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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: The Many Meanings of Neoliberalism
A review of various definitions and interpretations of
neoliberal policy in America: Harvey, Hudson, Steger, Cahill,
Kotz, Peck, etc.  How all definitions and descriptions are
deficient, focusing on fiscal policy and austerity to the
exclusion of monetary, trade, finance, and industrial. How the
four policy areas are interrelated.  How causal relations
between neoliberal economic policy evolution and US political
system changes are lacking.  Neoliberal policy as obfuscation
term for US imperialism and US capitalist domestic class
warfare.

Chapter 2: Capitalist Restructurings in America, 1910-
2018
Theme: Neoliberal policy regime since 1978 must be
understood as just another capitalist system restructuring that
American capitalists have launched since 1910 in order to
expand their global hegemony and destroy domestic
opposition. Restructuring of 1910-14, 1944-50, and 1978-88
reviewed and compared.  Obama period as breakdown and
Trump as attempted restoration.

Chapter 3: Reagan & the Origins of Neoliberal Policy,
1978-1988
Origins of Reagan Neoliberalism under Carter in 1978. Major
fiscal, monetary, industrial and trade elements of Reagan
neoliberalism and their evolution over the decade. The
Reagan policy ‘mix’ of neoliberalism.

Chapter 4: The Post-Reagan Neoliberal Consolidation
The exhaustion of neoliberal policies in Reagan second term
and the consolidation under George H.W. Bush. Four
elements fiscal, monetary, industrial, trade reviewed.

Chapter 5: Clintonomics: Neoliberalism Expanded
New directions and emphasis of Neoliberal policy under
Clinton in areas of industrial, monetary, and fiscal policy. New
focus and evolution of trade policy element.

Chapter 6: Bushonomics: Neoliberalism Deepened
Bush policy as Neoliberalism on steroids. Return to primary
focus on traditional fiscal and monetary policy. Evolution of
industrial and trade policy as secondary focus again.

Chapter 7: Obama and the Crisis of the Neoliberal Policy
Regime
The crash of 2008-09 and global economic crisis and its
impact on the trajectory of evolution of neoliberal policy.  How
Obama adapts policy to rescue bankers and capitalists.
Consequences for economic growth stagnation and income
inequality trends. Taxes, war spending, free money fail to
generate recovery. Failures of Obama trade and industrial
policy. The neoliberal policy hiatus under Obama.

Chapter 8: Trump’s Restoration: Neoliberalism 2.0
Trump’s economy understood as effort to restore
neoliberalism in a new, more virulent and aggressive form.
Business tax cuts, deregulation and anti-union industrial
policy intensification, and re-focus on trade. Contradictions
with monetary policy. Trump neoliberalism as preparation to
ensure US capital global hegemony for another decade, while
destroying vestiges of potential domestic political opposition
by unions, media, courts, and parties.

Chapter 9: The Ideologies of Neoliberalism
Author’s definition of Ideology as purposeful
misrepresentation of fact and reality. Ideological themes of
neoliberalism: business tax cuts create jobs, free trade
benefits all, markets are always efficient; entitlements are the
cause of US deficits and debt, a global savings glut caused
the subprime bubble, crash and great recession, recessions
are caused by external shocks to an otherwise stable system,
declining labor force (and hidden unemployed) is due
boomers retiring, inflation is always caused by too much
money chasing too few goods, wages aren’t rising because
workers won’t retrain themselves and become more
productive, and income inequality has not worsened,
immigrants are taking our jobs and keeping wages low. How
language games are played by institutional pro-capitalist
forces to distort truth, fact and reality. The techniques of
language manipulation: inversion, reversal, correlation-
causation, insertion, deletion, univeralisation, de-
temporization, etc.  How techniques and misrepresentation
are used to create and justify neoliberal policy initiatives. A
brief review of language manipulation techniques and their
relationship to the noted key neoliberal ideological themes
.
Chapter 10: Political System Change Enablers
How the US political system has evolved since Reagan to
enable and defend the evolution of neoliberal policy’s two
opponents: capitalist competitors abroad and domestic
popular opposition at home. Gerrymandering and voter
disenfranchisement, Citizens United and money in politics,
limits on civil liberties and bill of rights guarantees, rise of the
surveillance state, restructuring of global economic and
political institutions to ensure US capital hegemony,
restrictions on third party activity in the US, perpetual wars
and expansion of US military bases, technology and the
management of the traditional media and public opinion.  A
brief review of these developments and their linkage to
neoliberal economic policy.
Dr. Jack Rasmus is the author of several books
on the USA and global economy, including

