Below a five point analysis of Neo-liberalism by Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo García:
- THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say “an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.” It’s like Reagan’s “supply-side” and “trickle-down” economics — but somehow the wealth didn’t trickle down very much.
- CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, they don’t oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
- DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.
- PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
- ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”
Any talking head who draws their pay check from GE (Maddow) can only, at best, engage in misdirection and omission. The rage in the Middle East can be linked to Europe (England, Ireland, Greece, Turkey), South America (Chicago boys), and the old eastern block countries of the former USSR. Namoi Klein’s book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” reveals how dark the hearts of those who would doom untold generations of humanity to a life of cheap labour (slave wages) are mere components of the market. Howard Zinn pointed out that one of the corporation’s major goals (through advertisement) is to seduce us into trading our citizenship away to become consumers. Zinn put forth that if they (corporations) could isolate us with tales of rugged individualism, we would gladly yield our collective power (citizenship, unions…) to buy the latest toys (ipod, Kindle, etc.). Neo-Liberalism took single payer and the public option off the table; brought us TARP; kept wages flat for 30 years; destroyed the unions; and has fueled the global oil wars. Unlike our blood thirsty comrades on the right, I do not think that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”; they seem to be fixated on “rebooting society” (great flood, Armageddon, war to end all wars …) as Nanoi Klein put forth. Ghandi asked his people to just stop cooperating with their oppressors. Hopefully, like Europe, and the Middle East, Obama (another neo-liberal) is about get “change he can believe in” from the bottom up.