How a quest by elites is driving ‘Brexit’ and Trump

Neil Irwin writes: What lesson should a card-carrying member of the economic elite take from the success of Donald J. Trump, and British voters’ decision to leave the European Union?

Voters in large numbers have been rejecting much of the underlying logic behind a dynamic globalized economy that on paper seems to make the world much richer. For the bankers, trade negotiators, international businesspeople and others who make up the economic elite (including journalists like me who are peripheral members of it), this is cause for introspection, at least among those who aren’t too narcissistic to care what their countrymen think.

Here is an overarching theory of what we might have missed in the march toward a hyper-efficient global economy: Economic efficiency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Efficiency sounds great in theory. What kind of monster doesn’t want to optimize possibilities, minimize waste and make the most of finite resources? But the economic and policy elite may like efficiency a lot more than normal humans do. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email