After Empowering the 1% and Impoverishing Millions, IMF Admits Neoliberalism a Failure

By Benjamin Dangl and cross-posted from Counterpunch.org

Last week a research wing of the International Monetary Fund came out with a report admitting that neoliberalism has been a failure. The report, entitled, “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” is hopefully a sign of the ideology’s death. They were only about 40 years late. As Naomi Klein tweeted about the report, “So all the billionaires it created are going to give back their money, right?”

Many of the report’s findings which strike to the core of the ideology echo what critics and victims of neoliberalism have been saying for decades.

“Instead of delivering growth,” the report explains that neoliberal policies of austerity and lowered regulation for capital movement have in fact “increased inequality.” This inequality “might itself undercut growth…” As a result, the report states that “policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are.”

However, the report leaves out a few notable items on neoliberalism’s history and impact.

The IMF suggests neoliberalism has been a failure. But it has worked very well for the global 1%, which was always the IMF and World Bank’s intent. As Oxfam reported earlier this year, the wealthiest 1% in the world now has as much wealth as the rest of the planet’s population combined. (Similarly, investigative journalist Dawn Paley has proven in her book Drug War Capitalismthat far from being a failure, the Drug War has been a huge success for Washington and multinational corporations.)

The IMF report cites Chile as a case study for neoliberalism, but never mentions once that the economic vision was applied in the country through the US-backed Augusto Pinochet dictatorship – a major omission which was no casual oversight on the part of the researchers. Across Latin America, neoliberalism and state terror typically went hand in hand

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