Neoliberal News of the Day – Oct. 22nd, 2014

by Scott Creighton

- A brief note about pervasive influence peddling and the rebranding of neoliberalism -

2014 1018 mich 1

The term “neoliberalism” is popping up all over the place as of late. People are starting to “get it” so of course, it’s important to those committed to it’s ultimate success and acceptance, that folks who are aware of what’s going on are carefully led back to the warm embrace of fascism lite (neoliberalism) under the guise that it is somehow an alternative to the globalist neoliberal doctrine that is wrecking the entire world as we speak. We are being asked to become beggars to our own demise and some of us are being asked to help promote this ideological poison without question. That’s simply not going to happen. Not here anyway. ( this is for you John J. ;) )

“In the 1960s, usage of the term “neoliberal” heavily declined. When the term was reintroduced in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.”

You might remember the last comment left by the now banned John Jasper. In it he stated that he was pulling his support of this site because all I was doing was “bellyaching” and not offering up an alternative to the globalist neoliberal assault that is currently underway. He suggested I promote the “libertarian principles and the Austrian School of Economics” which, as you can see from above, are the economic principles of Friedrich Hayek (of the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago (birthplace of modern neoliberalism)), also known as “neoliberalism”

“If anyone would like to actually learn something about anarcho-capitalist/libertarian principles and the Austrian School of Economics, there’s plenty available at …” John Influence Peddler Jasper

Talk about asking us to be beggars to our own demise. Thus is the “alternative” offered up by the likes of Alex Jones, Ron Paul, Alan GreenspanMilton Friedman and Bill Clinton. Hayek went to the University of Chicago in 1950. The “Chicago Boys” project, the “Chile Project”, a group of neoliberal economists put together to design a purely neoliberal economic system, started in 1955.

“The training program was the result of a “Chile Project” organized in the 1950s by the U.S. State Department, through the Point Four program, the first US program for international economic development. It was funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation aimed at influencing Chilean economic thinking”

Chicago boys generally advocated widespread deregulation, privatization, and other free market policies for closely controlled economies. They rose to fame as leaders of the early reforms initiated in Chile during the rule of General Augusto Pinochet.”

It should also be noted that Mr. Influence Peddler John Jasper was recommending we all read the Mises website, as in Ludwig von Mises. He is of the Austrian School of Economics. Wrote a book called Liberalism in 1927 during the rise of fascism.

“At one time, Mises praised the work of philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand and Rand’s view of Mises was generally favorable…”

“Von Mises’ 1927 book Liberalism has been largely ignored, except for its comments on fascism. Marxists Herbert Marcuse and Perry Anderson, as well as German writer Claus-Dieter Krohn, criticized Mises for writing approvingly of Italian fascism, especially for its suppression of leftist elements...[27] More recently economist J. Bradford DeLong[28] and sociologist Richard Seymour,[29] repeated the criticism. Mises wrote in the book:[30]

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error”

Yeah, that’s what John Jasper thought I should be promoting as an alternative to neoliberal fascist globalization… fascism lite or “Libertarianism’ for short.

For a more current example of how the Austrian School has influenced the world we live in…

“In February 1975, Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of the British Conservative Party. The Institute of Economic Affairs arranged a meeting between Hayek and Thatcher in London soon after.[48] During Thatcher’s only visit to the Conservative Research Department in the summer of 1975, a speaker had prepared a paper on why the “middle way” was the pragmatic path the Conservative Party should take, avoiding the extremes of left and right. Before he had finished, Thatcher “reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting our pragmatist, she held the book up for all of us to see. ‘This’, she said sternly, ‘is what we believe’, and banged Hayek down on the table

Congrats John Jasper. You tried your best to sway the readers of this site back into the fold of neoliberal ideology, the ideology of Augusto Pinochet and Margret Thatcher… but you failed. You gave it a shot… nice try. Better luck at a lesser site…. it should also be noted that Mr. Jasper hails from… you guessed it… the UK.

John is an example of what some would call “cognitive infiltration”. That’s when someone comes on sites like this one to gently steer dissidents back to the fold, in this case, the acceptance of “libertarianism” as an alternative to neoliberalism. They are effectively the same thing.

- Now, on to the Neoliberal News of the Day -

Henry Giroux on the Rise of Neoliberalism – “We’re talking about an ideology marked by the selling off of public goods to private interests; the attack on social provisions; the rise of the corporate state organized around privatization, free trade, and deregulation; the celebration of self interests over social needs; the celebration of profit-making as the essence of democracy coupled with the utterly reductionist notion that consumption is the only applicable form of citizenship. But even more than that, it upholds the notion that the market serves as a model for structuring all social relations: not just the economy, but the governing of all of social life.”

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us – “An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities”

Hong Kong’s Fight Against Neoliberalism – “But regardless of what the BBC wants the world to believe, Occupy Central isn’t so much a fight for democracy as a fight for social justice.”

