friedman

In her book, The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein names the holy trinity of neoliberalism and Friedman economics – The elimination of the public sphere, total liberation for corporations and skeletal social spending.

Everything that has happened in Britain since the bankers crashed the global economy in 2008 comes down to those three fundamental principles which sum up Tory policies in a nutshell.

From 2010 every food bank parcel dished out to people who lack even the basics of survival, every death and suicide from sanctions and benefit denial, every family and individual tossed out of their home onto the streets, every loss of care and support for disabled people and the elderly, the manufactured crisis that is destroying our NHS, the curse of the bedroom tax, the housing crisis, the fracking nightmare, the cuts to frontline services and pay caps which sees NHS staff pay down 14% in real terms since 2010, every single cursed policy that is destroying the way of life of ordinary people in Britain can be traced to one man, 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economic Sciences, Milton Friedman.

Friedman is what happened to Iraq following 9/11, Friedman is what happened to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, his crimes encompass the world – Argentina, Chile, China, Russia, Africa and more and the death toll is beyond counting.

Here’s what Klein had to say from a shelter in New Orleans after the disaster of Katrina: The news racing around the shelter that day was that Richard Baker, a prominent Republican congressman from this city, had told a group of lobbyists, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” Joseph Canizaro, one of New Orleans’ wealthiest developers, had just expressed a similar sentiment: “I think we have a clean sheet to start again. And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities.” All that week the Louisiana State Legislature in Baton Rouge had been crawling with corporate lobbyists helping to lock in those big opportunities: lower taxes, fewer regulations, cheaper workers and a “smaller, safer city” – which in  practice meant plans to level the public housing projects and replace them with condos. Hearing all the talk of “fresh starts” and “clean sheets,” you could almost forget the toxic stew of rubble, chemical outflows and human remains just a few miles down the highway. Over at the shelter, Jamar could think of nothing else. “I really don’t see it as cleaning up the city. What I see is that a lot of people got killed uptown. People who shouldn’t have  died.” He  was speaking quietly, but an older man in line in front of us overheard and whipped around. “What is wrong with these people in Baton Rouge? This isn’t an opportunity. It’s a goddamned tragedy. Are they blind?” A mother with two kids chimed in. “No, they’re not blind, they’re evil. They see just fine.”

Rewrite that for Britain today, people dying in want while the political elite reward themselves, from Cameron, Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith to May, Hunt and Damian Green with their milk sop words and Pulp Fiction policies of death and destruction.

People danced in the street at the death of Thatcher, an acolyte of the cult of Friedman, but no one danced when Friedman died, though they might have done and with better reason. But neither one is dead, their policies live on.

Friedman, and his black arts, was the uncrowned king of neoliberalism for whom the free markets and corporations were his sovereign state in which life was cheap and expendable, tolerated only in as much as it served the great God – profit.

If people think that the government is blind, they are entirely mistaken, ‘they’re not blind, they’re evil. They see just fine’.

KOG. 01 March 2017

http://www.infoshop.org/amp/NaomiKlein-TheShockDoctrine.pdf

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-01-30/debates/86C7A0AE-7CA2-4142-9B4A-A03DA115C397/AgendaForChangeNHSPayRestraint

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