Economists are quite familiar with a term that may be unfamiliar to most. Neoliberalism, the ideology that our social and economic world is characterized by free market capitalism, drives our policies and relationships. An April 2016 article in The Guardian
suggests it is the root of all our problems: the 2008 financial meltdown, slow degradation of public health, epidemic of loneliness, and the collapse of the ecosystems. Neoliberalism applauds competition, defines citizens as consumers, and suggests that the market delivers all that we need. As consumers, “we internalize and reproduce its creeds.” While the rich blame the poor for their failures, they often ignore the structural barriers (education, economic status, gender, class, race, etc.) that put them at an advantage.