Self-Extinction of Neoliberalism? Don’t Bet on It
ECONOMICS, 27 Apr 2020
24 Apr 2020 – For the second time since the turn of the century, governments in North America and Europe are intervening massively with public funds and in conjunction with central banks to bail out entire sectors of the economy and prevent a general economic collapse. The ongoing rescue operations necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic has already reached a much higher scale than the one deployed against the 2007–08 financial crisis. These operations clash with the basic tenets of neoliberalism in that they constitute a massive regulatory intervention by the state in reining back the market, whereas deregulation and market “survival of the fittest” are central to neoliberal ideology.
They also clash with fiscal austerity, but the latter precept is not common to all neoliberal governments. It is a sacrosanct principle in Europe, where British neoclassical neoliberalism blended with German ordo-liberalism. But it is not part of a neoliberal consensus in the United States, where paradoxically the Democrats who used to be accused of Keynesian “tax and spend” by the Republicans have become the champions of fiscal discipline in the neoliberal age, while the latter have developed since Ronald Reagan an original policy of “cut taxes (for the rich) and increase (military) spending” that has resulted in huge federal deficits.
Tags: COVID-19, Capitalism, Coronavirus, Crisis, Deep Culture, Deep Structure, Disaster Capitalism, Economics, International Relations, Naomi Klein, Neoliberalism, Predatory Capitalism, Social conflict, Social contract, Social justice, Social structures, Socialism
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