Against neoliberalism

Applying the Dharma to social justice issues – race, religion, sexuality and identity

chownah
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:08 am

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:10 am

Great! After having consulted your links it seems that whether raising a tax on fuel or anything else for that matter is an austerity measure or not is a matter of political judgement. If you are against the tax increase it can be presented as being making one group of people suffer for another the benefit of another group of people OR it can be seen as a prudent fiscal policy which will enable the gov't to better serve its people.
chownah

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:14 am

This thread is about neoliberalism per se, i.e. "the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. Those ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society."
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism)
It was hijacked by a side issue - corporate greed/governance - but the last half-dozen posts of that discussion have been moved to the new topic which chownah created, so the discussion can continue over there - viewtopic.php?f=7&t=336&p=3913#p3913

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1064
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by fwiw » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:17 pm

"This is Professor Richard Wolff. He wants to democratize corporations. Be like Richard."

... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
fwiw
Posts: 1064
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by fwiw » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:21 pm

According to the godfather of neoliberalism:
"There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."
- Milton Friedman
Compare with

Screenshot_2018-12-20_21-14-29.png
Screenshot_2018-12-20_21-14-29.png (235.18 KiB) Viewed 1321 times
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:22 am

Many of our topics keep coming back to social justice and the persistently negative effects of the current mainstream economic theory (which I tend to label "neoliberalism" because it's such a convenient shorthand).

Here's something local for Paul, and recognisable for David, to think about:
...What society doesn't talk about money? Of course Australians talk about money. Of course we notice what money others have. But do we judge people on that? Sometimes.

Describe welfare as a burden and those on it as a problem, you're judging that their situation is their fault and they could do something about it.

Snort at the multi-million-dollar salaries of CEOs, you're making a judgement that it's not deserved.

If we celebrate and respect the wealthy and successful — a Mike Cannon Brookes, a Cate Blanchett or an Ash Barty — then we are making a judgement that they've earned it and deserve it.

And perhaps part of our admiration for firefighters, nurses and teachers is we know they're not stacking it away and we offer them respect accordingly. ...

Australia has never had the equivalent of a European aristocracy — generations of inherited capital and property, or the notion of the American dream, where we can all aspire to have a hotel chain and be president.

Our aspiration was more muted. The wealthy were encouraged to mix. The middle and lower class were not cowed by wealth and status.

So now, even though the wealthy whoosh by in their large, black-tinted-window SUV, while others struggle to make the payments on the ute they need for work, perhaps we don't habitually judge one another.

But it's hard to say if that historical egalitarianism can survive a 21st-century mix of social media display and an ever-widening income disparity.

• The Australia Talks National Survey asked 54,000 Australians about their lives and what keeps them up at night. Use our interactive tool to see the results and how their answers compare with yours — available in English, simplified Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese.
:reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-28/ ... y/11771010

:namaste:
Kim

Edit: fixed typo. :oops:

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by SethRich » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:29 am

Greetings Kim,

But that doesn't say what neo-liberalism actually is. It doesn't even use the word.

That's just a bit of story telling.

I would have thought that if you want to oppose (or replace?) something you would be capable of defining it. In fact, I'd have thought that criticizing it would necessitate being precise about what it is you're actually criticizing. Further, if you're suggesting something better, it would also appear necessary to articulate what you're against, so you can juxtapose and compare it.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:01 am

SethRich wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:29 am
Greetings Kim,

But that doesn't say what neo-liberalism actually is. It doesn't even use the word.

That's just a bit of story telling.

I would have thought that if you want to oppose (or replace?) something you would be capable of defining it. In fact, I'd have thought that criticizing it would necessitate being precise about what it is you're actually criticizing. Further, if you're suggesting something better, it would also appear necessary to articulate what you're against, so you can juxtapose and compare it.

:candle:
G'day, mate,
You could always go back and read my OP - viewtopic.php?f=7&t=277 - and, if you 're willing, the rest of the thread. There's some bullshit in there, of course, but I'm sure you will understand how I'm using the term...

