Share of population in groups with flat or falling income,2004-2014
A polarizing U.S. election echoes a surge in populism around the world, also reflected in the UK’s recent Brexit vote. Rising inequality and a sense that economic growth has only benefited few are leading to a backlash against free trade and immigration. Incomes for 81% of the U.S. population were flat or falling from 2004 to 2014, mirroring a trend in other developed nations, as the chart above shows
Donald Trump is running with a populist agenda that departs from decades of Republican tradition. Democrat Hillary Clinton has leaned to the left, supporting higher taxes on the wealthy and raising the minimum wage.
Whoever wins the White House will have to deal with waning support for globalization, which the U.S. has advocated for and benefited from for decades. The shrinking middle ground for policymaking in Washington, however, is likely to make this an uphill battle.
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