Economist Alan Tonelson, founder of the economics and public policy blog RealityChek, says the political and economic establishment that oversaw the Great Recession is “fueling populism” by being “completely unapologetic” about the failures of their globalist ideology.
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Tonelson reflected on a lengthy Washington Post essay by the Brookings Institute’s Robert Kagan that decries the rise of populist-nationalist movements like President Trump’s election, France’s Marine Le Pen, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, and Brexit in the United Kingdom.
Tonelson said the same economic and political elites that drove the U.S. into the Great Recession of the 2000s, championed the invasion of Iraq, and support an open borders, low-wage economic model refuse to acknowledge their failures:
I would put first and foremost, though the global financial crisis and Great Recession, whose aftermath is still very much with us … I mean, you could finish this humongously long Robert Kagan piece — which as we said represents what the establishment wants you to know about what America needs to do in the world and especially why it’s vital to get rid of Donald Trump ASAP — you would finish this immensely long piece without ever knowing that there was a global financial crisis, without ever knowing that the same elites whose agenda [Kagan] so strongly supports nearly brought the entire global economy down, produced the worst economic slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a slump that was so deep that it still lingers on in so many ways. [Emphasis added]
The growth rates have been very weakened, the wage growth has been very weakened until very recently and its not gangbusters right now either. And this is what the American people were furious about. They lost jobs, they lost incomes, they lost homes, they lost savings, and not only has no one responsible really paid any price whatsoever, but the same establishment is completely unapologetic and reacts to any criticism of its alleged expertise with words and phrases like “deplorables” and “know-nothings” and “racists” and xenophobes,” etc. [Emphasis added]
These “unapologetic” elites, Tonelson said, are driving populist-nationalist movements around the worlds.
“This is what continues fueling populism not only in this country but around the world because Europe’s elites have been unapologetic too,” Tonelson said.
Trump’s “America First,” economic nationalist agenda is vastly popular across the country and American electorate. Most recent polling from the Harvard/Harris Poll revealed that about 3-in-4 support an immigration policy that puts the needs of American citizens first. Likewise, 65 percent of voters said they preferred political candidates who support imposing tariffs on China to protect U.S. industry and jobs, and nearly 3-in-4 voters said they would be more likely to support a candidate who opposes endless foreign wars.
The Great Recession spurred nationwide job loss for America’s working and middle class, with unemployed peaking at 10 percent in October 2009. The U.S. construction and manufacturing industries experienced the worst employment declines. At the same time, in 2008, the country’s biggest banks were bailed out to the sum of $700 billion dollars in U.S. taxpayer money.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.