The Neoliberal Collapse

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Brief:

In this article, the author discusses the collapse of neoliberalism after an anticipated major economic crisis would spread in various parts of the world. The author argues that this crisis has been long in the making and was brought into sharp focus in the aftermath of the global financial meltdown of 2007–8 and the global recession that followed it. Besides, he argues that economic growth over the last decade ceased to benefit most people. At the end of 2017, 53% of people in the U.K. have recently said they believed that the economy has become more unfair over the last decade, while in the U.S., a 2018 Gallup poll found that among Americans aged 18 to 29, socialism had a higher approval rating (51%) than capitalism (45%). The author asserts that this neoliberalism is not just failing people but also the environment. In order to deal with this crisis, the writer proposes two things. First, a new social contract with citizens that should extend beyond the workplace, with the ultimate goal being the establishment of a “well-being state” that would provide every citizen with the basics that are necessary to maintain a decent quality of life. Secondly, it must transfer power to the people, rather than relying on federal or provincial governments for everyday essentials. In addition, he provides a model for this in the Basque region of Spain by offering one example of what a more democratic economy might look like, as well as another example of community land trusts in the U.K. He argues that bottom-up experiments will be critical to the success of a new economic model. For those experiments to flourish, influential political figures who identify with the socialist traditions such as Alexandra Cortez and Bernie Sanders in the U.S., as well as Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K., should draw attention to local-level activists and organizations that are working to create a more democratic economy.

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