Quarterly Essay 70: Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next
How did the big banks get away with so much for so long? Why are so many aged-care residents malnourished? And when did arms manufacturers start sponsoring the Australian War Memorial?
In this passionate essay, Richard Denniss explores what neoliberalism has done to Australian society. For decades, we have been led to believe that the private sector does everything better, that governments can't afford to provide the high-quality services they once did, but that security and prosperity for all are just around the corner. In fact, Australians are now less equal, millions of workers have no sick leave or paid holidays, and housing is unaffordable for many. Deregulation, privatisation and trickle-down economics have, we are told, delivered us twenty-seven years of growth ... but to what end?
In Dead Right, Denniss looks at ways to renew our democracy and discusses everything from the fragmenting Coalition to an idea of the national interest that goes beyond economics.
"Neoliberalism, the catch-all term for all things small government, has been the ideal cloak behind which to conceal enormous shifts in Australia's wealth and culture ... Over the past thirty years, the language, ideas and policies of neoliberalism have transformed our economy and, more importantly, our culture."
Richard Denniss, Dead Right