Ok, I actually held myself a lot from posting this. With COVID, I thought that this hypocritical movement would eventually be weakened – well, not really, at least not in my region. And I had been having this urge to post this, and I know that in my country I can barely speak – you know, nobody would ever share any of what I have to say but they would readily share another message glorifying some random torturer from the military dictatorship, another chloroquine propaganda or random stupid things like honey and beams boiled for 5 minutes does cure COVID (this one was made up because I had forgot what the real stupid version was). But at least here, sometimes I “have a voice” (you know, I guess lots of people sort of use this forum to have a voice too). But, getting more impersonal, Im going to post here the list of neoliberalism lies, manipulation and deceiving. And inconsistencies as well, a la Ti. Im far from being a very good writer in english, sorry for eventual grammar stuff and etc... 1 – The paradox of market lowest price and billionaires You know, in neoliberalism it is a take that the market will always offer the lowest price to the costumer through mostly competition – company’s are going to “fight” each other on prices and quality while the costumer is always a winner for that, and that things done by the state suck because they lack competition. Well, going inside that view, it is implicit that this model of competition pressure the company’s to offer maximum quality for a minimum price, however what this view since seems to ignore is that this influences the company budget. The company budget for the minimum price and maximum quality must be tight – it means that, basically, a company that is offering maximum quality for the costumer at minimum price is not actually high profitable by definition, because if it was, then the price would not be minimum or the quality would not be maximum. So, there is a simple paradox that nobody seems to ever talk about: If a person is a billionaire or just super rich, that auto-implies that a budget of somewhere, some company somewhere else, wasn’t tight, but actually very loose and profitable, which means that in this place the minimum price at maximum quality that the market should offer didn’t happen. So, basically, neoliberalism says that the market is indeed perfect, the best “institute” and etc, while at the same time adores (sometimes like a greek semi-God) billionaries, which are the living proof that the market isnt perfect and that there was not lowest price and/or/nor highest quality. Actually, after I had realized this, I felt stupid for not realize it earlier, since this is an incredibly simple inconsistency and paradox, but yet everybody doesn’t notice for some odd reason. 2 – “Capitalism is responsible for the development of technology” – not true! Well, I hope this affirmation isn’t common in US, but its hell common in Brazil at least. Well, if that is true, then the USRR, ops, I mean, the Soviet Union, Soviet government, old Russia, would not had release the first man in space, Russia at that time would never developed any rocket at all because if the title affirmation is true then communists wouldn’t ever launch rockets in space or develop any sort of bomb, which is not true. The “truth” here is obviously simple: Technology exists because a bunch of people researched for things, worked on projects, had experiments, created and discussed theories, etc.. There was science on the old Soviet Russia, as there was and there is in the US. Technology, including its spread, is not a product of capitalism, the market, the state, the monarchy, the communism or whatever someone want to throw at it. “But, you know, there was only research and technology because there was money on it – so, aha, I caught you, your commie!” - Well, no, but that is for next point – the commie has a point too. 3 – “Millionaires and big entrepreneurs are the ones we should thank for the technologies and many great stuff we can buy today, such as phone, cars, <insert many things here>, etc...” - Well, no. “Entrepreneurs today are the ones responsible for the many greats things that are product of their entrepreneurial: Insert many things here, specially technologies” – this one is awfully common as well. Well, this point actually overlaps with the other one, and what people don’t actually notice is that, if today we should thank for the entrepreneurs for the computers and many stuff, the same could be said about kings on the monarchy, the same could be said for people living on the old Soviet Russia, the same could be said about dictators on dictatorships. In the monarchy context, “the great king” is the one who delivers the “technology” of that time, like providing swords for warriors, gently give way land so people can plant on it, and etc... The same for a dictator, the same for the government. While the context change, the phrase is mainly the same: “The king is the one you should thank for, for its great solidarity with the people that brings you the swords forged to defend our kingdom, provider of the lands that brings the food you feed yourself and your children”; “The Fuhrer is the one you should thank for, for bringing glory [and by glory you can think of technologies, people being sheltered, etc...]”; “The government is the one you should thank for bringing you <insert stuff here>”; “The market is the one you should thank for bringing you <insert stuff here>”; “Millionaires and big entrepreneurs are the ones we should thank for the technologies and many great stuff we can buy today, such as phone, cars, <insert many things here>, etc...” ; I can write the same phrase for communists too and many other isms, but I hope you catch the pattern. The thing is that this is similar to technology. The king of the time is the one who “has the power” at that time and it is the one who got the charge – to be more specific, he is the one who got properties and resources of that time. This is the pattern: “Properties” and resources; He provides the land so people can feed because he got the land. But the people who cultivate the lands are not clones of the king or the king himself, neither the royal family; These are people which you will probably never heard of