Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Plenty to Learn From US Election Process

Americans know pretty much what to expect from the person they will elect as President of the world's second largest economy today. And that's thanks in no small measure to the candidates thoroughly discussing the main planks of their plans and to several independent groups of people scrutinising them. If it's Trump they are aware that the extreme version of trickle-down economics he's proposing -- a flat tax of 15% -- would add 5 trillion dollars to the US national debt, make 3.5 million people lose their jobs and potentially throw the economy into a recession. If it's Clinton the economy should keep on growing from the middle out and that too without a Great Wall that Mexico would be made to pay for. The fiscal policies of these candidates are also consistent with the DNA of their parties: Democrats don't believe and rightly so that tax cuts for the wealthy work while the Republicans do.

It has not been different for the Mauritius Labour Party which has quite a bit in common with the Democratic Party. Well at least till 2006 when it started implementing what Trump is planning to do if he wins: go for a 15% flat tax or remove the progressiveness in the tax structure. The worst part of it is that such a dramatic policy change -- elections in Germany have been lost and won over the single issue of price stability -- wasn't discussed let alone mentioned during the election campaign of 2005. No trace of trickle-down economics in the manifesto entitled "Une ile Maurice pour tous" either. The LP did use the Putting People First slogan though. Funnily enough that was crafted by the Bill Clinton campaign on their way to rescue the American economy as from January 1993 from 12 years of voodoo economics.