Intuitively I've believed for a long time that globalization benefits almost everyone in the world except for poor and middle income citizens of industrialized Western countries like the United States and United Kingdom. Lots of people in the US and UK seem to feel the same way, as evidenced by the election of Donald Trump and the outcome of the Brexit referendum.
The Economist has published a handy graph that shows exactly how strong this effect really is. Globalization has effectively benefited everyone in the world except for the poor and middle classes of industrialized Western democracies like the US.
The central problem of American and British politics today is that the only people who acknowledge this fact and offer solutions are populists like Trump, Sanders and Corbyn. Mainstream politicians on both sides of the Atlantic continue to live in denial and lie to people about the impact of globalization and free trade.
The future of our society relies on reasonable people beginning to acknowledge this problem and offer solutions. Failure to do so will further fan the flames of populism and result in global political and economic disaster.
It is shocking to me that even now, after all we have seen, mainstream and establishment politicians -- think Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, David Cameron -- continue to fail to confront this reality. Part of the problem is academia. Mainstream economists have yet to acknowledge this fact or offer theory or practice for dealing with it. Our intellectuals are failing us. If our intellectuals fail us then surely our politicians will fail us.
Now is the time for a third way. Now is the time for the modern political center to grow up and acknowledge these facts and address them. If this does not happen then Trump and Corbyn and Sanders will run away with our democracies.
This is one of the most illuminating charts I've seen from @TheEconomist. It shows how strongly the developing world's working people and richest people have benefited from globalization. And how rich countries' middle classes haven't. pic.twitter.com/osUuKYm5BI— Eric Meyerson (@EricMeyersonSF) May 11, 2018