Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Woods’

How to Steal the Populists’ Clothes

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2018

Ngaire Woods is Founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.

The continued electoral success of populists in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and in the United States shows that while their policy proposals may be fanciful, their mode of conducting politics is effective. To win at the ballot box, mainstream politicians should apply three lessons that populists have mastered.

Consider Brazil, where campaigning is in full swing for the general election this October. As always, establishment politicians are campaigning on promises of fiscal prudence and economic growth, neither of which resonates with the 50 million Brazilians – nearly a quarter of the population – living below the poverty line, on household incomes that average $387.07 per month. Meanwhile, the populist presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, proposes giving every Brazilian a gun so they can defend themselves. To the elites, this sounds (and is) preposterous. But for Brazilians who worry about their own safety, he is at least showing that he understands their top concern.

Knowing what matters to your voters is basic electoral politics. Before winning the French presidency and a parliamentary majority last year, Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche ! – building on a strategy pioneered by former US President Barack Obama’s successful campaigns – sent volunteers across the country to listen to voters’ concerns.

A second lesson from today’s populists is to use simple, intuitive messaging to signal your goals. Yes, slogans like “I’ll protect your jobs” and “Make America great again” sound simplistic. But where are the sophisticated alternatives? Talk of economic growth works only when people are enjoying the benefits of that growth.

During periods of slow or inequitable growth, politicians must offer more direct responses to what people are feeling. In the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, the Remain campaign, phlegmatically led by then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, argued that leaving the European Union would result in lower GDP, lost trade, and disruption to the financial sector. Such arguments completely missed what concerned most voters. By contrast, the Brexiteers promised to “take back control” of the UK’s borders and claimed – falsely – that the National Health Service would enjoy a windfall of £350 million ($490 million) per week.

All told, establishment politicians seem to be at a loss. Academics, pundits, and political, business, and civil-society leaders have been far too slow to articulate new economic and social policies that have broad-based appeal. To be sure, that is not easy to do. It takes self-reflection and clarity of vision. But, first and foremost, it takes a commitment of time and energy to understand the plight of the electorate and to frame solutions in a clear, simple way.

The third lesson from the populist playbook is to be bold. In difficult times, people are seeking a transformational vision of the future, not slight improvements. After 30 years of pragmatism and incremental change, it is time for a new tone. Recall that in 1945, Winston Churchill, having delivered victory for Britain in World War II, lost the general election.

The winner, Clement Attlee, promised what was effectively a new social contract for war-weary Britons still living under rations. His government went on to provide free universal health care, unemployment insurance, pensions, decent housing, and secure jobs in nationalized industries. And all this was done with the national debt still at 250% of GDP.

The audacity of Attlee’s vision has no modern-day parallel. And that is our biggest problem.

 

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International Cooperation 2.0

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2018

Ngaire Woods is Founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.

As faith in US leadership declines, so may other countries’ commitment to international cooperation – trends that could culminate in an economic race to the bottom or even violent conflict. But another way already seems to be emerging, based on new coalitions, as well as updated global institutions, spearheaded by more diverse actors.

OXFORD – After decades of serving as the backbone of a rules-based global order, the United States, under President Donald Trump, is touting an “America First” agenda that extols narrow economic nationalism and distrust of international institutions and agreements. But a new type of international cooperation may be emerging – one that works around Trump.

To be sure, as the Trump administration continues to repudiate long-established patterns of cooperation, the risk to global stability is becoming increasingly acute. For example, at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos last month, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin spoke positively about a weaker dollar as a way to boost US trade. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit Down on the Farm

Posted by hkarner - 12. August 2017

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A Brexit Strategy for a Weak UK Government

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juni 2017

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A Practical Agenda for Revolutionary Times

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2017

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The Enlightenment of President Trump?

Posted by hkarner - 10. Februar 2017

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The New Xenophobia

Posted by hkarner - 8. Dezember 2016

Photo of Ngaire Woods

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Why Don’t We Trust Our Leaders?

Posted by hkarner - 4. August 2016

Photo of Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods is Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Director of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford.

AUG 3, 2016, Project Syndicate

OXFORD – In developed democracies today, political leadership is increasingly up for grabs. Voters, clearly tired of the status quo, want change at the top, leaving even major parties’ establishments struggling to install leaders of their choosing.

In the United Kingdom, Labour Party MPs have been stymied in their efforts to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as leader. In Japan, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s preferred candidate for Governor of Tokyo, Hiroya Masuda, lost in a landslide to Yuriko Koike. As for the United States, the Republican Party wanted virtually anybody except Donald Trump to win the nomination for the presidency; yet Trump it is. And while the Democratic Party is being represented by the establishment choice, Hillary Clinton, her competitor, Bernie Sanders, put up a much stronger fight than virtually anyone anticipated. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Unsustainable Development Goals?

Posted by hkarner - 18. April 2016

Photo of Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods is Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Director of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford. 

APR 14, 2016, Project Syndicate

OXFORD – From 2000 to 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focused minds and budgets on global poverty, significantly boosting people’s prospects in some of the world’s poorest countries. The new set of global targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aim to build on that progress, not only in eradicating poverty, but also in addressing a number of other challenges, such as broadening access to education and protecting the environment. But, this time, there are significant headwinds.

Recent geopolitical developments, such as the Middle East’s refugee crisis, are complicating government budgets and agendas. And commodity prices and emerging-economy investments, factors that bolstered progress toward achieving the MDGs, are now slumping. Without bold innovation, the new development agenda will be far from sustainable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Global Economy’s Stealth Resilience

Posted by hkarner - 4. März 2016

Photo of Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods is Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Director of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford.

MAR 3, 2016, Project Syndicate

OXFORD – Last week, Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, warned that if countries do not act together, the global economy could be derailed. Likewise, the OECD has warned that countries must move “urgently” and “collectively” to boost global growth prospects. Yet the G-20 finance ministers and central-bank governors to whom these entreaties were directed failed to agree any such action at their recent meeting in Shanghai.

To be sure, the communiqué released after the meeting includes a pledge to use “all policy tools – monetary, fiscal, and structural – individually and collectively” to “foster confidence and preserve and strengthen the recovery.” But the communiqué also reflects distinct divisions – particularly with regard to the role of monetary and fiscal policy in stimulating growth – among the finance ministers and central bankers who agreed on its text. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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