Sunday, April 22, 2012

What is Neo-Liberalism?


What is Neo-Liberalism.

Neo-Liberalism is a moral and intellectual justification for greed.
A way for those few who accumulate wealth, by impoverishing many, to justify themselves, and keep those they are stealing from docile and compliant.

This purpose for centuries has been fulfilled by religion.

We still see echo's of the religious  attitudes. The idea that the poor are poor because of personal defects,  American exceptionalism, the banker who reckons, "God wanted me to be rich",  Ayn Rands "wealth creators".

Neo-liberals outwardly believe in small Government, minimal regulation, taxation and social security,  individual freedom and responsibility and the primacy of the market in fostering economic efficiency.
In fact their leaders and intellectuals believe in anything which enables them to accumulate wealth at the expense of the rest of us.

Neo-Liberalism would be more appropriately called Neo-conservatism. It is an attempt to return to pre-enlightenment times when the idea of "each is born into their proper place" was undisputed.
Neo-Liberalism has become common usage, unfortunately we are stuck with it.

Neo-Liberalism itself has all the characteristics of blind belief and faith inherent in religion.

Despite its only success being in making a very few people wealthier, millions of people, including most politicians, blindly adhere to the faith. 
'It doesn't seem to matter that they NEVER get it right. It doesn't seem to matter they are promoting economic theories that are junk. But unlike Ring's quackery, the quackery of neoliberalism is treated with reverence, it is ascribed legitimacy'. 

 "The first of these shifts was the Great Depression or, more precisely, the feckless response of both American mainstream political parties to the economic collapse that followed the 1929 stock market crash. In the crucial first years after the crash, Democrats and Republicans alike embraced exactly the same policies they are embracing in today’s economic troubles, with exactly the same lack of success, and showed exactly the same unwillingness to abandon failed policies in the face of economic disaster. Then as now, the federal government launched a program to bail out big banks and corporations—it was called the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in those days—and pumped dizzying amounts of money into the upper end of the economy in the belief, real or feigned, that the money would work its way down the pyramid, which of course it didn’t do. Then as now, politicians used the shibboleth of a balanced budget to demand austerity for everybody but the rich, and cut exactly those programs which could have helped families caught by hard times. Then as now, things got worse while the media insisted that they were getting better, and the mounting evidence that policies weren’t working was treated as proof that the same policies had to be pursued even more forcefully." (John Micheal Greer).

Their Apostles are Adam Smith,  Ayn Rand, Von Mises,  the Austrian, and Freidman, the Chicago,  schools of economics.

Adam Smith's "invisible hand" is often quoted. Adam Smith's "you should pay your workers fairly because they are the source of your wealth" and "tax capital and land instead of workers and entrepreneurs" is, of course, ignored.

Von Mises and Freidman advocate a totally unregulated market and a Government as one adherent famously said, "that you could drown in a bathtub". Except for police and military to protect their wealth, of course!

Ayn Rand considered the owners of capital "wealth creators" although she had to live off the real wealth creators, the rest of us, towards the end of her life.

"So before we consider having another trickle-downer in the White House, let’s talk about the failure of this idea and why if you want to see a real job creator, you should look in the mirror".

In fact they support their own freedom to make money regardless of social, environmental or economic effects. At the same time restricting individual freedom to protest, or co-operate to challenge their primacy.
Supporters do not seem to see the conflict between saying they support  individual freedom  while at the same time restricting the majorities individual freedom to withdraw their labour or protest. These freedoms are restricted, often violently.

"Let’s recap. You’re rich, and you want to stay that way. So, to protect your ticket; to safeguard your $50 million prize; you need to find a way to eliminate, or at least minimise, the threats posed by taxes, unions, and democracy. What’s your strategy?
Essentially, there’s only one winning strategy. It requires you to convince all those who are not wealthy that whatever status and security they do enjoy is the result of your own superior imagination, risk-taking and skill. You have to paint yourself and your fellow millionaires and billionaires as a “wealth creators” and, more importantly, “job creators”. You have to convince your fellow citizens that any attempt to restrict or redistribute your wealth will not only put their jobs at risk, but that society as a whole will become poorer.
If you can convince people of these things, then they will, perfectly democratically, eliminate wealth taxes, truncate workers’ rights, and reconfigure their entire political system to favour the tiny minority fortunate enough to hold the multi-million-dollar winning tickets"

Neo-Liberalism. Like all religions, is a way for the already wealthy to delude everyone else from rebelling, so they can keep their "winning ticket".

While many followers of religions have the best of intentions, their leaders have no such illusions. The intent is to keep wealth and/or power.

The overall effect of Neo-Liberal economics is to "privatise profits while socialising the losses".

Hugely increasing inequality and economic and social dysfunction.

Country after country adopts Neo-Liberal economics and rapidly goes downhill even by Neo-Liberalism's own measures such as GDP. And we still believe it is the solution!

Compare Argentina and the BRIC countries to the Anglo Saxon countries that are slavishly following the Neo-Liberal religion.

Truly voodoo economics.