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Yale's Robert Shiller: US Voters Backed Trump Due to Economic Powerlessness

Image: Yale's Robert Shiller: US Voters Backed Trump Due to Economic Powerlessness

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By    |   Tuesday, 29 Nov 2016 01:07 PM

Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller of Yale University says to those with average and low incomes, Donald Trump's simple slogan "make America great again" sounded like "make you great again."

And that, simply, is why Trump won, says the 2013 Nobel laureate in economics, professor of economics at Yale University and the co-creator of the Case-Shiller Index of U.S. house prices.

Trump campaigned in part "on a proposal to cut taxes dramatically for those with high incomes, a group whose members often have elite educations as well. And yet his most enthusiastic support tended to come from those with average and stagnating incomes and low levels of education," Shiller wrote for Project Syndicate. "What gives?" he asked.

"Trump’s victory clearly appears to stem from a sense of economic powerlessness, or a fear of losing power, among his supporters. To them, his simple slogan, 'make America great again,' sounds like 'make you great again.' Economic power will be given to the multitudes, without taking anything away from the already successful," Shiller said.

"Those on the downside of rising economic inequality generally do not want government policies that look like handouts. They typically do not want the government to make the tax system more progressive, to impose punishing taxes on the rich, in order to give the money to them," Shiller said.

"Redistribution feels demeaning. It feels like being labeled a failure. It feels unstable. It feels like being trapped in a relationship of dependency, one that might collapse at any moment," Shiller wrote.

"The desperately poor may accept handouts, because they feel they have to. For those who consider themselves at least middle class, however, anything that smacks of a handout is not desired. Instead, they want their economic power back. They want to be in control of their economic lives," Shiller wrote.

Meanwhile, the stock market’s rise to record highs after Trump’s presidential victory shows that investors are optimistic that the economy will improve as President Barack Obama leaves office, says Charles Gasparino, author and Fox Business Network senior correspondent.

“His promise to cut both corporate taxes and red tape will translate into higher corporate profits so businesses can expand and create jobs,” Gasparino writes in the New York Post. “Real unemployment can finally decline not because people are dropping out of the workforce but because they’re actually working again.”

 

Trump will come into office with Republicans controlling the Senate and House of Representatives, making economic reforms a realistic possibility instead of prolonged gridlock. Under President Obama, the U.S. economy never exceeded 3 percent yearly growth for the first time since World War II.

“With the GOP controlling the House as well as the Senate, traders see real economic growth on the horizon, not just a Fed-induced stock-market bubble where interest rates are so low there’s no other place to put your money,” Gasparino says.

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To those with average and low incomes, his simple slogan ‘make America great again’ sounded like ‘make you great again’
robert shiller, trump, voters, economic
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2016-07-29
Tuesday, 29 Nov 2016 01:07 PM
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