- Rising inequality boosted by the surge in asset values triggered by quantitative easing.
- Entire sectors dominated by rent-seeking monopolies.
- A global financial elite clustered around the defence of its strategic privilege – which is to keep its wealth in offshore jurisdictions and unavailable to the tax collectors of nation states, and therefore immune to redistribution.
- High under-employment and precarious work, as millions of people are employed in what David Graeber calls “bullshit jobs”; real wages failing to keep up with the rising asset wealth of the 1%; and a historically low wage share.
- A global market that has begun to fragment along regional and national lines; the stalling of trade liberalisation treaties; the Balkanisation of finance systems and the information economy; and the beginnings of an open trade war.
28 March 2018
Responding to Paul Mason’s latest essay for openDemocracy, Tomas Hirst argues that globalisation should not be blamed for decades of domestic policy failure. I expected to find much more to disagree with in Paul Mason’s recent essay, “The second trench: Forging a new frontline in the war against neoliberalism”. But after reading the essay, it struck me as measured, interesting and thoughtful on the whole. However, I found it frustratingly vague in its policy conclusions – which I suspect to be a feature, not bug, of the analysis. To start with, let’s recall Mason’s five-point analysis of what has gone wrong in the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis: