On Populism

“They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters bring you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street Kitchen.”

Huey Long (1932)

Its hard to miss the rise in populism – examples on the right include Trump in America, Party for Freedom (PVV) in Netherlands, Freedom Party (FPÖ) in Austria, on the left Podemos in Spain, Five Star Movement in Italy. But populism isn’t something we’re familiar with or understand well, because it was last common in the 1930s. What is populism exactly, and what does history teach us? In an excellent paper, Ray Dalio from Bridgewater Associates and Economic Principles explains what populism is, and gives case studies in a dozen odd populist movements from the last century. (more…)