Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sinking Its Teeth Into Every Organ Of The Public Sector

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian
Neoliberal policies are everywhere beset by market failures. Not only are the banks too big to fail, but so are the corporations now charged with delivering public services. As Tony Judt pointed out in Ill Fares the Land, Hayek forgot that vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk.

The greater the failure, the more extreme the ideology becomes. Governments use neoliberal crises as both excuse and opportunity to cut taxes, privatise remaining public services, rip holes in the social safety net, deregulate corporations and re-regulate citizens. The self-hating state now sinks its teeth into every organ of the public sector.
We've dug ourselves a mighty deep hole. Instead of figuring a way out, we keep taking advice from the shovel salespeople who've set up shop at the top. (They don't even make the shovels -- they've figured out how to get us to make them, so they can rent'em back to us.)

The anguish I'm feeling is from so many Democrats, self-proclaimed liberals, who look at the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and have chose Clinton, a neoliberal (or, a "centrist Republican" if we're settling on labels more accurate than "progressive" but avoiding the fancy ones) and aren't only resigned to her winning the Democratic nomination, but actively arguing for it, closing ranks around her platform of low expectations, hawkish foreign policy, and convenient acceptance of social causes she wouldn't touch just twenty years ago.

Sanders isn't going to win the nomination. Hillary will. (There's not going to be any indictment over emails, or Benghazi, or whatever the tinfoil hat brigade has out for her.) My fear is the #ImWithHer crowd are enabling Hillary's baser instincts, instead of using the Sanders campaign as a way to hold her feet to the fire.

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