But for all those who say that is unlikely to happen, it is wise to recall that for many years neoliberals thought they had no hope of overturning the post-war Keynesian consensus that delivered the greatest period of sustainable increased prosperity the world has ever seen.
Hmm. But did it? That\’s the question, isn\’t it?
Looking at Angus Maddison\’s figures for GDP per capita globally we see that 1939 (closest we can get to 1940) global GDP per capita as $2171. In 1975 (just to give us two 35 year periods) it was $3955. 180% of the first number. Then in 2010 it was $7k and a bit, also, remarkably, 180% of the earlier figure.
Yes, of course these are inflation adjusted numbers (1990 GK$ in fact).
The interesting bit is that yes, that Keynesian period led to higher growth in the already advanced economies than the neoliberal period did. And the neoliberal period has led to higher growth in the developing economies than the Keynesian period did. And given that we are indeed all good little liberals around here this is what we would desire from an economic structure, isn\’t it? That the poor should get richer?
And we can even offer a reasonable explanation of how this came about. Under the capital controls in place under \”Keynesianism\” (really Bretton Woods) capital has to stay at home and couldn\’t go off to be invested in making the lives of the poor better. Under neoliberalism the desire to exploit the poor was unleashed and capital could go grind their faces into the dust. And given that the only thing worse than being exploited by capital is not being exploited by capital this is what has made the poor richer. Those bastard capitalists buying machines for the poor to work with, building factories in which they can work with those machines.
Just another example of how neoliberalism is so darn pro-poor.