Unless something very strange happens Donald Trump will win the Republican candidacy to run for President of the USA. It is reasonable to ask how a man with no experience of government, no apparent political sense, and with views that are considered offensive by so many achieved this.
The answer is, of course, money. In fairness, the money in question appears to be Trump’s own. Many in the USA are seduced by that fact alone: this is the supposed American Dream. But there is something much deeper than that to be said.
Well, no, in terms of Trump, money and campaigns the truly amazing thing is just how little he has actually spent.
In all, the billionaire real estate showman ― whose improbable front-running campaign for the GOP nomination is centered around the idea that his wealth makes him incorruptible ― has lent or donated $12.8 million to his campaign. That accounts for two-thirds of the $19 million that the campaign has brought in to date ― a sum that is dwarfed by those of other top-tier candidates.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, for example, has raised $112 million, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s running second to Trump in most GOP polls, has raised $47 million.
I think I’ve seen that Jeb spent $100 million to get nowhere.
So the first factual contention actually gets nowhere. what Trump hsa actually done is spouted lies and rubbish of Twatter and found that there’s a ready audience for such. Remind you of anyone?
Which brings us to this which is, if we’re honest about it, something of a stretch:
What Trump has done is use money in the way a neoclassical economist might assume appropriate. He has bought favour. He has ignored the externalities of his behaviour. He has maximised his return without consideration for the consequence. He has focussed solely on his own gain and not considered the consequence for anyone else. Trump is then the epitome of that being we thought was a fiction but which turns out to have a personification after all, which is homo economicus. The ultimately rational, frighteningly indifferent subject of the microeconomics text book now has a new form. It is homo politicus, and Donald Trump is its manifestation.
But in that case we should not be surprised at his appeal. He is after all the the living embodiment of the state to which neoclassical economics would have us all aspire. If indifference is the state that economic theory suggests we should aspire to then Trump proves that, at least in the short term, it really can work as a role model for some who have been taught that this is what success requires.
It is frightening (I use the word advisedly) that Trump is in the position he now commands.
But, and I cannot stress this enough, the fact that theory that teaches that his behaviour is not only rational but to be expected and admired is taught in almost all universities as if it is economics is just as, if not more, frightening.
It is said we reap what we sow. It looks as if the USA might.
But if change is to happen then start by sweeping away the assumptions that underpin the callousness of much economic theory. Then we might have a chance of building a better world.
Trump as the outcome of neoclassical economics. Yeah right.
He’s actually that Courageous State writ large. Sod the law, let’s do what is “right”. Remind you of anyone?