Systemic Fragility in the Global
Economy, 2015;
and Looting Greece:  A New Financial
Imperialism Emerges (2016). He hosts the
weekly New York radio show, Alternative Visions,
on the Progressive Radio network; is shadow
Federal Reserve Bank chair of the ‘Green
Shadow Cabinet’ and economic advisor to the
USA Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill
Stein. He writes bi-weekly for Latin America’s
teleSUR TV, for Z magazine, Znet, and other
print & electronic publications.  Dr. Rasmus
studied  economics  at  Berkeley,  took  his  
doctorate  in  the  University  of  Toronto (1977),
and worked for many years as a union organizer
and labour contract negotiator.  He currently
teaches economics and politics at St. Marys
College in California
REVIEWS of CENTRAL BANKERS BOOK:

"The financialization  of the US economy has been well documented
with finance capital now far surpassing manufacturing as a percentage
of GDP.  Rasmus documents the ties of the Federal Reserve to Wall
Street and demands democratization of central banking with a series of
common sense solutions.  A great book.  I learned a lot from it."
—Larry Cohen, Board chair, Our Revolution
Past President, Communications Workers of America


"[T}o bring back real democracy, we need to understand what destroyed
it and what destroyed it is the collection of economic engines called
neoliberalism. The most reliable guide to understanding neoliberalism
is Jack Rasmus; his book,
Central Bankers at the End of Their Rope?,
examines the fundamental role of central banks in our new, savage
global economy...

Jack Rasmus is excellent at peeling away the layers of economic deceit
to demonstrate that the rivers of cash pouring out of the central banks
does not bring prosperity to the lower 90%; the idea that prosperity is
even trickling down is empty ideology. The way in which he peels away
the layers of deceit is by examining each of the central banks, in turn,
The Fed, The Bank of Japan, the EU Central Bank, and the Central Bank
of China, and determining which if any is actually achieving their
publicly announced goals. These goals include inflation at 2%; interest
rate stabilization; money supply stabilization; bailing out major financial
institutions during economic downturns, and increasing GDP.

With the exception of China, each central bank has failed in all of their
stated goals. Since their publicly stated goals are not being achieved,
we have to examine their actual outcomes to determine what their real
goals are and ultimately after peeling away all the layers of deception,
their real goal to help the one per cent, by propping up stocks and
bonds, providing capital to offshore jobs as well as gamble in financial
assets."
—David Baker, Z Magazine, October 2017
THE SCOURGE OF
NEOLIBERALISM
US Economic Policy
from Reagan to Trump


Jack Rasmus

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SYNOPSIS

While the capitalist system has undergone numerous restructurings
throughout its history, the capitalist elites’ purpose in elaborating
these changes has remained the same:  to restore and/or extend their
hegemony over domestic class and global challengers. The current
systemic designation, operative since 1978, is “neoliberalism,”
deployed to obfuscate what in actuality is US imperialism and domestic
class warfare.

Analysis of the actual compass of these policies has remained
truncated, focused on fiscal policy and austerity to the exclusion of the
economy’s monetary, trade, finance, and industrial dimensions.  
Furthermore, an examination of the causal relations between
neoliberal economic policy evolution and changes in the US political
system is lacking.  This book seeks to address these lacunae.

The Scourge of Neoliberalism describes the origins and evolution of the
specifically American form of Neoliberalism.  Its expansionary phase—
from 1978 to 2008—was disrupted by the global crash and crisis of 2008-
09 and was only partially restored by the Obama regime thereafter.  
Trump’s  attempt to resuscitate Neoliberalism has led to the emergence
of a new, more aggressive and virulent form which, despite some
gains, is nonetheless  a destabilizing policy regimen destined to break
down with the next global economic crisis, which is likely occur by 2020.

The political consequences of US neoliberal policy evolution and
restoration efforts have led, on the one hand, to the breakdown of
government institutions, the decline of mainstream political parties, the
atrophy of democratic practices, rights and values, and attacks on civil
liberties, and on the other to the embedding of the Neoliberal credo
that business tax cuts create jobs, free trade benefits all, low interest
rates generate investment, entitlement programs are the cause of
government deficits, markets are always efficient, recessions are
caused by external shocks to an otherwise stable equilibrium system,
and similar empirically unverifiable propositions.

In describing the evolution of Neoliberal policies from Reagan through
Clinton, the Bushes, Obama, and Trump presidencies, Rasmus shows
how they have played a central enabling role in the financialization of
the US capitalist economy, in its ever-growing income and wealth
inequality gaps, and in the increasing polarization of US society and
polity.

The US Neoliberal experiment has led to three restructurings of the US
economy during the past century. Each restructuring produced a
particular new mix of economic policies and enabling institutions.
Should the latest—Trump’s current efforts—fail to restore the elements
of the third Neoliberal policy regime by 2020, then a fourth economic
restructuring will no doubt be undertaken by US capital and political
elites.  But both domestic and global resistance to such an effort may
prove far more intense.