The Failures of Neoliberalism Are Bigger Than Politics

... background assumptions have been losing their power since around the middle of the Obama administration. Whether it was ever reasonable to believe them is a good question but besides the point, as these ideas are no longer able to convince liberals to the point that they shut down alternative ideas. Why always presume business and markets are the leaders in innovation and dynamism if the corporate sector looks like an increasingly bloated, shareholder-dominated rent machine? Why assume billionaires are a boom to our society if a majority of people won’t be better off than their parents? Why bother supporting this economic regime if you can’t point to these tradeoffs as having been worthwhile?

There aren’t a lot of convincing responses on the Right either. One reaction is to say nothing has changed, or that the last 40 years since Reagan have been even more about government and socialism rather than a turn to neoliberalism. I don’t think people find that convincing. Another is to try and locate the dysfunction in affirmative government policy, and if we only get government even more out of the way then we’ll make progress. These arguments are not very convincing and certainly not up to the challenge of describing or mitigating against what has happened. United conservative governance failed to do anything meaningful to correct for failed ideas. The current shift Left would have happened even without Trump—though he does accelerate the need for a new set of ideas, because it is ideas about a whole economic regime that are what we need now. [Source]