If there is one global political and economic lesson to be drawn from the Brexit experience and the rise of Sanders and Trump let it be this; we ignore the distributional outcomes of globalisation and unfettered market capitalism at our peril.
Distributional concerns are the traditional preserve of the political left but the political right should now be just as concerned. As Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said: “just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself.”
The rise of rampant income and wealth inequality in the developed world and the lifting of millions of people out of poverty in the developing world over the past 30 years can be seen as two sides of the same globalisation coin. It is an economic phenomenon economist Branko Milanovic has called “the greatest reshuffle of individual incomes since the Industrial Revolution” – and one with clear social and political consequences.