[S1 E01] Repeat
Prof. David Harvey's pilot episode. He provides a quick history of the rise and growth of Neo-Liberalism.
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According to neoliberal thought, the market is the arbiter of all things, and that competition within the market ought to be the most efficient way to allocate capital. Never mind that blindly going after “bright and shiny” only plays on our basest instincts and is not always a good idea — especially when global climatic change is threatening human extinction.
When it came to philanthropy, rather than tax the rich and democratically decide the best way to allocate funding to help those in need, the neoliberal gave us foundations and non-profits.
We now have one non-profit after another being formed and competing for limited funding. We have a market solution for an area — helping the poor — that ought to be left to charity and democratic control. Instead, neoliberalism has given us a plethora of organizations competing to out-do their respective “do-goodery”.
To obtain funding, these organizations will form and write grant proposals, inventing new vocabulary to describe age-old problems. People will make careers out of working for non-profits; meanwhile, income disparity continues to increase, the poor get poorer, our infrastructure crumbles and the list goes on. What’s worse, our young adults will graduate from college and start yet another non-profit, under the mistaken guise of doing good.
Non-profits are simply businesses that don’t “earn a profit”. These organizations exist, in and of themselves, not so much to solve problems, but to bear-out the mistaken and broken notion that the market is the most efficient means of doing anything.
Gordon Gecko taught us, “Greed is good!” But when it comes to building-up the common good, greed is only good for the greedy. The rest of us suffer.