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The Populist Paradox

Summary:
When anti-establishment populists come to power, they implement a range of policies that lead to lower economic growth and fewer good jobs. And yet the angrier people become, the easier it is to persuade them that the media are biased, the experts are always wrong, and the facts are not the facts. WASHINGTON, DC – To defeat populism requires coming to grips with a fundamental reality: bad economic policies no longer necessarily result in a government losing power. In fact, it is now entirely possible that irresponsible populists may actually strengthen their chances of being re-elected by making wilder and more impossible promises – and by causing more economic damage. How

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When anti-establishment populists come to power, they implement a range of policies that lead to lower economic growth and fewer good jobs. And yet the angrier people become, the easier it is to persuade them that the media are biased, the experts are always wrong, and the facts are not the facts.

WASHINGTON, DC – To defeat populism requires coming to grips with a fundamental reality: bad economic policies no longer necessarily result in a government losing power. In fact, it is now entirely possible that irresponsible populists may actually strengthen their chances of being re-elected by making wilder and more impossible promises – and by causing more economic damage.

How did we get to this point, and what steps can we take to escape it as quickly as possible?

Powerful structural economic factors in recent decades – including automation, trade, and...

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