unless you actually meet them. This is the same is for company’s and big entrepreneurs: Most of them just had the properties and resources; Do you really think that guys like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs developed the phones, the windows systems? If Bill Gates did the windows, if he actually really did a whole Windows system of his own, he would probably be finishing Windows 95 next year. Many people, which we do not really end up knowing the name and are forgotten most of times, worked for the windows systems and the phones, and many of these people are just a side note that sometimes does not appear even in a credit screen – since Windows and iPhone does not have any as far as I know. We do not even have much idea how many people and hours of work are required for these sort of stuff, but we know that “Bill Gates did it”. These people (the ones that worked for it) end up exactly like the farmers on the monarchy: Forgotten, since it was the king. Actually, we can switch the king or human figures for market or state as I had stated, so this overlaps with the affirmative I had done earlier, since the pattern is the same, but specifically for technology. I think that this pattern really comes out of a sense of a psychopathic-narcissistic grandiosity – a few people, like the king, think themselves that they are some sort of God on earth (some pharaoh on Egypt did think that), and have a need to show their glory, but since they are human with two hands and two feet (ok, no offense for those who lost these body members), they can’t actually really build a titanical (from the word Titan, not tiranny) pyramid on their own, even though they manage to get many people to build a pyramid of their own and end up finding a way to say that they did it, they got remembered for the pyramid and can do everything with it, while others nothing can do about it and are forgotten. 4 – The proclaimed defense for liberty and property It is true that neoliberalism is in defense of liberty and property. What they didnt told you or us is that neoliberalism isn’t in defense for liberty and property for everyone, and rigorously, some or perhaps most of them do not even defend liberty and property for the average man (for the average human being, for women’s sake!). If neoliberalism were really defending property for everyone, they would be in campaign to distribute houses for poor people and who does or defend that is usually hated by them. What they defend is the right of property for those who have the money for it – if the market lets and decides that you have that money. And from that we get on the freedom part. Neoliberalism isn’t bothering for you freedom, they worry for the freedom of the market. It is about the “release” of this abstract creature, not you, human being. “But the freedom of the market should bring the freedom of the people!”, well, actually, no. The living proof of this is simply the most common ally of neoliberalism around the globe: Conservatism. Neoliberalism is usually allied with conservatism movement, which are against diverse kinds of personal freedom, which includes abortion, rights for/to being gay, requests for religious states with imposed religions, and a lot of “costumes” that should be respect at the expense of your freedom. And this is not when they directly ally themselves with dictators, this didn’t seem to have happened, I think, in the US, but it did and does happen in Brazil. The supposed head of neoliberalism in Brazil and most famous neoliberalism guru in Brazil worked for the Chile dictatorship – that is used as a common successful neoliberalism example in Latin America – and even said that “don’t be surprised if we have a new AI-5” (AI-5 was a set of laws that settled brazilian dictatorship). Actually, I do realize now that it seems that in US the “libertarians” are on the “opposite side” of the “liberals”, which is actually a logic paradox. Thing is, if the dictatorship endorses market freedom, then the people’s freedom is, well, “meeeeehhhhh”. When they sell neoliberalism they say its about people freedom, but for real? Its about the freedom of the market if you inspect it closely. So, I ask: What freedom and property a poor people have on a place full of neoliberalism? Well, not much, if any (specially in the case of property). As Gini indexes and inequality grows higher, the less freedom and property the median human being – and the ones that aren’t 1%ers or 10%ers in the world like most of us – are going to have, but that is exactly what neoliberalism brings. 5 – The farce of the Economic Freedom Indexes Ok, I havent ever found anyone commenting this on English, and only in portuguese after many years. Im going to put a quick translation here of something that originally is in portuguese – but it does a pretty much international points. But before that, I will introduce the most obvious inconsistencies and to introduce the neoliberal affirmation. Brazillian neolibs commonly associated neoliberalism with rationality and maturity – I dont know if this is a trend on the US too. There are maaannnyyyy fake stories about people who doesn’t actually exist that were from the left when young, but when that “immature passion” went out with maturity, they finally had grown rational to realize that neoliberalism is the best way. And with that, as a mature person does deal with evidence and data, they show up with the economic freedom indexes, that shows that country development is highly related (or correlated, people in Brazil arent used to correlations) to neoliberalism, and that it is the market who/which develops the country. Well, the first big noticeable inconsistency by just looking at the rank is that countries with big states – such as Norse ones and France, ranks pretty well. These countries known employs like a third of their population on public sector, some have strong nationalized companies (such as oil companies – one of the norse ones even bought parts of the state brazillian petrol company that were being sold by the command of the minister of economy on Brazil), and they have strong public health and education services. But for the sake of the rank, they are strongly neoliberal (as I am Santa Klaus). This article that I had put on