Economist Alan Harvey is the executive director of the Institute for Dynamic Economic Analysis (IDEA), a Seattle-based organization that seeks to reform a broken discipline. His 2012 book Demand Side Economics: Demand Side Minds talks about economics from the perspective of the people rather than the producers, and you should read it now because it will help you understand exactly why the economic policies of our president-elect—like corporate tax cuts—will hurt the working class and the poor.

Sponsored
Sign up to ride the 7 Hills of Kirkland this May!
The month long cycling event takes place this May, with ride challenges, prizes from Zoka Coffee and Primal Wear, and funds raised benefiting Attain Housing.

First, the big question: What do you think will happen to the US economy under Donald Trump?

A risk is that Trump will make some kind of deal with Wall Street and consolidate power à la Mussolini. In trade, where he will have the most unilateral power as president, his continuous blame-a-thon may accelerate the move away from the dollar. The day the US loses its exorbitant privilege to print the world's reserve currency will be a dark day indeed. Be aware that the rest of the world is in a worse state than we are.

Trump has no coherent economic plan, or even understanding. Bernie Sanders had the right plan. He was the credible change candidate. But you have to add either a substantial raise in incomes or a broad write-down of private (not public) debts. If Trump does anything like that (even for political purposes), things will get better. Tax cuts will not work.

What do you think we can do to fix the housing crisis in Seattle?

Until the market is balanced, we should freeze rents. Luxury apartments are where foreign money is laundered or invested for the future. Among other things, that is distorting the market.

What are you reading right now?

I'm rereading Hyman Minsky's John Maynard Keynes. (It's not a biography, and you should read the last chapter first.)

I know you're a great fan of the theater. Are there any productions you're looking forward to?

There is an Ionesco in March—Macbett at Ghost Light. It's an anti-war, anti-fascist satire on Macbeth.

Support The Stranger

What's your strategy for dealing with a dreary Seattle winter?

I use vitamin D and exercise, but it doesn't work too well. It's getting gloomier and gloomier out there.