One way they do this is by using the time-tested political strategy known as “marginalise-then-brutalise”. Politicians start by identifying the obstacle to their objectives. For a government short of funds the objective is to raise more funds, and the obstacle is any group/sector which has them. The first step is to politically isolate the target, often by creating popular support for the idea that the target group/sector is to blame for whatever malaise is gripping the country. Step two proceeds when the target has been suitably emasculated and shorn of all defence against even the most brutal attack.
As Machiavelli observed five hundred years ago, “Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.” Thus Mugabe “marginalised then brutalised” white farmers, while Hugo Chavez set his sights on private sector “profiteers” … for Hitler it was the Jews, for Philip IV of France it was the Knights Templar, for Diocletian it was the Christians, etc.
How long before it is the central banks? How long before they’re being blamed for not doing enough to check the spike in government bond yields threatening the economy and jobs (even if that spike is caused by wayward government finances)? How long before the populist anger today directed against bankers is directed towards central banks for something like paying too much attention to inflation when x million people are out of work. Economists will provide camouflage for such populism. The cure will be worse than the disease, they will say.