Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Clintons and neoliberalism

See this excellent article. It discussed how neoliberalism replaced the New Deal starting with Reagan. So when Bill Clinton came around he and his Third Way ilk figured they had to accommodate neoliberalistic policies to be viable like the following from List A:

• Lower corporate and personal taxation to encourage innovation, enterprise and job creation
• A thinning of the welfare net to avoid welfare dependency and increase the incentive to work
• The deregulation of labor markets by the weakening of trade unions
• The parallel deregulation of the business community, and the celebration of income inequality
• The privatization of publicly-owned industries and companies, and the exposure of public bodies to market forces.

 A backlash developed after the '08 crisis when the above proved to be a failure, with a moderate return to at least some New Deal policies like List B:

The maintenance of demand through public spending and the toleration of public debt
• The avoidance of further financial crisis by tighter financial oversight
• The infrastructure route to growth (public spending to modernize roads, bridges, rail & internet)
• Progressive taxation to reduce excessive inequality and to spread the cost of welfare provision to those best able to bear it
• Greater rights for women and minorities at work, more childcare & paid parental leave
• Moves towards a carbon-free energy policy  

The more progressive Sanders agenda includes B and adds the following to List C:

Shillary vocally supported her husband's List A. Plus the Clinton Foundation run by her husband clearly operates on neoliberal premises. But now she's talking about List B, but is she sincere? Most progressives don't think so. So we doubt she's anything more than pandering when she tries to include Sanders from List C. We rightly fear that once elected she will at best compromise like Obama with the neoliberals because at heart she actually is one. At worst, and more likely, she'll show her true colors and go full on List A again. Same story, different Clinton.

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