Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Death Notice for Neoliberalism?

CURMUDGUCATION: Death Notice for Neoliberalism?:

Death Notice for Neoliberalism?

Neo what? You may not be paying enough attention to political labels and categories, particularly when they don't seem to fit any of the standard Dem-liberal vs. GOP-conservative model.

Neoliberalism was born in the thirties in Europe (where it was also known as the "Middle Way" or the "Third Way"). Its central tenet is that private corporations ought to be free to do whatever they want, and neo-libs love free trade, deregulation, privatization, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Wait-- why does this thing even have "liberal" in its name? Because 1930s Europeans were wacky that way, I guess. Or maybe it's because it wants to "liberalize" the movement and accumulation of money.

Neoliberalism is about the idea that the private sector can do everything so much better than the public sector, that competition is the secret to excellence, that a truly free market will create excellence and wealth for all. And as we can immediately recognize, it has been embraced by prominent members of both parties.

It is well-positioned to sell to both right and left. On the right, you can take solace that it makes the government smaller and directs lots and lots (and lots and lots) of tax dollars to private sector interests. On the left, you can take solace that neolibs preserve government programs-- they've just hired some private company to take care of the programs. If something's worth doing, it's worth paying some private company tax dollars to do it.

Groups like ALEC, the legislation mill where private corporations get to tell elected legislators what bill they ought to pass-- well, that's just a natural outgrowth of the neolib philosophy. The public sector really ought to be working for the private sector, not getting in their way, telling them what regulations they must follow, and telling them how to play fair. The worst horror stories you've 
CURMUDGUCATION: Death Notice for Neoliberalism?:



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