The fall of communism seemingly settled the great economics debate – if you want a prosperous nation, look no further than the free market ideology of neoliberal economics, which holds that privatization, deregulation and a skimpy safety net will make everyone richer. Economist Mark Weisbrot believes this conventional wisdom has a major flaw: It’s wrong. Weisbrot proclaims that neoliberal policies are an abject failure. He says that from Greece to Indonesia to Argentina, punitive austerity packages and hard-nosed reforms have hamstrung growth and created human suffering. Weisbrot points to China as the ultimate example of a thriving economy that ignores neoliberalism’s strictures. He describes turnarounds in Argentina and Bolivia, two nations that gained economic stability only after they sent the International Monetary Fund packing. Weisbrot’s support of democratic socialism will turn off free-marketers, but he makes some intriguing arguments nonetheless. While always politically neutral, getAbstract suggests his ideas to investors and policy makers seeking an out-of-the-mainstream analysis of global economics.
In this summary, you will learn
- What the tenets of neoliberalism are,
- How nations have fared under neoliberal IMF policies, and
- How China and Bolivia have thrived without neoliberal policies.
About the Author
Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan.