The West’s malaise

Comments from John Micklethwait
Presented by David Martin

John Mickethwait is “Editor and Chief” of The Economist my favorite magazine. In the “World in 2015” issue he made some observations I think are quit profound. “Of all the predictions to be made about 2015, none seems safer than the idea that across the great democracies people will feel deeply let down by those who lead them in Britain, Spain and Canada, elections will give voters a chance to unleash some of those frustrations, perhaps to the advantage of maverick politicians.”

“The levels of unpopularity and disengagement in the West have now risen to staggering levels. Since 2004 a clear majority of Americans have told Gallup that they are dissatifisfied with the way they are governed, with the numbers of those fed-up several times climbing about 80% [higher than during Watergate]”

“So the West’s malaise is dangerous. The failure of democracies to get things done will lead to questions about other features of an open society, such as freedom of the press, free markets and relatively open borders. Populist will keep on demanding easy answers to complicated questions. On the right, immigrants will be scapegoats and politicians will play with nationalism. For the left, the redistribution of wealth will be the big theme.”

I hope you find these thoughts as telling and provocative as I do.

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