Neoliberalism By David Harvey

1938 Words 8 Pages
For the purposes of this essay, I shall take my definition of neoliberalism from David Harvey. Harvey defines neoliberalism as being made up of two major elements: it is both a utopian economic project and a potent class project . The former refers to the interpretation of neoliberalism a project to realise a theoretical design for the re-structuring of global capitalism . The latter refers to the veaiew that neoliberalism is a political project, primarily designed to re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation and bring back power to economic elites. Ferguson elaborates that unlike liberalism which considered the state and private realms to be separate, neoliberalism blurs this boundary: ‘neoliberalism puts governmental mechanisms …show more content…
Meghad Desai suggested that rather than ‘giving fifty billion dollars of overseas aid’, we should instead ‘find the poor and give them one dollar a week … That would probably do more to relieve poverty than anything else’ . Cash Transfer programmes whilst on first appearance may seem like a return to an old-style welfare system, are underpinned by a neoliberal logic . They involve making direct cash payments to target groups of people without extensive surveillance of its use: poor people spend the money in the way they think is best. Advocates argue people generally use their cash very wisely, making necessary expenditures and prudent investments . Furthermore, such programmes have very low administration costs and require very little institutional infrastructure. When the civil war Mozambique came to an end in 1992, there were over 90,000 demobilised troops on both sides. It was decided that they would receive two years’ salary, paid for by the government and the UNDP . In addition, they all received a further USD $52 as there was spare money left in the trust fund because of the failing exchange rate . The programme had very low administrative costs meaning that $33.7 million of the total cost $35.5 million cost of the programme, went directly to beneficences—a much larger percentage than in regular aid projects. Hanlon argues that the payments provided an important means of survival, with many of the demobilised soldiers supporting their extended family--46% of recipients used some of the money to pay for school fees . Furthermore, at the end of the two years, 86% were engaged in agricultural labour—demonstrating that cash-transfer programmes are an enabler rather than a hindrance to the performance of other productive activities

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