Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Trump?

So, Donald Trump thinks the solution to mass killings, such as the recent incident in San Bernadino, is to ban all Muslims from entering the USA. These shootings were the 353rd incident of mass killings in the USA so far this year. (A “mass killing” is defined as an incident in which at least four people, including the attacker, die.) Yet again, Barak Obama showed his frustration at his own powerlessness in the face of the US gun lobby. The graphic below serves as a useful reminder of the facts.

USA and other homicide ratesThe latest Private Eye, published after the killings but before Trump’s remarks, has an excellent parody of Trump’s position. In their version, Trump praises Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Maliki for integrating fully into American society. The couple were “all-American and buying as many … weapons as they could lay their hands on”. His solution, Private Eye style, is to allow into America only those Muslims who “swear allegiance both to the flag and Smith and Wesson”. Trump is an extremely rich businessman. He is also self-evidently a complete idiot.

The Wisdom of Business Leaders?

Which brings me to a wider point. The British media, BBC included, invariably turn to business leaders or City and think tank “experts” when they want analysis of some economics news story. The views of academics or trades union people are sought much, much more rarely.

Trump is an extreme example of a wider phenomenon. Being a leader of a large corporation does not make you wise: in Trump’s case, it doesn’t even immunize him from being very stupid! National and global economies are not like a company’s accounts. What works in the one case may be counter-productive in the other.

So, how about it, BBC and others? Let’s have a wider range of “expert” opinions on or TVs, radios and websites and in our newspapers!


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