 Lad culture thrives in our neoliberal universities – “Laddism is at home in the callous environment of market-driven higher education, argues, Alison Phipps, who offers advice to universities on how to root it out”

The poverty of neoliberal economics - “Paul Verhaeghe, senior professor of clinical psychology and psychoanalysis at Ghent University in Belgium, has argued in a recently published essay that neoliberal economics brings out the worst in human beings. He finds that thirty years of neoliberalism, and the privatisation and free-market misery that comes with it, have taken their toll on people’s values and even their personalities.”

There Are 870,000 Slaves in Modern-Day America – “If this sounds like some hellish turn-of-the-century sweatshop, it is close. But this is today’s reality for hundreds of thousands of American prisoners, who work backbreaking full-time jobs for shockingly low pay. Half of the 1.6 million Americans currently serving time do this kind of “institutional maintenance,” and the median wage they receive is between 20 and 31 cents an hour. Some states, like Texas and Georgia, offer no compensation at all.”

Obama’s Latest Speech About The Economic “Recovery” Results In Mass Audience Exodus – “Yesterday, Obama made a rare campaign trail appearance in Maryland where he spoke in support of Democratic candidate for governor, Anthony Brown, proceeded with his usual bulletin of reading fabricated economic data off the teleprompter in which he highlighted improvements in US unemployment (if not the 46.5 million people on foodstamps or the 93 million Americans out of the labor force), a rebounding housing market (just as the bouncing dead cat is once again dead), the benefits of health insurance (if no mention of the disaster for small businesses that Obamacare now definitively is) a resurgent manufacturing sector (just don’t look at this chart) even if he did point out the unfairness of families having “two folks working”, and… a mass audience exodus followed.

The Shell Game of Contingent Employment – “The rise to power of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom ushered in a new era of economic policy. Minimal corporate taxation, privatization of public goods, and the deregulation of businesses became the dominant policies promoted for economic growth. The attacks against organized labor, progressive organizations, and community groups that opposed the new regime were brutal. The percentage of workers in unions plummeted.”

Census report: Half of Americans poor or near poor – “Forty-seven percent of Americans have incomes under twice the official poverty rate, making half of the country either poor or near-poor, according to figures released last week by the Census Bureau.”

Shocking New Report: Superrich Have Grabbed Half the World’s Assets – “There have been moments in history when things were not so lopsided. During the post-war period, inequality was contained because governments made sure their rich didn’t accumulate at such alarming rates by doing things like taxing their estates at a high rate. At the same time, they created policies to lift the incomes of the less well-off and allow them to have some basic security. But that’s an exception in history. Most of the time, this kind of intervention did not happen, and so the rich kept gobbling more and accumulating more power to keep it that way until one of two things happened — a revolution or some kind of catastrophe or disruptive event, like a war, shook things up.”

Mexico’s disappeared students – “It is nearly four weeks since police in the town of Iguala in Mexico’s impoverished southern state of Guerrero violently attacked a group of some 80 young student teachers leaving at least six dead, 17 wounded and 43 “disappeared.”… Mexico is the most unequal of the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with the richest 10 percent of the population having an average income almost 30 times as high as the bottom 10 percent… Notably silent on the Iguala massacre is the Obama administration in Washington. US imperialism has major interests in Mexico, which is the United States’ third-largest trading partner… The massacre has also underscored the rising inequality and savage violence that have gone hand in hand with Mexico’s free market “reforms.

H/T Tom K. – Freedom Rider: Privatized Ebola – an example of how privatization does not in any way serve the interests of the general public – “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation may appear to be a savior when it provides $300 million to the WHO budget, but those dollars come with strings attached. WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan admitted as much when she said, “My budget [is] highly earmarked, so it is driven by what I call donor interests.” Instead of being on the front line when a communicable disease crisis appears, it spends its time administering what Gates and his team have determined is best.”

- more to follow later this morning -

Ron Paul is a Sickening Neoliberal Ghoul

by Scott Creighton

Ron Paul has been dining on the public dime for most of his adult life. His career in politics started in 1976 and except of a 12 year stint, he has been collecting a government paycheck every year since. He even found time to find a seat in the senate for his undeserving son who had no public service experience at all and his only qualification for the job seems to be that he is the offspring of Ron Paul.

Freedom, for Ron, is the freedom of everyone else to do without assistance from the government when they need it most. It’s the freedom to let the uninsured die unattended, the freedom to force everyone to purchase useless health insurance policies when they can’t afford food for their children.

Continue reading

Ron Paul Says Your Kids Have No “Right” to an Education or Equal Opportunities… But His “Fortunate Son” Certainly Did

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Go here to see Rand Paul address the senate in favor of killing the EPA so that it won’t harm business… specifically, the coal business who is currently destroying the Kentucky landscape with their mountain-top removal mining process. He is advocating the passage of over 200 more permits for this kind of “mining” which literally destroys the mountains and pollutes the areas around them just so a company, owned by a relatively few wealthy individuals, can exploit the natural resources of his home state and decimate it in the process.

————

Ron Paul’s neoliberal Libertarian roots are showing through again. Kinda explains why is son is the poster-child for the new Neoliberal Revolution in the American Tea Party these days.

