In the inaugural episode of Nexus PFM’s podcast Politics and Public Finance with host Geoff Dubrow, democratic governance specialist Kevin Deveaux highlighted “42 years of trickle-down economics in the Western world” as a contributing factor to currents of distrust and anti-democratic sentiment. Rising economic inequality and uneven patterns of development lead to the disenfranchisement of many individuals who feel left behind by the economy. Existing issues were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where many faced new financial hardships such as a sudden illness or job loss, while some companies made record profits.
Economic inequality sets the stage for conflict and division because it can leave some people feeling like the system does not care about their participation and success. With many employment opportunities requiring higher education credentials, education inequality compounds economic hardship. Kevin argued that if we want to build up our democratic institutions, we need as much of the population on board as possible, and leaving the working class behind economically simply cannot continue.
Listen to the first episode of the Politics and Public Finance podcast HERE and stay tuned for future blog posts and a follow-up episode. Make sure to subscribe so that you can stay up to date on all our episodes!