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Bad economics breeds bad politics.The correlation between bad economic events and bad politics is too striking to be ignored.By bad politics, I mean the xenophobic nationalism and suppression of domestic civil liberties seen in countries with populist governments. By good politics, I mean the internationalism, freedom of expression and accountable governance that prevailed during the post-war era of prosperity. By bad economics, I mean allowing financial markets to dictate what happens to the real economy. Good economics, by contrast, recognizes a government's duty to protect its constituents against distress, insecurity and calamity.It is very hard for liberals to accept that bad politics can produce good economics, and that good politics can produce bad economics. By the same token, good politics can certainly coexist with bad economics: Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's austerity policies condemned the United Kingdom to years of stagnation.What I will say is that bad economics makes it more likely that bad politics will move from the fringes into the mainstream, as German National Socialism did between 1928 and 1930 . Whether the bad parties make it to power – and how they wield that power – depends on many factors.
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