Posts tagged Neoliberalism
Posts tagged Neoliberalism
I heard you talking about Obama on campus and saying he’s conservative. He’s not conservative, he’s not even liberal. He’s a socialist/marxist and your denying reality. The Tea Party are about the only conservatives left trying to save America.
Meg of CognitiveDissonance:
Contrary to the email forwards from your Aunt Ida, President Barack Obama is not a socialist.
President Obama does not subscribe to Marxism, socialism, or even much of classical liberalism. Try Neoliberalism, kids.
From Neoliberalism and Financialization, by David M. Kotz, here’s an overview of its key features and components (comments in brackets are my own):
- Removal of barriers to free movement of goods, services, and especially capital, throughout the global economy [opposition to tariffs or regulation of trade, support of ‘free trade’ v. ‘fair trade’]
- A withdrawal by the state from the role of guiding and regulating economic activity [deregulation, lack of government oversight regarding corporations and industry, opposition to consumer protection laws]
- Privatization of state enterprises and public services [public transportation, prisons, hospitals, schools, utilities are subject to privatization or services are contracted for by the government with private entities]
- The slashing of state social programs [i.e. social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, housing assistance, etc.]
- A shift to regressive forms of taxation [Regressive taxes take a larger percentage of income from low-income groups than from high-income groups, i.e. sales taxes, tobacco taxes or gasoline taxes.]
- A shift from cooperation between capital and labor to a drive by capital, with aid from the state, to fully dominate labor [Please see Wisconsin or Ohio - though union-busting is not a new phenomenon]
- The replacement of co-respective behavior by large corporations with unrestrained competition. [Little to no restriction on monopoly and every corporation for itself]
Neoliberalism has an associated ideology of worship of the so-called “free market” along with a denial of any positive role for the state apart from its coercive functions.
Neoliberalism aims to “liberate” the private sector from regulation or restrictions imposed by the state. Organized labor, regulation of capital, regulation of corporations, price controls, and laws preventing monopolies are all considered unacceptable restrictions.
Individual freedom is secured through supposed equal opportunity to succeed and fail in a free market that makes the decisions over winners and losers - no government or legal entity must be allowed to interfere.
The idea of community or a common good is replaced with “individual responsibility.” Any kind of social service is seen as fostering dependency upon the state, though curiously, this does not extend to corporate welfare. Neoliberalism holds true liberty can only come from a free market that reflects the needs, desires, and aspirations of the individual, and this must include protection of the individual (or a corporation) from the state. An unfettered free market, coupled with low taxation and the ability to maximize profit, will led to a better and more free society for all. If this sounds familiar, it’s essentially Reaganomics, or the belief in “trickle down” economics.
I suggest reading David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism for more. You can also watch Adam Curtis’ excellent documentaries The Trap, The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares for similar examinations.
And the Tea Party? Really? What are you trying to save the U.S. from, besides the faint, flickering possibility of a weak recovery? We don’t need you saving us from energy efficient light bulbs, Muslims, teh gayz, health care reform, taxation of the rich, etc. Besides, you’re not even embracing a conservative ideology so much as a reactionary ideology.
This is basically the Tea Party summed up in a gif:
If you guys liked St. Ronnie Raygun, you’ll love Barack Obama. Right? Obama hasn’t raised taxes, restricted gun rights, expanded the debt at near the same rate, raised the debt ceiling 18 times, or given amnesty to undocumented workers, unlike St. Ronnie.
I’m sorry, but it appears that you’re not only denying reality, you’re constructing one entirely out of thin air. Stop huffing American exceptionalism, fear, and Sarah Palin’s ego fumes. It tends to make one insufferable.
“And the peasants believed us!”
Thirty years of neoliberalism, kiddos.