Sorry, I will try that again: since you didn't read or didn't understand my intro to that quote a couple of hours ago, "Many of our topics keep coming back to social justice and the persistently negative effects of the current mainstream economic theory (which I tend to label "neoliberalism" because it's such a convenient shorthand)," (emphasis added) I'm sure you are capable of understanding how I'm using the term.

:thinking:
Kim

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by SethRich » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:32 am

Greetings Kim,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:01 am
You could always go back and read my OP - viewtopic.php?f=7&t=277
I did already and found no definition there.
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:01 am
- and, if you 're willing, the rest of the thread. There's some bullshit in there, of course, but I'm sure you will understand how I'm using the term...
Too much angst and papanca in there for my liking. Perhaps you could you maybe just provide a definition? It's hardly the world's most outrageous request.
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:01 am
I'm sure you are capable of understanding how I'm using the term.
All I see is angst, papanca, aversion, Bolshevism and anti-Capitalism... is that what "Against neoliberalism" means?

:shrug:

Perhaps it actually is.

Nonetheless, I invite you once more to actually define the term. If your arguments aren't all smoke and mirrors, feelings and folksy narratives, I'd assume you'd welcome that as a starting point for a conversation.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:20 pm
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:54 am

The definition seems implicit in the link in the OP, but for clarity here's the Wikipedia article that covers the upsurge of the neoliberal approach in the UK, USA, New Zealand, and Australia, among other places over the last 40-50 years:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by SethRich » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:09 am

Greetings Mike,

Thank you for your efforts.

From what I can see in the link you provided, it appears "neo-liberalism" starts with laissez-faire or free-market capitalism... but then goes off to mean different things to different people, and is thus as equally amorphous and ill-defined as Kim's usage.

So, back to Kim then, is that what you're against? Laissez-faire free market economics (aka classical economics, aka supply-side economics), as espoused by Adam Smith in The Wealth Of Nations? Or does the "neo" (i.e. new) actually point to something "newer" that you're including in this "neo-liberalism" that you're against.

If all this is just old fashioned laissez-faire (Smith) vs demand-side economics (Keynes)... then why the need for new, ambiguous, amorphous lingo?

For what it's worth, the prestige of Keynesian economics took a big hit in the late 1970's when it gave rise to "stagflation" (i.e. stagnant economic growth, with high levels of inflation and unemployment) and had no answer to it. To the best of my knowledge, it still doesn't... which is why "classical economics" regained prominence.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:07 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:54 am
The definition seems implicit in the link in the OP, but for clarity here's the Wikipedia article that covers the upsurge of the neoliberal approach in the UK, USA, New Zealand, and Australia, among other places over the last 40-50 years:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

:heart:
Mike
Thanks, Mike. It's an excellent starting point. As Paul says, though, it's full of little quibbles and asides so I will pull out of it the parts with which I agree most strongly. Here goes - all quoted from Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism:
Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism[1] is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism,[2]:7[3] which constituted a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus that had lasted from 1945 to 1980. Neoliberalism is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, free trade, austerity,[6] and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. ...

When the term entered into common use in the 1980s ... it quickly took on negative connotations and was employed principally by critics of market reform and laissez-faire capitalism. Scholars tended to associate it with the theories of Mont Pelerin Society economists Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James M. Buchanan, along with politicians and policy-makers such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan.[8][27] ...

Current usage
Elizabeth Shermer argued that the term gained popularity largely among left-leaning academics in the 1970s "to describe and decry a late twentieth-century effort by policy makers, think-tank experts, and industrialists to condemn social-democratic reforms and unapologetically implement free-market policies; ...

As an ideology, it denotes a conception of freedom as an overarching social value associated with reducing state functions to those of a minimal state.
As a public policy, it involves the privatization of public economic sectors or services, the deregulation of private corporations, sharp increase of government debt and reduction of spending on public works. ...

