The ideas which will shape the coming year from 'downward mobility' to the 'end of cash' and the 'new monogamy'by Prospect Team / December 10, 2014 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
We live in extraordinary times. This makes a nonsense of the term “developed world”—implying that the story, in the countries of the west, is all told. That notion is confounded by the scale of the change through which we are living, in politics, economics and technology. Some of this has difficult consequences. It is a hard time to run a democracy now. Governments must confront voters with retrenchment; as we say below, politics has become “the management of disappointments.” Elected leaders have fewer levers to pull; their power is diminished by globalisation, technology and scepticism. It is harder for them to raise tax revenue, for a start; they have fewer ways to compensate those who have lost out from globalisation.
Who’d want to be a politician now? This is a tough time to run a government in a western democracy. Politics in the coming year amounts to the management of disappointments.