Thomas Piketty: Social-Nativism, The Italian Nightmare: "It is time for Europe to demonstrate to the working classes that it is best suited to defend them by finally implementing a policy to relaunch the economy and for a just form of taxation. As long as the centrists on all sides practise a similar form of anti-social liberalism, social-nativism will have a promising future ahead...

...The Five Star Movement and the Lega... agreed on a programme... implementation of a guaranteed basic income, advocated by the Five Star Movement... and the ‘flat tax’ defended by the Lega.... The Five Star Movement–Lega alliance is also, and primarily, based on a violent anti-refugee policy typified by the Minister for Home Affairs, Salvini.... How can an ideological cocktail of this sort survive?... That the 5 Star Movement agreed on the ‘flat tax’ speaks volumes about the lack of backbone in their programme, the debilitating effects of the gradual decomposition of Italian politics... and also on the damage resulting from decades of anti-tax rhetoric and fiscal dumping (since the wealthiest elude taxation and nobody seems to do anything about it, then why not publicly lower taxation for everyone?).... If the cocktail works, it is primarily because the Italian leaders excel in criticising the selfishness of the French... and... the hypocrisy of Europe which imposes rigid budgetary rules on Italy, preventing the country from investing and from recovering.... What makes Salvini so dangerous is precisely his capacity to link nativist discourse with the social, and migratory discourse with the debt. This is all rolled into the accusation of the establishment as being hypocritical everywhere. Since the ECB printed billions to save the banks, why could it not help Italy by postponing the debt to more favourable times? This common sense discourse will appeal until Europe replaces it with something better. In Poland and in Hungary, the far from liberal governments have also had an eye to public opinion by financing social welfare measures, family allowances and retirement benefits which the pro-European governments refused...


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