During Economic Forecast Breakfast, Cornell Clayton said divide driven by inequality, instability and cultural identity issues

One of the major effects of a global political economy that has changed rapidly in recent decades is political division, which will likely continue as the presidential election approaches.

Cornell Clayton.

That’s according to Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy at Washington State University, who didn’t make many promises during a panel discussion Thursday at the annual 2020 Economic Forecast Breakfast at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. But Clayton confidently said that unless the challenges presented by the new economic reality — wealth inequality, employment instability and cultural identity issues — are sufficiently addressed, sharp political divisions in U.S. politics will continue.

“We are living in an unpredictable, chaotic political world,” Clayton said.

Since the end of the Cold War, the emergence of global trade organizations coupled with technological advancements has created global prosperity and investment. But Clayton said that it has also fostered inequality.

“What inequality does is it creates political instability and political anxiety, and we’ve seen that in our society and other societies around the world,” Clayton said.

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