Neoliberalism is a phrase that is used in reference to a set of economic policies that have been widely popularized in the past 25 years. Through these policies, a situation is created whereby the rich grow richer while the poor continue to languish in abject poverty. This mainly occurs because through neoliberalism, the control of economic factors is moved from the public to the private sector. Thus, only handful individuals who already have some sort of power are able to make their way up in terms of economic gains.
Neoliberalism offers a suggestion that governments should cut down deficit spending, exercise limitation on subsidies, limit protectionism, privatize businesses that are run by the state, back deregulation and give and give way for private property developments. When looking at the concept of liberalism, it is also of great importance to bear in mind that it can as well be used in reference to religious and political ideas. However, the phrase neo suggests a new form of liberalism that gives capitalists the opportunity to make as much profits as they can even if it is at the expense of the majority of the population.
There are main points that one should always base their arguments when defining neoliberalism. One of them is the rule of the market. Neoliberalism seeks to excuse private enterprises from any bonds that may have been imposed on them by the state irrespective of the social impacts that it is deemed to cause. Besides, it also aims at reducing wages through de-unionization of workers and elimination of their rights. Besides, it also looks towards removing price controls, and ensuring free movement of goods, services and capital.
Another basic aspect of neoliberalism is that it significantly reduces the public spending on vital services like education and healthcare. In fact, it ensures that the government’s role in providing almost all kinds of essential services like road maintenance, water supply is withdrawn. With this, the safety nets for the poor are completely removed so that they are open to oppression. Neoliberalism is aimed at reducing government regulation of anything that has the potential of diminishing profits so that capitalists can make as much as they wish.
Neoliberalism also proposes that the state should sell a greater part of its assets like industries, banks, toll highways, hospitals, schools among others to private investors. In order to avoid public suspicion, all these are conducted under the banner of enhancing greater efficiency. However, the result is that it concentrates more wealth in just a few hands such that the public is pushed to paying more in order to meet its needs.
When all the issues highlighted above are brought together and successfully executed, the concept of community or public good is completely eliminated. Neoliberalism imposes a concept of individual responsibility whereby each and every person is entitled to use their own means to survive. Apart from just being used by governments, neoliberalism has also been imposed by many powerful institutions around the globe like the IMF, Inter American Development Bank, World Bank among others.
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