quick translation on the spoiler enters up with the inconsistencies in detail or click on the link (you need to click on the link to see their ranks): Google Tradutor SpoilerMost likely you have heard about economic freedom indices, which are commonly used to relate a country's level of development to its "economic freedom". But is it possible to make this type of association? What do these indexes measure? What conclusion can we draw from them? With this article, using the index of economic freedom of the think tank Heritage Foundation ( Index of Economic Freedom 2016 - last with methodology available at the beginning of the elaboration of this text), we will better understand how the indices are calculated and verify if the specific aspects of economic liberalism that use them as an argument for the application of their policies are correctly interpreting their data and using them appropriately. In this text, we will call these specific strands of liberalism neoliberals , even though they know that they have come to reject the term [1 ] , to differentiate them from classical liberals and other economic schools derived from classical liberalism that do not share the same ideas. Voyager previously showed that the improvement in this type of index has no correlation with economic development or growth [2 ] , as well as showing that in the first positions there are countries that did not follow the (neo) liberal ideology [3a ] . At the end of this article, it will be clearer why these inconsistencies in this type of ranking. 1. The criteria considered in the index and their respective weights The Index of Economic Freedom (Index of Economic Freedom) calculated by the Heritage Foundation is based on 10 criteria, which receive a score from 0 to 100. With the result of each criterion, an arithmetic average is made, that is, the notes for all items and the sum value is divided by 10 (number of items added up). The following is a list of the 10 criteria with a brief description of how the calculation is performed [4th ] : 1 - Property Rights Property rights are measured by the level of legal protection that private property has. A score of 100 is defined as "Private property is guaranteed by the government, the judiciary ensures compliance with contracts quickly and efficiently, justice punishes those who confiscate private property illegally, there is no corruption or expropriation" . 2 - Absence of corruption (Freedom from Corruption) This item uses the ranking of the international transparency of perception of corruption ( corruption perception index ), whose objective is to measure the perception of corruption by averaging the result from 13 different sources, considering only countries that appear in at least 3 of them. Each of these sources asks different questions of the interviewees and captures this perception of corruption in different groups, with a consideration that the sources have the same weight, being admitted by the international transparency itself the difficulty of effectively measuring corruption. [5 ] [6 ] 3 - Fiscal Freedom Measured by making the arithmetic mean of 3 values. These values are obtained by subtracting from 100 the percentage value (converted into a number from 0 to 100) squared the tax burden, the highest tax rate on individual income and the highest tax rate on corporate income, each multiplied by 0.03 before subtraction. 4 - Government Spending Calculated by subtracting from 100 the percentage value of spending in relation to GDP squared multiplied by a factor 0.03. Thus, a country with public expenditure equal to zero has a result equal to 100, while a country with public expenditure equal to 58% of GDP (or greater) has a result equal to zero. Expenditure at the federal, state and municipal levels is considered (when data are present. For some countries only the federal government is considered). 5 - Business Freedom The name would suggest something related to the freedom of entrepreneurs to act in the areas of their interest, but that is not what this is about. Business freedom in this item is measured considering 13 sub-items, with which a weighted average is made: 4 items related to the start of a business (number of procedures, time in days, cost as a percentage of per capita income, minimum capital as a percentage of per capita income), 3 to obtain licenses (number of procedures, time in days, cost as a percentage of per capita income), 3 to close a business (time in years, cost as a percentage of property value, recovery rate in cents / dollar) and 3 to obtaining electricity (number of procedures, time in days and cost as a percentage of per capita income). Each item is weighted so that everyone has an equal impact on the final grade. 6 - Labor Freedom It is measured by making a weighted average of 7 items (weighting is done so that all items represent the same fraction of the final result): Ratio between minimum wage and average added value per worker, barriers to hiring new workers, rigidity of hours, difficulty in dismissing redundant workers, legal notice period, mandatory dismissal payment and labor force occupation rate. This weighted average is converted to a scale from 0 to 100. 7 - Monetary Freedom In this case, it does not concern freedom of exchange, which would undoubtedly be an agenda defended by neoliberals, but inflation. Basically, the weighted average of the last 3 years is reduced from the value of 100 (more precisely, a square root of this weighted average is made), plus a penalty of 0 to 20 due to the existence of state price control. 8 - Trade Freedom It is calculated from the value of the average import / export tariff normalized from the average tariffs of all countries concerned. In addition, a penalty of 0 to 20 is defined for non-tariff barriers. 9 - Investment Freedom Starting from a value of 100, there are penalties of up to 25 points for differences in treatment between domestic and foreign investments, up to 20 points for lack of transparency and bureaucracy for foreign investments, 15 points for land purchase restrictions, 20 points for land restrictions. international investments in certain sectors, 25 points for expropriation of investments without fair compensation, 20 points for restrictions on trade in foreign currencies and 25 points for the control of remittances of profits abroad. 