According to Naomi Klein, the three policy pillars of neoliberal age are "privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending." ...
I could quote more, because my understanding of the term agrees with most of the points made in the first section of the article, but I think what I've posted here is enough - particularly since the term is (as almost everyone agrees) imprecise, and because it overlaps considerably with many other terms including neoconservatism, laissez-faire capitalism, etc.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:35 am

This belongs here, too, more than in the SF thread in which I posted it.
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:56 am
SethRich wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:36 pm
...
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:01 pm
It's the way the system is designed to work: money and privilege are funnelled upwards to an ever-smaller minority, who (naturally) proclaim the success and the virtues of the "free" market.
This sounds like you taking your aversion and trying to pass it off a some kind of Economic theory. ...
San Francisco exists as a warning. It was once a beautiful and well-regarded place, but it is now a literal and metaphorical shithole. If you would willingly plunge the first-world into that state, out of some irrational aversion towards Capitalism, then I do not see how this destructive intent is as virtuous and great as your anti-capitalist beliefs seem to imply it is. Socialism and Communism are rife with failure, death and poverty... it's an unavoidable historical fact. Calling something progress[ive] doesn't necessarily make it so.

Kind regards and Merry Christmas.

:candle:
Paul,
You systematically misrepresent my position re capitalism and the alternatives, and you litter your posts with pot-kettlisms :tongue: and strawmen. However, my patience is legendary and I will continue to try to open your eyes to the flaws of capitalism.
I am far from being the only person to have noted that capitalism tends to increase economic inequality, or that inequality is a Bad Thing for everyone. Here are three readings for you - none new, none from rabid-leftie sources, and none claiming that socialism or communism is better than capitalism. Please read them.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles ... inequality

https://evonomics.com/how-capitalism-ac ... nequality/

https://www.acuitymag.com/finance/capit ... mic-growth

...
:namaste:
Kim
:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by SethRich » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:43 am

Greetings Kim,

What does "privatization of the public sphere" (as quoted above) entail?

You're against it apparently, so hopefully you can explain what you're against, and (even better) explain what you're for.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:29 am

SethRich wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:43 am
Greetings Kim,

What does "privatization of the public sphere" (as quoted above) entail?
:rolleye:
It's pretty obvious but...
They weren't my words and I don't know exactly what the author intended by them, but to me they mean governments selling state-owned, i.e. publicly-owned, assets to private individuals, companies, corporations, etc. And in the Aussie context that has included airports, railways, bits of national parks, power stations, transmission networks (both power and communications) ... and so on, mostly with disappointing results.

:coffee:
Kim

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by SethRich » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:41 am

Greetings Kim,

Yes, I know what privatisation means... What I was asking about was the meaning of "privatisation of the public sphere"... What is the "public sphere"? Is it still a "public sphere" if it's privatized etc.?

As an extension to that, does this mean you are also against private property rights?

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:45 am

SethRich wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:41 am
Greetings Kim,

Yes, I know what privatisation means... What I was asking about was the meaning of "privatisation of the public sphere"... What is the "public sphere"? Is it still a "public sphere" if it's privatized etc.?

As an extension to that, does this mean you are also against private property rights?

:candle:
My patience is legendary but I have other things in my life. Very briefly, then:
Public sphere: roads and bridges, railways, schools (ideally, anyway - look at what Finland has done), basic health care - basically anything that delivers core services to the community.
Is it still a "public sphere" if it's privatized? Debatable.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
SethRich
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by SethRich » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:47 pm

Greetings Kim,
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:45 am
My patience is legendary but I have other things in my life.
You might find that asking direct questions and giving direct answers to questions is most efficient. Other combinations like providing answers to questions no one asked, might be less so. Further, if you don't want to be questioned on your application of vague, amorphous terms, be more precise - otherwise it's hard to tell if the fluffy language is just a cover for fluffy logic, which in turn could just be a cover for feelings (which make for neither good economic policy, nor interesting discussion topics).

