Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist perhaps best known for authoring "Globalization and Its Discontents," recently told The Guardian that he views President Donald Trump as a "fascist kind of figure."
After reviewing how living conditions for ordinary Americans have worsened due to problems like declining median income, the opioid crisis, and decreasing life expectancy, Stiglitz said that he anticipated a radical political event like Trump's election.
"If we didn't fix this problem, we are going to have a political problem and historically, a Trump kind of figure, a fascist kind of figure arises," Stiglitz told The Guardian. When The Guardian's Larry Elliott remarked that "fascist" is a strong term, Stiglitz didn't back down.
"I certainly think he has those tendencies," Stiglitz told Elliott.
He added, "A couple of the things that are most disturbing: The attack on press, the attack on the foundations of knowledge, which goes beyond the press. And we've never had a president who day after day lies and is unaffected by it. And then I think that the other thing that you've seen in some other fascist leaders was this kind of using 'us versus them' as a way of dividing society."
Stiglitz also noted that Trump has been remarkably unpopular for a new president — right down to the fact that he lost the popular vote by 3 million — and he compared the right-wing movement that propelled Trump into office to similar movements in France and Austria.
"This is a global phenomenon," Stiglitz observed. He argued that it is the byproduct of growing inequality, some of it legitimate, as stemmed from the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis.