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Such constraints can only serve the "enemies of the people" – minorities and foreigners (for right-wing populists) or financial elites (in the case of left-wing populists).Without separation of powers, an independent judiciary, or free media – which all populist autocrats, from Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Viktor Orb?n and Donald Trump detest – democracy degenerates into the tyranny of whoever happens to be in power.Periodic elections under populist rule become a smokescreen. While populism in the political domain is almost always harmful, economic populism can sometimes be justified.Start with why restraints on economic policy may be desirable in the first place. These are examples of restraints on economic policy that take the form of delegation to autonomous agencies, technocrats, or external rules.In such cases, delegation to autonomous agencies or signing on to global rules does not serve society, but only a narrow caste of "insiders".Multinational corporations and investors have increasingly shaped the agenda of international trade negotiations, resulting in global regimes that disproportionately benefit capital at the expense of labor.In such cases, relaxing the constraints on economic policy and returning policymaking autonomy to elected governments may well be desirable.
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