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So What's Neoliberalism?

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On 04/02/2021 at 03:13, Anna B said:

 We had things like the Monopolies and mergers commission which made sure no one company had too much power,

we have (only) one of those now, it has a more modern name  but it does basically the same thing. 

On 04/02/2021 at 03:13, Anna B said:

and publicly owned Utilities which gave the government overall control of essential services (which are now owned mostly by foreign companies.) 

i'm not entirely sure the government were any better at running some of these than the private sector has been. 

On 04/02/2021 at 03:13, Anna B said:

And a government which looked out for its people.

I'm not sure that's ever really been the case

On 04/02/2021 at 03:13, Anna B said:

Workers had rights, enforced by the Unions and Business had to comply with certain rules; regulated rules, no corporate raiders or asset stripping  allowed etc. 

we still do have rights, there are still strikes and businesses have many rules to comply with.  asset stripping and corproate raiding is certainly not a new thing and has happened throughout history,

On 04/02/2021 at 03:13, Anna B said:

All that changed under Thatcherism. The whole economic system changed under our noses to benefit big business, with  deregulation, privatisation and tax cuts for Business and insecure employment for the rest of us. It became a wild west economy, the trickle down effect failed due to lax taxation, and we became the expendable foot soldiers.

i'm not sure big business as entities have benefited, some individuals mostly but not always at the top of some have benefited greatly and some remuneration models have rewarded short term targets which are easy to manipulate at the expense of longer term value creation. 

 

I'm not sure they were a direct result of thatcherism or even inevitable. Favouring short profit over investment for long term growth and all the other things you moan about were certainly a british problem before 1979. Britain gave the world the industrial revolution, got lazy expecting to reap the rewards for ever and stopped supporting innovation and investment and now we are reaping the consequences of that.  

On 04/02/2021 at 03:13, Anna B said:

It's never changed back even under Blair's Labour. 

 

Blair's Labour were initially terrified of being labeled old labour, they could and perhaps should have been far more interventionist but by the time they had the confidence to do that it was too late. 

 

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On 28/01/2021 at 01:42, Westie1889 said:

 

Also fear of technology is misplaced, Germany has the most production robots in the world, they’re not doing too badly on wages and living conditions It has driven efficiencies and allowed people to be employed in other areas of those businesses that add more value and in turn pay higher wages as a result.

There will be more better paid jobs available, but people will need to ensure they have the skills to do them hence the need for education and training.

Technology opens as many doors as it closes - if not more, consider the luddites - should we have banned technological development from there-on in?

 

 

I think this is one of the most interesting debates around. I would really recommend that you (everyone, in fact) read Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani. No book about economics and politics has shifted my view of the world more than this one, it helped me take a massive leap forward in my understanding of where we are now, and how the political ideas of the last couple of centuries are largely redundant. He starts off with automation and he disagrees with your analysis, because of computers. Bastani argues that we are now in the third 'great disruption' of human history; the first being the shift from hunter-gathering to agriculture, which radically changed the way that human societies were organised, and changed the way that we think because we could now stay still and plan ahead; the second being the industrial revolution which emptied the countryside and freed human industry from location-specific sources of power (water and wind). Computing, he argues, particularly the way that Moore's Law of exponentiation has held since the late 1960s, has put us in the third great disruption. He gives the analogy of 'peak horse'. In London by 1894, which is really not long ago, there was great concern about what to do with all the horse manure - the amount of it grew and grew as the use of horses for transport grew and grew. By 1912, horses were being replaced in their thousands my motorised transport - peak horse was around 1900. Bastani argues that we have hit 'peak human', and that the exponential growth of computing capacity now means that most jobs can be automated. Not tomorrow, but not far off. He makes some really compelling arguments for this, and he wasn't even factoring in quantum computers, which make our best computers now look like pocket calculators. As far as capitalism goes this is a real problem, because businesses will want to automate as much as possible to reduce labour costs, but in doing so will deprive themselves of markets for their goods and services. But he posits a post-capitalist economy where automation can give us the best lives in human history. I really recommend giving it a read.

Edited by Delbow
Fixed link

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Delbow... Unfortunately the link not workey.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Arnold_Lane said:

Ok.  So previous governments have not been strictly neoliberal then.

 

See, I think a lot of armchair experts use ‘neoliberalism’ as a slur to describe anything ‘bad’ a government does.  

I've answered the second part of your question, and neoliberalism isn't a slur, it's a fact. One of its main aims is to privatise and cut the size of the state. That might be good for business, but is bad for more and more people, especially those having difficulty managing.

And it's corrupted by croneyism, the chumocracy, and lax taxation at the top.

Edited by Anna B

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1 hour ago, apelike said:

Delbow... Unfortunately the link not workey.

 

 

Thanks, fixed it.

