In response to an FT article by Martin Wolf on 17th May 2016, entitled “Failing elites are to blame for the rise of Donald Trump”
“Failing elites are to blame for the rise of Donald Trump”
When I read this headline I thought that at last someone at the FT had ‘got the point’ about the rise of Donald Trump. I was hoping to find an honest and substantial analysis of the rancid nature of the cronyism that passes itself off for political economy in Washington and New York, but also in much of the so-called ‘developed’ world.
A mea culpa for the establishment may be too much to expect, but even as an honest assessment of the system, or as an acknowledgement of the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the elites that run that system for their own benefit - this essay is the equivalent of an appraisal meeting in which the only fault Mr. Deluded Bighead can find in himself is that he ‘doesn’t suffer fools gladly’.
The system is rotten to the core Mr. Wolf. Where is your criticism of this:
a) The professional politicians and lifetime Congressmen who spend more of their time running for office, kissing the backsides of K Street, than they do reading legislation or serving the interests of their constituents
b) The corrupt bankers on Wall Street, who fund the politicians, in exchange for which they write their own legislation, passing it to their poodles in the sure knowledge that none of them will read it, let alone understand it, let alone challenge it
c) The political families like the Bushes and the Clintons, who have spent decades peddling their sordid celebrity around government buildings and palaces in the Middle East and around the globe
d) The raft of senior officers at the Pentagon who retire from commissioning military equipment and move straight to the C suites of the firms who make it
e) The revolving doors that exist between the New York Fed and the casinos on Wall Street. The ‘jobs for the boys’ regime that exists from the ground floor, and stretches right to the top. The culture that leads to Ben Bernanke being hired by Citadel – a man who knows nothing about investment, and even in his own ‘field’ he couldn’t spot a bubble if you put him inside one. Why? Anyone on Wall Street who says that there is no insider dealing between the Fed and the casinos is either as bent as a nine bob note, or as gullible as Benny from Crossroads
f) In an extension of e) - the cartel of ex-Goldman Central Bankers who are scattered throughout the Federal Reserve System, and who currently run the ECB and The BoE
g) The academic ‘nests’ that foster groupthink and pass as ‘Centres for excellence’ in economics. Interview criteria: Are you a Neo-Keynesian with Friedman Rising and your moon in Krugman? Come right in and sit down…Oh, you think that debt matters and the economy isn’t a machine or a math problem…Nice chatting to you, we’ll let you know
h) The Press. Speaking of which, is this really the best you can do Mr. Wolf? On the one hand:
"Donald Trump is a misogynist, a racist, a xenophobe, a narcissist, a bully and a spreader of conspiracy theories"
On the other:
"Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate, tainted by her husband’s failings and her position in the establishment, and short on political talent"
Are you kidding? Do you really believe that this is the sum total of her failings? Do you honestly think that Hillary Clinton has the integrity required to do justice to the office of the President of the United States of America? Do you believe with your hand on your heart that she is made of the right stuff to clean up this cesspit? Or do you think she will heave a sigh of relief and reward the vested interests that put her there?
I think we both know the answer to that Mr. Wolf.
But it isn’t about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump is a symptom of a critical mass of people who are rejecting the system that is personified by people like Hillary Clinton.
Trump is not the answer, he is the catalyst. One way or another, this system is coming down Mr. Wolf – it is rotten and it will fall. Your article is much better than the shallow analysis of Gideon Rachman or the supercilious tosh of Philip Stephens, but the analysis is nevertheless still quite superficial.
So I repeat the challenge I put to Mr. Rachman yesterday: If you are genuinely interested in shedding light on this subject, I challenge you to write an article along these lines:
“The rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the US; the upsurge of populist and fringe parties around the globe, says something about how the establishment elites have mismanaged national and global affairs - what does it say, and how should the ruling elites respond?”
Go on - I dare you