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“When life seems like a zero-sum struggle, gains by other groups are interpreted as losses by one’s own group.” This is a formula for resentment and discord.

The spoils society advances.

The “spoils society” is a phrase I coined some years ago to illustrate a basic problem of wealthy societies, including, of course, the United States.

 

[OP-ED]: Trump isn’t destiny

 06/13/2017 - 15:17
To some extent, the future of America depends on Donald Trump. But it depends even more on how these social and economic trends evolve -- how we cope with them and whether we become a more cohesive society or a more contentious one. EFE

 It’s time to take a brief break from Donald Trump. Whatever you think of him, there’s no denying that he dominates the news cycle. We seem to assume that the nation’s future depends on Trump’s fate, for better or worse. The reality is otherwise: The nation’s future also hangs on larger economic and social trends that no president can shape.

[OP-ED]: Trump’s stock boom -- illusion or reality?

 04/25/2017 - 10:10
Stock valuations are tricky. With hindsight, the market can stay above or below levels reflecting economic fundamentals for long stretches. Whatever the case today, stocks are nowhere near the absurd heights of the “tech bubble” at the turn of the century. EFE

The last thing President Trump now needs is for the stock market to go south on him. After all, he’s got worries aplenty: abroad, North Korea, Syria, Russia and Brexit; at home, the stalled effort to repeal Obamacare; and uncertainty surrounding “tax reform.” Compared with this tapestry of troubles, the stock market has been a splendid blessing.

Plain Text Author: 
Robert J. Samuelson