Trump Voters Willing to Take Leap in the Dark

Analysis suggests Donald Trump’s policies would do enormous damage to the economy. His supporters don’t care.

Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Catherine Rampell takes a closer look at Donald Trump’s economic plans and concludes they would be a disaster — especially for the native-born working-class voters the Manhattan businessman is appealing most to.

One analysis suggests the American economy would be 6.5 percent smaller by 2021 if Trump had his way. It would also have 9.4 million fewer jobs.

And that doesn’t even take into account the possibility that he might default on America’s debt or bring back the gold standard. Trump has flirted with both.

“Overall, the picture painted by these forecasts is terrifying,” writes Rampell.

It suggests voters here may voluntarily bring a Category 5 economic hurricane upon themselves. And for what? To “shake things up”? To give the middle finger to “the establishment?”

Exactly.

She draws a parallel with the United Kingdom, where, polls suggest, millions are willing to do serious damage to their economy by leaving the European Union, all to express their discontent with the political class.

It’s exasperating. But it’s also a wakeup call. If so many people, on both sides of the Atlantic, are prepared to take a leap in the dark because they no longer trust the politicians and institutions cautioning them not to, something has clearly gone wrong in our body politic.

By the way, if you wish to learn more about how a wealthy man like Trump can have such misguided views on the economy, read Adam Davidson’s in The New York Times Magazine. His argument is that Trump, schooled in the cutthroat, macho world of New York real estate, thinks every problem can be solved with a good “deal”.

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