"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

That word does not mean what you think it means

Per Wikipedia:
Neoliberalism is a term whose usage and definition have changed over time. Since the 1980s, the term has been used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences and critics primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, its advocates supported extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.

During Danny Williams-Government's "austere" tenure as Premier, provincial program spending was reduced upwards by nearly 80%.

[Data source: Fiscal Reference Tables, Finance Canada]

He shrank public-sector employment by increasing it over 10,000 in raw numbers...

... until it upwardly diminished to an unprecedented 30% share of the total workforce (axes do not cross at zero).

[Data source: CANSIM table 282-0011]

And as for the role of the private sector in the economy? Nalcor, or its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Danny Williams-Government, acquired or expropriated previously privately-owned hydro-electric assets in Labrador an in central Newfoundland, and actively showed the door to private-sector investors.

In what parallel universe did Danny Williams, effectively the first old-school NDP Premier in Atlantic Canada, qualify as a "neo-liberal" in any possible sense of that term?



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