In an interview with Cenk Uygur, Ron expressed his feelings that if a young kid born of poor parents does well in school and strives to better himself with a higher education, he’s just shit out of luck. He also claims in the same interview that no one has a “right” to medical care… he claims you have to “earn” all of these things.

Ron Paul says you have a right to your life and a right to your property, but apparently he thinks no one has a “right” to equal opportunities here in the good old U.S. of A. I can certainly understand that because if slots in leading universities were handed out on merit alone, Ron Paul’s kid Rand would never have gotten into Duke University.

This is certainly an odd position for a man to take who seemed to think his own son had a “right” to a senate seat (and all the tax-payer supplied perks that come with that job) simply because his daddy was Ron Paul.

But that isn’t the first time Rand benefited from his “rights” as the fortunate son of Ron Paul.

Continue reading

The Fight of Their Lives: All Out War on Workers’ Rights in Wisconsin!

by Christopher Fons, Global Research

Republicans in Wisconsin, after a fresh set of tax giveaways to corporations and limits on liability in a special session of the legislature this week have decided to go for the whole bratwurst and devour all public sector unions in one big gulp.  Fueled by worker distress, Tea Party bluster, and big corporate donors, the governors of New Jersey and Wisconsin are engaged in a kind of tailgating “competitive eating” contest to see which can be the most anti teacher and anti public employee.  These governors are feeding at the trough of American angst created by the economic crisis, the bullhorns on Fox News and shout radio.  Rollbacks of labor rights and cuts in health care for the poor and elderly are on offer for the red meat crowd that wants someone to pay for their own distress.

The “fat dude,” Chris Christie, who fills out a suit like a Usinger’s sausage casing, had the early lead in feeding, but had a head start over Wisconsin’s Governor, taking power in 2009.  Wisconsin’s Governor, Scott Walker, the “thin guy,” has deceptively Takeru Kobayashi-like competitive eating skills, and has quickly overtaken Christie in feeding at the grill of austerity and union busting.  Yet, Walker may have now overreached as workers across the state unite to oppose his proposal with massive rallies in Madison and talk of a state-wide strike.

The bill, which has united unions across the state, would:

  • limit collective bargaining to wages which would be capped at the inflation rate
  • prohibit employers from collecting union dues
  • require yearly votes on certification of all local unions
  • require all state employees to pay 12.6 per cent of their health plan and 5.8 per cent of their pension
  • deny all University of Wisconsin employees bargaining rights on working conditions and benefits

The budget fix also privatizes state-owned power plants that will leave taxpayers with a long-term bill and allows massive cuts in health care for seniors and the poor by shifting decision making over Medicare from elected representatives to the Governor’s office.

[read the rest, here]

Obama Pulls a Clinton

by Robert Sheer, Truthdig

Here we go again. When Bill Clinton suffered an electoral reversal after his first two years in office, he abruptly embraced the corporate money guys who had financed his congressional opposition in an effort to purchase a second term. On Tuesday in his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece, Barack Obama veered sharply down that same course, trumpeting his executive order “ … to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. …”

He employed the same “creating a 21st-century regulatory system” rationalization used by Clinton when he signed off on the sweeping deregulation legislation that unleashed the Wall Street greed that ended up being the biggest job-killer since the Great Depression. “Over the (past) seven years, we have tried to modernize the economy,” Clinton enthused as he signed the Financial Services Modernization Act that repealed key New Deal legislation, adding, “And today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority.” Modernizing was the propaganda constant, as in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that Clinton signed, thus shielding financial derivatives from any government regulation.

[read the rest, here]

Obama Uses Executive Order to Begin Neoliberal Assault on Regulation

by Scott Creighton

The following definition of deregulation comes from “John Williamson’s “Washington Consensus“, a list of policy proposals that appeared to have gained consensus approval among the Washington-based international economic organizations (like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank).”  The active definition of neoliberalism or “free trade” ideology.

  • Deregulation – abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudent oversight of financial institutions;
  • President Obama took time out of his busy schedule to write an op-ed published today in the Wall Street Journal. Obama used this op-ed to signify his devotion to the free-market ideology that is the basis for the neoliberalization of countless countries over the past 5 decades, all of which had disastrous effects on the vast majority of the population of those nations.

    Obama used the opportunity to announce that he was going to begin a process of even more deregulation here in the United States, in an effort to better serve the business interests of the country. All this he will do by decree of imperial executive order, no less.

    Continue reading

    Ron Paul Advocates Demolition of Social Security

    by Scott Creighton

    G*ddamn, I hate Ron Paul.

    Let’s get this straight; Ron Paul is nothing more than a kinder/gentler face for the Chicago School neoliberalization program supported by the neocons on one side and the Clitonista/Obama New Dems on the other.

    He is yet another flavor of  the oligarchical corporatist tools, who fully expected his son to be handed a seat in the senate, by birthright, and therefore a government paycheck for the rest of his life.

    Now Ron is helping to bolster the neoliberal calls for the pending doom of Social Security while he himself knows full well just how nice his government pension entitlement check is going to be for him and his corporatist kid.

    Ron Paul is a pathetic fraud. Let’s hope this opens the eyes of some of his sleep-walking supporters.

    Continue reading

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 954 other followers