Your mileage may vary, of course.
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:45 am
Very briefly, then:
Infrastructure and essential services.

Of which I agree there's a good case for public ownership, where usage is collective and can be paid for via means that approximate the usage. For example, car registrations and petrol taxes to pay for roads.

Public and private offerings for schools and hospitals are good too, in the spirit of the collective use, and as a social safety net.

Other things warrant being publicly owned if market failures apply. Failures include no one wanting to provide the service, plus natural monopolies where the "costs to entry" are prohibitive. One example which ticks both those boxes is Australia Post's letter delivery service. The market is willing to deliver parcels, but while the community think of "letters" as letters rather than "small parcels", the letters business is not profitable. AP will have the infrastructure and networks in place to deliver one, so they can easily use the same to deliver the other, with minimal additional cost. They then run the letters business "at cost" so the service is delivered, but so that they do not run at a loss.

This is why Australia Post has not been privatized (for the time being) whereas Commonwealth Bank and Medibank Private (health insurance) have been. In market economics, the ideal ownership and operational model is a case-by-case proposition, determined by the actual economic circumstances, rather than the blanket application of ideology or feelings.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Our civilization is at the point where we need to start discerning between 'Progression' & 'Regression'." (Kabamur)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:58 am

The headline should really be "The Big Cost of Small Government" but, other than that, the writer nails it pretty well.
...Since its election in 2013, this [neoliberal Federal] government has been insistent that the budget should be returned to surplus by cutting government spending, not by explicit increases in taxes (hidden tax increases caused by bracket creep are okay, of course, because the punters don’t notice ’em).

Its first budget in 2014 was a long-term plan to improve the budget by what the bureaucrats call “cost-shifting”. Much of the cost of health and education was to be shifted onto the states’ budgets. Some was to be moved to your household’s budget via the $7 charge for visits to the doctor. That budget was so badly received most of those plans were reversed. But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and his accountants have continued to limit the growth in government spending by penny-pinching in ways that voters wouldn’t notice or object to.

They’ve got welfare dependency to “its lowest level in 30 years” not by getting the unemployed into jobs, but by using petty excuses to suspend people’s dole payments. How do these unfortunates live without money to live on? They fall back on their families or go cap-in-hand to the Salvos or Vinnies. Get it? The feds are cost-shifting to charities – the same community groups whose grants they’ve cut back. ...
:reading: https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-eco ... 53nt1.html

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Against neoliberalism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:45 am

The oligarchy at :spy: work :spy:
Compromised: Genie Energy and the Murdoch media’s climate denial

The Murdoch press has always been avidly in favour of fossil fuels and notorious for spreading doubt about the science of global warming. It is worth looking, therefore, at the formal links between Rupert Murdoch and the oil and gas sector.

For a start, News Corp companies in Australia have extensive commercial arrangements with multinational oil and gas corporations. They take big advertising dollars, although how big remains a secret. Their newspapers stage “roundtables” or corporate conferences at which journalists and executives mingle with fossil fuel executives. Yet, rival media Nine Entertainment and its Australian Financial Review masthead does the same.

Where News is different is in Murdoch’s direct financial interest in oil and gas exploration in the Middle East, investments which also compromise New Corp’s coverage of Middle East politics and Israeli expansionism.

Murdoch has aligned himself with fossil fuel interests globally via the American Australian Association (AAA), and Genie Oil and Gas. Genie oil and gas is a division of Genie Energy and has been involved plans to frack in Israel. Its big project now, however, is exploring for oil in the Golan Heights, which is disputed territory once controlled by Syria.

In November 2010, Genie Energy, as a division of IDT Corporation, announced Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild had each purchased equity stakes in Genie Oil and Gas, and would join Dick Cheney on Genie Energy’s Strategic Advisory Board. ...
:reading: https://www.michaelwest.com.au/compromi ... te-denial/

:toilet:
Kim

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests