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Affluent Investor | June 26, 2017

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Righteous Populism and Imperial Presidencies

Donald John Trump, Republican presidential candidate  (Photo by Michael Vadon) (CC BY-SA) (Resized/Cropped)

Donald John Trump, Republican presidential candidate
(Photo by Michael Vadon) (CC BY-SA) (Resized/Cropped)

Responsible Americans, both Democrat and Republican need to address the roots of current anger, fear and frustration in America. What is at stake is much more than just another election. In the heat of this moment our freedom is in serious danger of being abused in the name of a righteous populism that supports an imperial presidency because it is perceived as being on the right side of security, border control, military strength, rooting out the evil among us, etc.

This is and should be a bipartisan issue but few are willing to stand up and be counted, because it may seem weak in the face of people rushing to choose up sides.

“Ironically, though Mr. Schwarzenegger was a populist, unlike Mr. Trump he had established himself as a Republican well before running for office, and he had some fixed conservative principles on government and the economy….

Even so, at bottom Mr. Schwarzenegger’s chief appeal was pretty much Mr. Trump’s. California politics had become so corrupted by its establishment and its institutions, ran the thinking, that what “the people” needed was a strongman to come in and shake it from top to bottom.

Who better than The Terminator?

But here’s the thing about bluster. Against entrenched interests, it almost always loses. For a simple reason: The interests are entrenched because they know how to game the system. American history is thus littered with elected populists foundering in office on the presumption that their personal appeal would be enough to carry the day.”

Dr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. Dr. Smith has joint appointments with the Argyros School of Business & Economics and the School of Law, and he is part of a team that will create and run the new Economic Science Institute at Chapman.

Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. He serves or has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Review, The Cato Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Science, Economic Theory, Economic Design, Games and Economic Behavior, and the Journal of Economic Methodology. He is past president of the Public Choice Society, the Economic Science Association, the Western Economic Association and the Association for Private Enterprise Education. Previous faculty appointments include the University of Arizona, Purdue University, Brown University, the University of Massachusetts, and George Mason University, where he was a Professor of Economics and Law prior to joining the faculty at Chapman University. Dr. Smith has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

In 1991, the Cambridge University Press published Dr. Smith’s Papers in Experimental Economics, and in 2000, a second collection of more recent papers, Bargaining and Market Behavior. Cambridge published his Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms in January 2008. Dr. Smith has received an honorary Doctor of Management degree from Purdue University, and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Smith is a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, an Andersen Consulting Professor of the Year, and the 1995 Adam Smith Award recipient conferred by the Association for Private Enterprise Education. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1995, and received CalTech’s distinguished alumni award in 1996. He has served as a consultant on the privatization of electric power in Australia and New Zealand and participated in numerous private and public discussions of energy deregulation in the United States. In 1997 he served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member, National Electric Reliability Council.

Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, his master’s degree in economics at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.

 

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