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Jair Bolsonaro, the frontrunner for the Brazilian presidency, is a far-right, gun-loving, media-baiting hyper-nationalist. The fact that he would be right at home among many of today's global leaders including the leaders of some of the world's major democracies should worry us all. This compels us to address the question: Why is democracy faltering?One consequence of recent technological progress has been a decline in the relative share of wages in GDP. As a relatively small number of people have claimed a growing piece of the pie, in the form of rents and profits, surging inequality of wealth and income has fueled widespread frustration with existing economic and political arrangements.The growing sense of unfairness accompanying these developments has undermined "democratic legitimacy," as Paul Tucker discusses in his book Unelected Power.Mainstream economics is founded on the assumption that human beings are motivated by exogenously given preferences what economists call "utility functions". Though the relative weights may differ, all individuals want more and better food, clothes, shelter, vacations, and other experiences.Many who support Trump or Bolsonaro do so not because of what Trump or Bolsonaro will deliver, but rather because of their tribal identity. They have created targets related to being part of "Team Trump" or "Team Bolsonaro". This damages democracy by giving political leaders a license they did not have earlier.
Corrupt anti-corruption campaigns
language of conflict
Policymakers should fear
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