PERI’s Gerald Epstein, in a published article in Challenge, argues that the conventional progressive approach of analyzing and offering alternatives to neo-liberal policies based on their efficiency, distributional and growth impacts is not adequate when confronting "Trumponomics." Unlike previous regimes, Trumpism contains a heavy dose of authoritarianism, right wing "populism" and even "neo-fascism." As a result, most economic policies are likely to be designed to enhance the power of supporters with authoritarian, xenophobic, misogynist, racist and anti-democratic intentions, along with business interests that will support or tolerate these interests. Progressive economists cannot adopt business as usual in their analyses of Trumponomics, but instead, must adopt a "political economy" analysis of the longer run policy impacts on the power of the destructive economic and political forces of Trumpism.
Trumponomics, argues this economist, may look like Reaganomics, but it is more about political power than optimal economics strategies. Economists should be aware of this, but many, even progressives, are not. The author provides a way of looking at and criticizing Trumponomics for the popular, power-aggrandizing strategy and ultimately deeply dangerous set of policies he thinks it is.
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