Necroliberalism

It seems inevitable that as the US and global economic picture continues to worsen (confirmed dramatically by every conceivable indicator) there will be intensifying demands for the state to intervene and create a temporary welfare state. That kind of thinking destroys the longstanding neoliberal consensus in both parties. And Republicans in the Senate quite clearly understood that expanded unemployment will give power to workers to choose whether to go back to dangerous, low-paid jobs or just take 75% of their former wages (Sasse, Graham and Tim Scott wrote a statement saying exactly that). And many other provisions for poor people in that package force a new way of approaching public policy that will likely force new demands as the economy gives way. What do people who have fervently believed in the religion of neoliberalism do under these conditions? It is like Hoover saying that we don't need to deal with unemployment because capitalism will just right itself. At a certain point that language could not address new realities in a credible way. Congress will be pressured from states, localities (urban and rural both), precarious employees, small businesses, and even newly Keynesianized corporate leaders. I also don't want to overly invest in the fantasy that all the walkouts, sick-outs, wildcatting, talk of rent strikes, etc. beginning to happen is a form of working-class revolt, but it is a hell of a lot more radical labor activity than we've seen in years. 

© 2020 by Joe Lowndes