Neo-liberalism, bête noire of French intellectuals

Dalrymple writes that there are no doubt many things to be said against the economic policies that have been followed (with variations) by all Western countries in the last few decades, for example,

their propensity to produce bubbles with seemingly accelerating frequency — the result of the desire to reconcile spending more than we earn with keeping visible inflation down.

It requires

the issuing of money and debt on the one hand and the outsourcing of production on the other, ordinary goods remaining cheap while asset values increase out of all proportion to their returns.

Dalrymple points out that

one of the greatest spenders of more than it earns is the State for — among other things — the maintenance of the Welfare State.

There is a liberal aspect of this policy, it is true, namely the free movement of capital, but

in its aspect of the public provision of services such as healthcare, pensions, education, etc., it would be as accurate to call it neo-socialist as to call it neo-liberal.

Perhaps the best term, he says, is

neo-corporatist, in so far as it is large corporations and government bureaucracies that most benefit from the policy, a tendency that the shutdown of small businesses during the epidemic can only reinforce.

 

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