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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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December 27, 2019


Oh dear. That article didn't make sense at all. He makes it sound like it's a bad thing to come from a humble background and make it into an ivy league college. As for the term "neoliberalism" I have no idea what it's supposed to mean. I remember I first heard it in the Bush the Lesser years (off topic but is it wrong to have a sense of nostalgia about that time considering what we're stuck with now?) which I think had something to do with corporate welfare. But I can't be sure. Then I heard it resurrected in 2016 as a buzzword used by Bernie Bros as a derogatory term against anyone who doesn't agree with budget busting government programs that promise everything for free. Sorry I couldn't help.

They’re really grasping at straws with this guy, aren’t they?

I liked Pete before reading this piece and the derisory quotes of Matteo. i like him more now. I confess that I have been trying to figure out what people mean when they hurl the epithet neo-liberal. It is a slippery thing to be sure. But as a general rule they seem to be demanding policies that no one else knows how to make work.

From what I can tell it's just a convenient buzz word that the far left likes to bandy about as an epithet against more moderate democrats.

Yes but it actually does mean something to them policy wise. Take trade for example, on this issue Trump is behaving exactly like the progressives wanted to do themselves by resorting to protectionism. How’s it working? Exactly the way everyone who understood the issue thought it would. Buttigieg stands accused of wanting trade deals? What do they propose as an alternative I would like to know. Trade wars?

So “neoliberal” was a big buzzword in academia about a decade or so ago, and it’s now percolated to the surface of mainstream liberal activism. Like most political philosophy labels, it’s useful within certain self-contained scholarly discourses, but the way it’s used now it’s simply a quick pejorative for any view that doesn’t regard corporations as the bane of all existence. So if you think there should be some humane regulations to control capitalistic excess, but otherwise think that corporations and global trade are okay, then you’re labeled a neoliberal and summarily dismissed from consideration among the wokey left. Trust me, there’s a whole cottage industry built around tenure track-seeking academics giving conference papers on the evils of neoliberalism—an irony that seems to escape them.

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