Donald Trump’s chances of winning the US presidency may be lower than Hillary Clinton’s but the odds of shooting oneself in Russian roulette are also lower than surviving.
The fact that Americans are even willing to play the game should be a wake-up call for political elites.
(ed: and of course all the factors cited in this article as the reasons explaining the rise of ‘the short-fingered vulgarian’ are also present here in new zealand – and ripe for stoking –
– and i must admit i was dismayed to hear labour party spokesperson/pollster stephen mills on national radio denying this reality/sneering at the very idea of ‘the missing (read disaffected) million’ voters..(!)..and of course this meaning labour could/will also just ignore this populist-imperative – and thus seeming to underline the apparent labour plan of just waiting until the right number in the centre get sick of key..and turn to them..what could be called ‘the second-choice-option’…
..more fool him/them..eh..?..they can’t even see what key is now acknowledging.?..really.?..they are that fucken out of touch/ideas..?..)
But several underlying factors also appear to have contributed to the closeness of the race.
For starters, many Americans are economically worse off than they were a quarter-century ago.
The median income of full-time male employees is lower than it was 42 years ago and it is increasingly difficult for those with limited education to get a full-time job that pays decent wages.
Indeed real (inflation-adjusted) wages at the bottom of the income distribution are roughly where they were 60 years ago.
So it is no surprise that Trump finds a large receptive audience when he says the state of the economy is rotten.
But Trump is wrong both about the diagnosis and the prescription.
The US economy as a whole has done well for the last six decades: GDP has increased nearly six-fold.
But the fruits of that growth have gone to a relatively few at the top – people like Trump – owing partly to massive tax cuts that he would extend and deepen.
At the same time reforms that political leaders promised would ensure prosperity for all – such as trade and financial liberalization – have not delivered.
Far from it.
And those whose standard of living has stagnated or declined have reached a simple conclusion: America’s political leaders either didn’t know what they were talking about or were lying (or both).