The Trump phenomenon

What is the Trump phenomenon? We might as well ask: What is the Corbyn phenomenon in this country, or the Le Pen phenomenon in France, or any number of new political phenomena on either the extreme left or the right in various countries in the EU?

It is the outcry of the least educated portion of the electorate which is saying: “Hey, don’t leave us behind. You promised us so much over the years but now you’re not delivering.”

There’s no conspiracy against them. It’s innovation that’s at fault. Now that the flash-in-the-pan part of robotization is mostly over — the industrial revolution of 1780 to 1980 when muscular effort was increasingly automated — we’re moving into a new type of advanced economy where mental routines are also becoming automated and much higher educational credentials are necessary for the jobs that remain.

At least, the well-paid jobs. There are still plenty of temporary jobs, part-time jobs, zero-hours jobs when children are becoming too expensive to consider and advanced country populations are not replenishing themselves. Some advanced countries — maybe only those smaller ones in which educational reform can take place quickly — might be able to retain single populations.

Otherwise, overall social mobility is coming to an end and advanced country populations are dividing into two largely separate economies in each case.

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