Saturday, June 04, 2016

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for president that has noticed that Neoliberalism is dead

This is what I love about Bernie Sanders. He figured out long ago that neoliberalism is a ruse, plain and simple. Neoliberalism is a confusing term designed to punk the middle class into thinking they're doing the right thing when they vote for people like George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and even Bill Clinton. Do I really need to mention Ronald Reagan? Even George H. W. Bush called Reagan's economic policies, "voodoo economics". So someone on the right knew.

For 30 odd years, all neoliberalism has ever done is nickel and dime the middle class to death, with government intervention leading the charge, and they still call it a free market ideology. Neoliberalism is just a nice word for "rigging the economy".

In the last few days, The Guardian took notice of a report from the labs at the International Monetary Fund which basically says, and I paraphrase, "Yup. Neoliberalism doens't work and won't grow the economy. Not in the United States and not around the world. You just can't grow the economy by giving rich people more of the gains in productivity from automation and rent seeking."

Rent seeking, you say? At least one estimate indicates that 74% of the wealth created by the world's top 1% is just rent seeking. Patents, copyrights and other monopolies are all part of what we call rent seeking. Rent seeking is not work. It's using government force to skim money off of the economy. iPods, electric cars and genetically modified foods are examples of products we use that are protected by patents. Music, movies and books are all protected by copyright. Not only do they get us when we're working, they get us when we want to play and relax.

The TPP, the TTIP and more than 40 other trade agreements are all about increasing the length and strength of intellectual property around the world. They are about giving business, really big business, more power. They are not about increasing the rights of workers or creating a level playing field for everyone and they won't grow the economy. They are part of the neoliberal agenda for concentrating wealth around the world into the hands of a very few, already absurdly wealthy families. It must seem like a game to them because they will never stop unless we stop them.

Every other candidate for president this election cycle is a neoliberalism supporter. Every Republican, including Trump supports neoliberalism. Even Hillary Clinton supports neoliberalism and has been a supporter since even before her husband became president. That's why she's hiding the transcripts. She still supports neoliberalism. That's why some people still refer to her as a Goldwater Girl.

Hillary, and all the Republican candidates, have been smitten by a diseased called social class essentialism. It's a mental disorder where people think that just because they're wealthy, they're better people, better than the rest of us. They sincerely believe that a different set of rules applies to them than to the rest of us. They just won't tell us that to our faces.

Sanders gets it. He knows that neoliberalism is dead. He's one of us and knows it. He campaigns on the simple principle that we're all in this together. That's why I support him.

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