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Caroline Yezer PhD @carolineyezer
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Neoliberalism describes a set of ideas about the way society should be organized. The popularization of neoliberalism is neither ancient, nor natural; yet it is often talked about as if it is both. It's not; in fact it isn't really even "dominant" [thread]…
Elizabeth Martinez & Arnoldo Garcia boil neoliberalism down to: 1. The market governs society 2. Public welfare & social service cuts 3. Deregulation 4. Privitization. 5. Emphasis on "individual responsibility" instead of "public good" or "community"…
In effect neoliberalism pretends to simply be Adam Smith's free market theories, in which humans are most free when they are all seen as individual units and can enter the economic market free of government interference; the market in turn must also be unfettered...
However as we have seen, capitalist markets today encourage stratification of society, haves/have nots, and in the US, corporations themselves have been granted the rights of the individual citizen. In effect Adam Smith's free market under neoliberalism works against freedom...
this youtube video describes that aspect of neoliberalism that empowers the corporation over individual lives.....
But don't believe the hype that neoliberalism has subsumed all else or is somehow accepted without question. In the 80s neoliberalism was religion, and the IMF & World Bank was convinced it would "develop" Latin America…
Through conviction or pressure from the "Washington consensus" in the 80s many Latin American countries adopted neoliberal policies, some of them draconian forms known as "structural adjustment" that required deep slashing of public welfare funds that "shocked" the economy .... a result the term "neoliberalism" has a tarnished image for many Latin Americans who still remember the structural adjustment reforms foisted on them by Washington, the World Bank and IMF. With the exception of Chile, still held by some to be the "miracle" of neolib reform
... only the most ardent devotee of neoliberalim would argue that these experiments worked in the 1990s. The term neoliberalism has a bad name in many Latin American countries today. Checkout the documentary LIfe and Debt for the Jamaican case [excerpt]
To hear some economists speak "neoliberalism" is inevitable; yet seen historically it's fairly new; seen in action, it's failed & looked at cross culturally its hardly the only thing: Peasants in Peru, Zapatistas in Mexico, workers in Argentine factories
...there have been & still are diverse socio economic models all around us. So neoliberal models of society are really just that - models. They only become all-powerful when those in power manage to CONVINCE us all that neoliberalism is natural & thus irresistible. It's neither.
Nothing is natural about Neoliberalism. In Peru for example, neoliberal "fujishock" in the 90s led to outbreaks of cholera. Children died of diarrhea which would have been easy to resolve if the public health care had not been slashed as per neoliberal mandates from Washington..
Despite vast empirical evidence that neoliberalism failed in Latin America, neoliberalism's most ardent defender Alan Greenspan, could not critique free market policy til its failure hit the US middle class in 2008…
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