10 - Financial Freedom The item "financial freedom" aims to measure the state's presence in the banking sector. A score of 100 is assigned when there are no state-owned banks, the government does not interfere with banks' allocation of credit, there is no restriction on the provision of banking services by foreigners, the government has no shares in existing private banks and there is no restriction on the establishment of new banks. Further details can be found in the Heritage Foundation's own document. [4b ] 2. Criteria that are not related to the adoption of economic liberalism Before giving a high score to economic liberalism on any item, it is prudent to question whether a country necessarily needs to adopt (neo) liberal policies to achieve this and who would oppose such items. As we live in a capitalist system and there are few parties that effectively defend the abolition of the State (like the ultraliberals - also called proprietaristas or “ anarcho-capitalists ” - anarchists or communists ) or the nationalization of the means of production ( Marxist-Leninists ), they will be considered as opposed to neoliberalism the options that representative democracy poses for voters with real chances of victory: social democrats, labor, keynesians, anti-liberal conservatives, among others who are opposed to (neo) liberal logic without the destruction of the prevailing economic system on the practically entire planet (capitalist with state). 1 - Property Rights For the Government to guarantee private property, the evaluation and validity of contracts quickly and efficiently and a justice that punishes those who confiscate someone else's property, a large and capable judicial / police system, clear and efficient laws made by the legislature will be necessary. . Except in the case of people who defend the end of the State or the nationalization of the means of production, it can be said that this definition of property right is a consensus. Now, if something is considered to be a consensus by all political alternatives, then it can never be used to defend one of them at the expense of others. This becomes even more serious when the index is used by the extremist neoliberals (the “anarcho-capitalists”), given that in the system they defend, the State does not even exist to exercise the legal protection measured by this item. 2 - Freedom from Corruption There is no political aspect that defends corruption as beneficial. There are differences in the best way to fight corruption, but the index does not evaluate what are the methods adopted to fight it, but the perception of corruption of a certain part of the population (it is worth mentioning that the population may still have a wrong perception of corruption, especially in cases where the press is closely controlled by the government, as in Singapore [3b ] ). As the item does not assess the existence of (neo) liberal methods of fighting corruption, it is not useful to indicate the adoption or not of its measures. 5 - Business Freedom This item managed to gather under a name that refers to economic liberalism a collection of 13 sub-items that no political current is against and in many cases are resolved with anti-liberal measures. For example, you can reduce the time for appraising licenses, opening and closing businesses by having more than 30% of its population employed in the public sector, as in the case of Norway and Denmark [7 ] . It is possible to streamline the installation of electricity and reduce its cost by concentrating the entire sector in the hands of the State, as in the case of Norway and Singapore [3c ] [8 ] . The time to close a company and the cost of closing are closely related to legal disputes, which basically depend on a peaceful point (the first item, Property right). The items on which per capita income is placed to divide the value, on the other hand, are merely a measure of the countries' wealth, as they favor the richest countries over the poorest. In short, the item does not assess which strategies are used to obtain a result that is peaceful, but considers those that have better results, regardless of whether the strategy adopted by the country is liberal or antiliberal, in addition to using factors that benefit countries rich in detriment of the poor directly, which makes it useless to defend one type of policy or another. 7 - Monetary Freedom In fact, neoliberals give above-average importance to controlling inflation, even when compared to classic liberals, especially those whose studies derived from the work of Milton Friedman . However, it is noteworthy that economists of all the existing strands defend some form of fighting inflation, and there are countless ways to fight it. Brazilians are well aware of this, given that we went through the Cruzado , Cruzado Novo , Bresser , Summer , Collor I , Collor II and Real plansbefore we achieved a certain stability in our currency (since the real plan itself has two very distinct phases, where the first had an exchange rate anchor among its main foundations and the second adopted a floating exchange rate). In short, what can effectively differ in different economic schools is the method adopted to fight inflation and, to avoid a long text about each of the existing methods of fighting inflation, suffice it to say that a country with zero inflation and price fully controlled by the State would have, in this item, a score of 80 (100 due to zero inflation and a penalty of 20 due to price control), which would place it in the “free” half of the world in this regard, with a difference of 1.8 for the overall leader of the ranking ( Hong Kong) and only 10 for the country with the highest value in the item ( Dominica ), and it is somewhat obvious that if the objective were to measure the adoption of neoliberalism the score should be zero. 3. Criteria that are effectively related to economic liberalism 3 - Fiscal Freedom The definition of fiscal freedom seems appropriate to neoliberal precepts. In fact, they systematically defend the reduction of the tax burden in general and mainly of taxes that are more intense on the richest, such as taxes on income (both corporate and individual) and property. The justification is that the rich would be responsible for generating wealth and their enrichment would result in a benefit for the general population. Although at first glance the indicator seems reasonable, in the way that countries with low taxes are constructed in general do not present much difference in the result regardless of the adopted taxation model. Other economic schools do not have a tax target (quite the contrary, everyone knows that taxes cannot be raised indefinitely),emphasizing the question of how they are distributed rather than the value of the tax burden itself. An emblematic case is that of Singapore, which has a low tax burden but follows a tax regime opposite to that advocated by neoliberals.