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Overcoming the Politics of Pessimism

Inspiring and reassuring voters is a political challenge, not a technocratic one. But it also requires ambitious policy solutions to help governments increase the economic pie faster and share it more fairly.

LONDON – A big reason why Western politics is in such disarray is voters’ pessimism about the future. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of Westerners believe today’s children will be “worse off financially than their parents,” while most Europeans think the next generation will have a worse life. To paraphrase the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, they expect youngsters’ lives to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish – and long.