Trump elected by the working poor: Milken

This election season is a response to low income growth: Milken

The election of Donald Trump was a reaction to poor growth and should therefore not have been a surprise, says the founder of the Milken Institute.

According to Mike Milken, currently chairman of the eponymous economic think tank, the driving force behind Trump's victory was the so-called working poor – those who have jobs but struggle to make ends meet and feel they have been left behind as the economy has developed.

"One of the objectives of the financial markets is to create opportunities for everyone and make everyone feel they can participate in the economic system," Milken told CNBC Tuesday.

"And so many people both in the United States and Europe feel that when they look at the median income it is lower today than it was at the start of this century. They are demanding changes and hopefully our economic situation will meet those demands."

Olivia Calhoun, 9, stands outside the Crossing in Denver, CO September 19, 2014. Olivia and her family have lived at the Denver Rescue Mission's transitional program for families, since June 2013.
Craig F. Walker | The Denver Post | Getty Images

Milken was speaking to CNBC at the annual Milken Institute London Summit, this year entitled "The Future of Europe".

But the high-profile philanthropist and former financier spoke much more broadly than Europe, focusing particularly on Africa and the tremendous population growth forecast for the continent. He urged countries to work together to find common solutions as they faced challenges in the years ahead, such as ageing populations in many developed economies.

Milken also sounded a warning about society's reliance on technology, saying that there was a risk that if it was not handled correctly it could promote isolation – a condition which he described as the major disease in the United States.

"We can push technology forward but individuals need to have relationships, they need to feel a part of that society and if they don't in a democracy, we're going to have dramatic changes occurring."

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