[3d ] , something that is camouflaged by the way the indicator was built. This could be mitigated if they did not raise the values squared, because doing so, changes in small values end up having a negligible result, while changes in larger values have a very big impact (For example: A country with a 0% rate in all aspects it would score 100. With a rate of 15% for all items, it would receive a score equal to 93.3, but if it increased by 15% all rates - reaching 30% - it would have a result equal to 73.0, increasing another 15 % - reaching 45% - the result would be 39.3). 4 - Government Spending In fact, the fixation with the reduction of public spending by neoliberals is peculiar, finding no parallel in its opponents. The visible flaw in the indicator is that it is considered (in most cases) spending at the federal, municipal and state levels of the countries, but not at state-owned companies. In some cases, even the central government (federal sphere) is considered for lack of data. This distorts the result upwards, increasing the countries' scores on this item, especially in cases where the State is very active through its companies (such as Singapore [3e ] ) or when data is scarce. 6 - Labor Freedom Neoliberals' repulsion at the existence of labor laws is public and notorious. However, it is worth noting the lack of labor rights seen as priority by their opponents (there is no mention, for example, of unemployment insurance, compulsory public pension or a social security system), the use of items that go against neoliberal precepts (a The view that the State must guarantee full employment and directly combat a low occupancy rate is typically Keynesian, while neo-liberals consider that a certain level of unemployment is healthy for the economy - with discouragement having a clear relationship with prolonged unemployment - in addition to be an indicator that privileges rich and stable countries that tend to have a lower unemployment rate. By dividing the minimum wage by an indicator related to productivity,rich countries are privileged and not by chance are more productive while transmitting an idea that low-skilled workers, easily replaceable and with little prestige with the rest of the population - those who in fact receive minimum wages - should be benefited by a general productivity gain, something that is also defended only by opponents of neoliberalism). Another point that could not be left out is the unions, so criticized by neoliberals. Many of the more developed countries are among the most unionized and have the workers most covered by collective bargaining, with a high level of unionization even considered by some to be a reasonable substitute for the minimum wage and other labor rights.a high level of unionization even considered by some to be a reasonable substitute for the minimum wage and other labor rights[9 ] [10 ] [11 ] . 8 - Trade Freedom Although typical voters of neoliberalism and some of their media spokesmen are betraying the defense of free trade by supporting protectionist Trump , Brexit and encouraging the dismantling of free trade agreements such as the European Union , NAFTA and the Trans-Treaty. Pacific , its authors are effectively opponents of customs barriers, something that is not accompanied by its opponents in representative democracy. Although there is no political current against the existence of trade, in fact, neoliberals are leading the defense that reducing barriers to import / export is an intrinsically good measure. 9 - Investment Freedom Indeed, neoliberals are the great advocates of the free flow of capital and investments. 10 - Financial Freedom The absence of government in the banking sector is in fact a flag that distinguishes neoliberals. 4. Criteria that should not be missing from a ranking of economic liberalism (according to what neoliberals preach), but do not exist in the index In addition to the existence of items that do not adequately represent the neoliberal prescription and evident distortions in the items related to the policies defended by militants who use economic freedom indices, the absence of central themes defended by their authors, voters and governments is striking. There is no item in the ranking that deals with the participation of the State in the economy in relation to GDP, or any proportion between the participation of private and state-owned companies / mixed economy in the local economy, which totally distorts the results of countries in which the State takes place through its companies (the most striking cases are Singapore [3f ] and the oil-exploiting countries of the Middle East, whose economic activity as well as government revenue are extremely dependent on state-owned oil companies). An important economic activity of state-owned companies is the main reason for the low taxes found in several countries, such as Singapore , Saudi Arabia , Qatar and Kuwait . Therefore, the presence of an item dealing with this issue is necessary to correct flaws in the item “Fiscal Freedom”. There is also no item that addresses the issue of public services. The privatization of public services (health, education, security, among others) is one of the main banners of neoliberalism, being the defense of the greater efficiency of the private initiative systematically exalted by those aligned with its dogmas. With their extensive campaign against state efficiency in providing public services, the use of an index that says nothing about one of the main neoliberal flags to justify the adoption of their policies is totally