If you think we’re done with neoliberalism, think again

George Monbiot writes: How they must bleed for us. In 2012, the world’s 100 richest people became $241 billion richer. They are now worth $1.9 trillion: just a little less than the entire output of the United Kingdom.

This is not the result of chance. The rise in the fortunes of the super-rich is the direct result of policies. Here are a few: the reduction of tax rates and tax enforcement; governments’ refusal to recoup a decent share of revenues from minerals and land; the privatisation of public assets and the creation of a toll-booth economy; wage liberalisation and the destruction of collective bargaining.

The policies that made the global monarchs so rich are the policies squeezing everyone else. This is not what the theory predicted. Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and their disciples – in a thousand business schools, the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD and just about every modern government – have argued that the less governments tax the rich, defend workers and redistribute wealth, the more prosperous everyone will be. Any attempt to reduce inequality would damage the efficiency of the market, impeding the rising tide that lifts all boats. The apostles have conducted a 30-year global experiment, and the results are now in. Total failure. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “If you think we’re done with neoliberalism, think again

  1. A Meshiea

    In order to critique the supposed 30 year run of Hayakian Free Market theory, must understood what the criteria for a free market actually means.

    The past 30 years have NOT met these criteria.

    In a free market the government does not step into bail out failed banks and or enterprises that have gambled money or invested foolishly.

    In a free market central banks do not control the single most important price in the economy, the future price of money or the INTEREST RATE.

    In a free market, the government is meant to be there for only a few purposes:

    Protection of contracts
    Enforcement of the Law and protection of Individual’s rights
    Armed Forces for defense only
    Supply of goods and services that are not priced well by a free market (some social safety nets, health insurance, infrastructure and pollution of the commons)

    That’s all.

    But instead the constant meddling into the economy and supplication to corporate welfare interests have completely skewed the free market into a monstrosity of government-corporate interests.

    Central Banks tinkering with interest rates that could have been set by banks and individuals choosing from a market of banks created every single bubble we have had in the past 30 years. And each time the bubbles burst the Keynsian prescription of lower interest rates (cheaper money and hazardous investments) and more deficit spending (warping of market choices into government inefficient projects as well as corruption) as a weight on future generations is simply repeated.

    Now we are at the end of the line, in debt to the hilt with only corrupt politicians and their corrupt wealthy elite benefiting.

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