Noam Chomsky, one of the world's most respected authorities on socio/economic/governmental issues, calls it the "neoliberal plague."
So, what is a neoliberal plague to the average person?
Truth be told, most of us are too busy with our day-to-day lives to pay much attention to these labels. But today is different. Something very important won't allow us to ignore what's happening to us.
Today you can plainly see a symptom of the neoliberal plague as a coronavirus death of a loved one, friend, or acquaintance who might have been saved if the government had acted when it was warned about the potential for a pandemic over five years ago. And it was warned again that this was coming in January 2020 by Peter Navarro, twice!
This is no surprise. Concerns about a worldwide pandemic were voiced by President George Bush and in 2017 the outgoing Obama administration actually briefed the incoming Trump administration on the dangers ahead. Then Secretary of Commerce dozed off and others wondered why they had to be there.
You may not clearly distinguish the neoliberal plague that caused reduced government infrastructure that's fumbling the coronavirus crisis, but the results are undeniable. People are dying!
In the fog of crisis created by the continual political haranguing that never ends, everyone is blaming everyone else. But the core of this problem lies in the eroded capacity of a government that could have handled this crisis effectively like those of Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, or even China.
This is the end result of Reagan, et al, telling us "government is not the solution. It's the problem."
What they didn't tell us was that corporations would fill the void of a weakened government. And that corporations by their charter worry about one thing. Profits. And you can't make profits producing products that have no market before the needs arise.
So here we sit in isolation watching an incompetent administration bumbling a crisis that even the best couldn't handle given the disastrous condition of our governmental infrastructure. (Which they made worse by eliminating the organization designed to protect us from just this kind of crisis.)
The only candidate who's been telling us this for his entire career is Bernie Sanders, but he's far too radical for us so we'll just continue as we are, thank you very much.
So now while we wonder if we'll actually be able to vote in the next election, we will probably be offered two candidates who are beholden to the corporations that own them. And as sure as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, they will do their bidding cementing the neoliberal plague in place for the next four years at least.
So, when you want to blame capitalism for our plight, you're only halfway right. It's not the system. It's the neoliberal plague that's infected it for forty years.
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