incoherent. Several countries well located in the economic freedom index (such as Australia , New Zealand and Singapore ) stand out for their strong state presence in public services. Another point that could not be missing is regarding exchange rate freedom. It is common among neoliberal economists to defend the end of Central Banks or their “independence” from the government and to combat exchange rate manipulation, which they consider harmful even in the case where currencies are devalued to increase competitiveness in global trade. The sub-item present in “investment freedom” does not represent this discussion, despite being related to the subject. The 3 items mentioned above could not be missing from an index that is used to legitimize the application of neoliberal policies, as it is well known and well known that the main opponents of these policies in the economic sphere are those that follow a line derived from Keynesianism , where they are commonly found. defends a relevant role of the State in these items (public services, strategic sectors and exchange policy controlled by the State consistent with a country's development strategy). 5. Ranking considering only items related to economic liberalism Disregarding the flaws presented in sections 3 and 4 of this article and knowing that this causes strong distortions in countries that are extremely dependent on state companies such as Singapore and the oil powers, as well as in countries where the State is strongly present in public services (case of New York). Zealand, Australia, Canada and again Singapore), we will do an exercise that is about repeating the same economic freedom index of the Heritage Foundation, considering only the 6 items presented in the third topic - Fiscal Freedom, Government Spending Spending), Freedom of Labor (Labor Freedom), Freedom of Trade (Trade Freedom), Freedom of Investment (Investment Freedom) and Financial Freedom (Financial Freedom) - to evaluate what the result of such ranking would be. It is not surprising to note that the result is much closer to the reality of what the neoliberal ideology advocates than the original ranking: Several countries with a long social-democratic tradition (such as France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium) are now halfway “Least free” in the world, with France in one of the last positions (156th out of 178 countries). There is also a strong evolution in “economic freedom” from ex-socialist countries that have undergone major liberal reforms since the 1990s, such as Georgia , Armenia , Azerbaijan and Albania , but remain poor. Another evident fact is the sharp rise in poor tax havens, such as Panama and Paraguay , which are visibly close to the neoliberal prescription but were penalized for the simple fact of being in a condition of poverty. 6. Ranking considering only items not related to economic liberalism As a complementary exercise, we will do another ranking, only with the items purged because they are also defended by opponents of neoliberalism presented in the second topic. The result is quite interesting and even expected: European countries with a long social-democratic tradition are among the best positioned in the index that considers only those points that are peaceful as something necessary for the development of an economy in a capitalist system. Final considerations The rankings presented in the fifth and sixth topics alone show how the “economic freedom” indices would be impacted quite intensely if they were reliable to the principles defended by neoliberals, which implies the impossibility of their use to defend their policies. The expectation is that an “economic freedom index” truly aligned with its prescription will result in a ranking in which the leaders would be tax havens. Even among tax havens, however, it is likely that the most developed will be classified as "less free", precisely because of the strong presence of the State in public services and infrastructure (case of Switzerland ). Another very likely result is that countries with a long social-democratic tradition such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Belgium, Germany, among others, follow the trajectory of a sharp drop in the index identified in the fifth topic, keeping France company. in the last positions. While the economic debate does not involve the use of indexes that really represent what one wants to defend, little can be done other than conjecture. It is not the objective of this article to elaborate a new index that reflects the neoliberal ideas, just to explain why the “economic freedom indexes” present incoherent results, classifying in the first positions countries that adopted a prescription diametrically opposed to those that use it as an argument, in addition to a increase in the index has no correlation with economic development. Thus, a famous sentence by ex-president Itamar Franco sums up the use of “economic freedom indexes” to legitimize the application of neoliberal policies: “Numbers do not lie, but liars make numbers”. Well, if neolibs were really true to their own world, they wouldn’t be sending the people who they disagree with to Venenzuela. They should instead be going themselves to Paraguay or Colombia. About these two countries in special, I might do a narrative: Really, for brazilians Paraguay is obviously Neoliberal yet we here ignore it even if that is in the front of our eyes. Paraguay is a place where brazilians like to go to buy cheap stuff (but with bad quality), and it is true that things are normally cheaper in Paraguay, even videogames like Playstation. However, people don’t make much money on Paraguay: It is a poor country, with not much government, not much taxes to pay at all. Colombia is one of the countries with the heaviest involvement in drugs, having a strong pro-drug illegal organization, that includes crimes, and I think they used to or even still even control few areas of Colombia, and in fact, the free market is excellent for these type of stuff: Drugs, cheap and bad quality products, since there is nothing really controlling quality – if you buy something defective on Paraguay, then that is your problem (people buying cheap stuff that are indeed defective are somewhat common and is a common risk in Paraguay, since you can’t redo what you bought because you need some sort of institution for that). If medcareforall (or something like that) is a project that is going to turn US into Venenzuela, then the neolibs project are going to turn the US into a new Paraguay or Colombia. 