Robert Muldoon our own feisty protectionist…

On The Level

Robert Muldoon Our Own Feisty Protectionist

“What would you think of a Western democratic leader who was populist, obsessed with the balance of trade, especially effective on television, feisty and combative with the press, and able to take over his country’s right-wing party and swing it in a more interventionist direction?” asks Bloomberg columnist Tyler Cowen. “Meet Robert Muldoon, prime minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984.

“For all the comparisons of President Donald Trump to Mussolini or various unsavoury Latin American leaders, Muldoon is a clearer parallel case,” according to Cowen.

“Muldoon favoured easy money; it remains to be seen whether Trump will do the same. In New Zealand, price-inflation rates ended up over 15 per cent on Muldoon’s watch. He then pushed for a wage and price freeze, which worsened the economy further.

“Like Trump, Muldoon faced some controversial race issues. The all-white South…

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