We speak with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis about the rise of the far-right Golden Dawn party in his country and how their policies “have infiltrated the mainstream” in European politics, including anti-immigrant measures similar to those proposed by Trump. Varoufakis says Trump’s vow to crack down on immigration after the attack in New York City will only inspire more attacks, noting that “ISIS loves Donald Trump.”
AMY GOODMAN: You heard in this introduction the tax plan that has been put forward. And you’re here in this country, and this is your specialty. You’re an economist. You taught at what? University of Texas, Austin?
YANIS VAROUFAKIS: That is right.
AMY GOODMAN: And you’re at University of Athens now in Greece. You’re the finance minister, former finance minister in the Syriza government. President Trump calls this a Christmas gift for the American people. What is your assessment of it? And then, fit it into the picture of global capitalism.
YANIS VAROUFAKIS: He has a very interesting definition of the American people. He considers the set of the American people to be exactly the same as the set of his friends.
Look, it’s déjà vu. We’ve seen it all before. It all began in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, this mass redistribution of income from the have-nots to the haves. We saw it under George W. We’re seeing it again. But there is a difference now. The difference is that American capitalism has exhausted its capacity to reproduce itself through a process of tax cuts — the trickle-up effect of wealth rising from the bottom to the top 0.1 percent. In the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan first applied this kind of tax cut-based policy, the United States was still in control of what I call the recycling of global profits and surpluses. The United States economy was, if you want, the engine of growth internationally. The tax cuts in this country were fueling demand for the net exports of Japan, back then, Germany, Holland, later China….