The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump

The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump

by Jack Rasmus

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While the capitalist system has undergone numerous restructurings throughout its history, the capitalist elites’ purpose in elaborating these changes has remained the same: to restore and/or extend their hegemony over domestic class and global challengers. The current systemic designation, operative since 1978, is “neoliberalism,” deployed to obfuscate what in actuality is US imperialism and domestic class warfare.

The Scourge of Neoliberalism describes the origins and evolution of the specifically American form of Neoliberalism. Its expansionary phase—from 1978 to 2008—was disrupted by the global crash and crisis of 2008-09 and was only partially restored by the Obama regime thereafter. Trump’s attempt to resuscitate Neoliberalism has led to the emergence of a new, more aggressive and virulent form which, despite some gains, is nonetheless a destabilizing policy regimen destined to break down with the next global economic crisis, which is likely occur by 2020.

The political consequences of US neoliberal policy evolution and restoration efforts have led, on the one hand, to the breakdown of government institutions, the decline of mainstream political parties, the atrophy of democratic practices, rights and values, and attacks on civil liberties, and on the other to the embedding of the Neoliberal credo that business tax cuts create jobs, free trade benefits all, low interest rates generate investment, entitlement programs are the cause of government deficits, markets are always efficient, recessions are caused by external shocks to an otherwise stable equilibrium system, and similar empirically unverifiable propositions.

In describing the evolution of Neoliberal policies from Reagan through Clinton, the Bushes, Obama, and Trump presidencies, Rasmus shows how they have played a central enabling role in the financialization of the US capitalist economy, in its ever-growing income and wealth inequality gaps, and in the increasing polarization of US society and polity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949762037
Publisher: Clarity Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 284
Sales rank: 627,440
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. Jack Rasmus is the author of several books on the USA and global economy, including Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy, 2015; and Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges (2016). He hosts the weekly New York radio show, Alternative Visions, is shadow Federal Reserve Bank chair of the ‘Green Shadow Cabinet’ and economic advisor to Jill Stein. He currently teaches economics and politics at St. Marys College in California. He studied economics at Berkeley, took his doctorate in the University of Toronto (1977), and worked for many years as a union organizer.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Neoliberalism: A Wolf in Classical Liberal Clothing 1

Chapter 2 Capitalist Restructurings in America, 1909-2007 33

Chapter 3 Reagan and the Origins of Neoliberal Policy, 1980-1988 57

Chapter 4 Clean Up and Consolidation: George H. W. Bush, 1989-1992 76

Chapter 5 Clinton and Democrats Expand Neoliberalism, 1993-2000 88

Chapter 6 Neoliberalism on Steroids: George W. Bush, 2001-2008 97

Chapter 7 Neoliberalism on Opioids: 2008-2009 Crash and Obama 106

Chapter 8 Trump's Neoliberalism 2.0 Restoration 122

Chapter 9 Capitalism's Next "Natural" Restructuring and Crisis 208

Chapter 10 How Neoliberalism Destroys Democracy 242

Index 273

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