A modern day instance of “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (“Let them eat cake”) is being played out in the unhallowed halls of Trump’s White House. While public sector workers are facing their third week without pay due to his Government shutdown, his daughter Ivanka is being touted as a candidate to become President of the World Bank.
Ivanka who has become richer due to her father’s incumbency was busy holidaying in sunny Florida weeks ago while the shutdown fallout was affecting workers’ Christmases. The Trump family’s propensity for empathy and political ‘do we care?’ is zero.
Using public office to promote your family and friends is a feature of authoritarian leadership and, while we may still be deluding ourselves that the Trump presidency is a wholly democratic one, Trump himself is hell bent on blowing that thought out of the water.
In his world experience counts for nothing. It’s all about…, well, who knows!
The Previous Presidents of the World Bank may have had extensive knowledge and experience of economics, development and politics but, it seems, that all it takes now is nepotism to go places.
While nepotism is an age old carrier for social mobility, witness how jobs are handed out in the city of London etc, Trump has elevated it to super status by handing out top jobs for his wholly unqualified family at the highest levels of power.
What is it that Ivanka is qualified for apart from being the poster girl for the White American right? Read their Twitter feed and you could almost substitute her name in their streams of adoration of her with ‘Madonna’.
The World Bank would be wise to stay clear of being tainted with such a controversial character given that it already faces global criticism for lacking transparency, its conditional lending accused of leading to poverty and loan lending policies which saddle poor countries with high debts that cripple their economies incessantly.
On reflection, the misery caused by these policies maybe fertile ground for a Trump to thrive in. Once a Trump always a Trump?