6 – Complementing 5 Complementing item 5, here it is this article: Freedom - feels so good! I don’t have a need for further comments, just re-affirming: There is no real correlation between country development and neoliberalism. It is basically manipulated and falsified to support lies (I am not exaggerating, but being literal here). 7 – Singapore Paradise Well, Singapore is generally the #1 example of Neoliberalism. This is not time to debunk Singapore, but rather the affirmation that Singapore is really Neoliberal, thing that another article from that same website on portuguese does talk about. Google Tradutor SpoilerSingapore is a city-state located in Southeast Asia, more precisely on an island south of Malaysia , known on the internet for its extremely high rate of economic freedom , both by the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute (2nd place among all countries in the world) in both rankings on the date of publication of that article). Based on these rankings, many see Singapore as the land of opportunity, of economic freedom, where the state does not hinder entrepreneurs and the population can enjoy unrestricted freedom. It sounds great, but enthusiasts of “economic freedom” forgot to take into account some facts about Singapore, which will lead us to serious questions about the credibility of using these indices to justify the adoption of liberal policies (neoclassical or not). It is worth mentioning that the commercial exchange rate obtained on 01/24/2017 will be used throughout the article. 1. Singapore has the most expensive car on the planet Having a car in Singapore is not for everyone, and not only because of the high prices and fees, but also due to restrictions imposed by the local government. Before purchasing a car, you must first have a “Certificate of Entitlement” (Certificate Of Entitlement) which costs around R $ 113,808 (S $ 50,991) for cars up to 1600 cylinder capacity (category A) and R $ 125,903 (S $ 56,410) for cars above 1600cc (category B). These certificates are limited and the Land Transport Authority (state agency) makes 2 monthly drawings, with a quota of approximately 2,000 certificates for category A and 1,350 for category B. To have an idea of how limited licenses are, in every year 2015, 32,862 category A and 21,578 category B were drawn, just over 54,000 licenses for a population of more than 5.6 million people. [1 ] [2 ] [3 ] After obtaining your certificate you can finally buy a car, all you have to do now is pay the registration and circulation fees and taxes [4 ]: • Registration fee: S $ 140 (Singapore Dollars), approximately R $ 312. • Additional Registration Fee: For the first S $ 20,000.00 the fee is 100% the market value of the car, for the next S $ 30,000.00 it is 140% and above the S $ 50,000.00 plus 180%. To purchase a car with a market value of S $ 75,000.00 you would pay 100% x S $ 20,000 + 140% x S $ 30,000 + 180% x S $ 25,000 = S $ 20,000 + S $ 42,000 + S $ 45,000 = S $ 107,000 or approximately R $ 238,817 additional registration fee. • Consumption tax: 20% of the car's market value • Goods and Services Tax (GST): 7% of the market value • Circulation tax (valid for 6 months): [S $ 475 + S $ 0.75 (CC - 1,600)] x 0.782 for cars between 1600 and 3000 cylinders 2. The State controls the real estate market and land As a runner-up in economic freedom, you must imagine that Singapore has a free and competitive real estate market, dominated by private initiative and with little state interference, but it can be said that it is quite the opposite. Public housing has always been an important state policy since its independence in the 1960s when it had some of the most precarious slums in the world. Founded in 1960, the Housing and Development Board (Agency for Housing and Development) is now responsible for more than 80% of the housing in the country. Before its creation in the 1960s, the predecessor agency - the Singapore Improvement Trust - had built 20,907 units of public housing units in the 12-year period between 1947 and 1959, which was insufficient to house the population of about 1 , 6 million inhabitants of the time. With just 3 years after the formation of HDB, 31,317 apartments were built and the real estate crisis had already been successfully alleviated. The apartments were basic, with running water and basic sanitation, but provided decent housing and shelter for the general population. In 1964, the government introduced the Home Ownership for the People Scheme to give citizens a tangible asset in the country and a stake in nation building. This push for home ownership also improved the country's overall economic, social and political stability. In 1968, to help more inhabitants “buy” (the term buy in this case needs further explanation) their house, the government allowed the use of savings from the Central Social Security Fund (CPF) for entry and monthly installments of the mortgage loan. This, together with other grant programs introduced over the years, has made home ownership more accessible and attractive. [7 ] Public and modern housing developments have replaced favelas and peripheral rurality with a comprehensive offer of infrastructure and services. Initially, public housing was introduced to combat severe housing shortages as a political response to the “universal right to housing”, and in support of export-led industrialization. It has thus served as a key mechanism for “national construction”, and as an international capital attraction that has generated high rates of economic growth. The most common form of “sale” of land and housing is leasing or concession, where in fact you have “ownership” for 99 years, that is, in the last instance the ownership still belongs to the State. [8 ] It is visible that Singapore has had, since its independence, one of the largest public housing programs in the world, making Minha Casa Minha Vida and the Brazilian BNH seem somewhat meaningless. 