost species, dead habitat ?
Trashed ecologies, missing creatures.. ?

'Hey grandad.. what was a deer?'
or a polar bear, or a whale, or an eagle ..


Owen Gray said...

The Democrats have a lot of rebuilding to do, Steve -- on all levels.

Owen Gray said...

We merrily dance down the road to our extinction, salamander.