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5 hours ago, Delbow said:

I think this is one of the most interesting debates around. I would really recommend that you (everyone, in fact) read Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani. No book about economics and politics has shifted my view of the world more than this one, it helped me take a massive leap forward in my understanding of where we are now, and how the political ideas of the last couple of centuries are largely redundant. He starts off with automation and he disagrees with your analysis, because of computers. Bastani argues that we are now in the third 'great disruption' of human history; the first being the shift from hunter-gathering to agriculture, which radically changed the way that human societies were organised, and changed the way that we think because we could now stay still and plan ahead; the second being the industrial revolution which emptied the countryside and freed human industry from location-specific sources of power (water and wind). Computing, he argues, particularly the way that Moore's Law of exponentiation has held since the late 1960s, has put us in the third great disruption. He gives the analogy of 'peak horse'. In London by 1894, which is really not long ago, there was great concern about what to do with all the horse manure - the amount of it grew and grew as the use of horses for transport grew and grew. By 1912, horses were being replaced in their thousands my motorised transport - peak horse was around 1900. Bastani argues that we have hit 'peak human', and that the exponential growth of computing capacity now means that most jobs can be automated. Not tomorrow, but not far off. He makes some really compelling arguments for this, and he wasn't even factoring in quantum computers, which make our best computers now look like pocket calculators. As far as capitalism goes this is a real problem, because businesses will want to automate as much as possible to reduce labour costs, but in doing so will deprive themselves of markets for their goods and services. But he posits a post-capitalist economy where automation can give us the best lives in human history. I really recommend giving it a read.

Sounds interesting. Just ordered the book you reccommended on ebay. Looking forward to reading it. 

Yes, I finally managed to get your link too.

Edited by Anna B

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24 minutes ago, Anna B said:

I've answered the second part of your question, and neoliberalism isn't a slur, it's a fact. One of its main aims is to privatise and cut the size of the state. That might be good for business, but is bad for more and more people, especially those having difficulty managing.

And it's corrupted by croneyism, the chumocracy, and lax taxation at the top.

I don’t deny it exists.  But it’s overused as an epithet to try and win arguments.

 

There is a lot more to it than just blaming everything one perceives as bad on ‘neoliberalism.’

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So Arnold, what do you think of constant 'Growth' via  consumerism?

Considering the strain on precious resources and the environmental issues that go with it. I wouldn't think you would champion that, or do you?  Who is going to stop these mega powerful corporations in a hands- off 'free market economy?'

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6 hours ago, Delbow said:

Thanks, fixed it.

Still not working for me, the link just states: http://com

 

But... I've found several references to the book and some reviews.

 

Edit...  this is a YouTube interview:

 

 

Mmmmm?

Edited by apelike

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1 hour ago, Anna B said:

Sounds interesting. Just ordered the book you reccommended on ebay. Looking forward to reading it. 

Yes, I finally managed to get your link too.

Re: your book and link. I agree with it entirely, it makes perfect sense.

 

But the big question is will the powerful people in charge who have made a fortune out of Capitalism ever be persuaded to give it up? Even in their own best interests? The minute 'communism' is even mentioned the shutters go up, it has long been considered the bogey man of Western politics. It certainly needs an image makeover at the very least.

 

We already have enough money sloshing around in the world to put right many of the wrongs and  inequalities, but it is in so few hands, and that is not the hands of governments. For example I consider clean water to be a human right in this day and age. We have the technology, but not the will to use it for the benefit of poor people who don't have enough means to pay for it. Meanwhile the mega- billionaires have more money than they know what to do with. 

 

A while ago, a 'Robin Hood' tax of 0.5% was mooted that everyone should pay including the mega millionaires. This would have provided enough money to do these sort of projects, and they wouldn't even have missed it. But no, they still wouldn't pay it. 

Edited by Anna B

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Maybe you should Read the Wealth of Nations.. Consumers want the cheapest  product irrespective  of where it comes from. Hence globalisation. Trump whose policies I abhor wanted to go back to isolationism unfortunately its too late. We are a global society and  we cannot and should not change .Globalisation  is the only way  the world  and its  human population can survive. The worlds problems can only be solved by all the peoples on this planet working together. It will not be in my lifetime and not in my children's but maybe by the time my great great grandchildren arrive we will have ceased to think in nationalistic terms. Why did you quote Hitler?

 

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5 hours ago, Anna B said:

I've answered the second part of your question, and neoliberalism isn't a slur, it's a fact. One of its main aims is to privatise and cut the size of the state. That might be good for business, but is bad for more and more people, especially those having difficulty managing.

And it's corrupted by croneyism, the chumocracy, and lax taxation at the top.

They havnt done very well then, tax revenue has gone from £315 billion in 2000/01 to  £634 billion in 2019/20

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/284298/total-united-kingdom-hmrc-tax-receipts/

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