3. The government of Singapore has two of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world and is present in the main companies in the country The State of Singapore has two sovereign funds on the planet, more precisely the 8th and 12th largest in the world: Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (also known as GIC Private Limited, founded in 1981) and Temasek Holdings (founded in 1974). Together, these funds are valued, at the date of writing of this article, at 543 billion US dollars, the equivalent of 1.722 trillion reais. For comparison: on that same date, the total debt of the Singapore government was close to USD 300 billion (approximately 55% of the market value of sovereign wealth funds), GDP was close to USD 277 billion (approximately 50% of the value of sovereign wealth funds) and all shares traded on the Singapore Exchange valued at close to US $ 640 billion (approximately 118% of the value of sovereign wealth funds). [9 ] [10 ] [11 ] [12 ] [13 ] Temasek Holdings was created through the Singapore Companies Act, to manage investments and assets that were already owned by the government of Singapore, made in the first decade of nation building from 1965. Among these assets, Development Bank of Singapore Ltd (now DBS Group), Jurong Holdings , Jurong Shipbuilders , Jurong Shipyard (part of Sembcorb Industries ltd all three) and Singapore Airlines , companies that are still among the largest in Singapore today. [13 ] [14 ] In the case of GIC Private Limited , the fund was created to manage the country's international reserves. Since its independence from Malaysia, the country has not wanted to back its currency just in confidence and the GIC was an important step for the government to build a large asset on assets located abroad, which would allow great control over the local currency that remains in the days of today. [15 ] Among the 10 largest companies in Singapore by market value today (which can be seen in the Forbes list ) 6 are in the portfolio of Temasek (SingTel, DBS Group, CapitaLand, Singapore Airlines, ST Engineering and Keppel Corp), which also it is the parent company of the companies (alone or together with other shareholders). GIC, on the other hand, is present in 2 (Oversea-Chinese Banking and United Overseas Banking), however, as a minority shareholder (without directly participating in the control). [16 ] [17 ] [18 ] [19 ] 4. The State controls most essential services, leaving little room for private initiative The massive presence of the State in the basic needs of the city in question is not only limited to the housing and land sector, but is expanded by all the essential services present on the island. The telecommunications sector, for example, was a monopoly of SingTel until the year 2000, the end of which was announced in 1997. Despite the breakdown of the state monopoly, restrictions on foreign control (such as a 51% minimum limit on local ownership) remained new players in the sector) and, despite the apparent diversification, the two competitors of Singtel (which remains the largest telecommunications company in the country) with a relevant presence have the State as one of the main shareholders. [20 ] [21 ] The second largest telecommunications company is Mobile One , whose second largest shareholder is Keppel Telecom , which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Corp , which, in turn, is controlled by Temasek . In addition, the third largest shareholder ( SPH Multimedia Private Ltd ) has SingTel itself among its controllers. Both companies cited are among the company's controlling shareholders. [22 ] [23 ] [24 ] [25 ] In the case of the third Singaporean telecom company, Starhub , control is exercised by Asia Mobile Holdings . This is a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Telemedia, which is also a company controlled by Temasek. [26 ] [24 ] [27 ] In this way, the government maintains, via Temasek, its influence in practically the entire telecommunications sector in the country. Singapore's energy sector is controlled by a 100% state-owned company called Singapore Power (its only shareholder is Temasek). It is the only natural gas supplier, operator and carrier in the country (via PowerGas ), the only electricity transmitter (via SP PowerAssets ), the only energy distributor and system operator (via SP PowerGrid ), leaving space for private initiative. only in the area of electricity generation. [28 ] [29 ] However, even in the area of electric power generation, the presence of the State is relevant (despite having decreased significantly in recent years). Through SembCorb and Keppel Corp , the State of Singapore controlled 22.8% of power generation at the end of 2015 (latest data available at the time of writing). This small participation of the State in the generation is a recent event. The Thy Power Generation and Senoko Energy (which have combined market share 41.1%) were sold in 2008 by Temasek while PowerSeraya (17.9% market share) the same was sold in 2009 [30 ] [31 ] [32 ] [33 ] In the land transport sector, prohibitive prices and difficulties in obtaining a license to use cars make public transport the main means of transportation in the country. In this sector, the LTA ( Land Transport Authority , government agency) is the owner of all assets (buses, highways, train lines and trains), leaving to the private sector only the possibility of operating them.    Despite the possibility of land transport being operated by the private sector, the State maintains broad control of the sector. There are only 2 train operators, SMRT TRAINS and SBS Transit . The first is a company controlled by Temasek, while the second is controlled by ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited , which in turn has among its controllers the Singapore Labor Foundation (union body linked to the government). Among the bus operators, there are 4, with the 2 train operating companies (SMRT and SBS) being the largest in the sector and the other 2 ( Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore ) not connected to the State.     5. Singapore's public services are mostly state, universal and paid according to the income of each citizen Singapore's globally acclaimed educational system, which often ranks first in exams such as PISA , is also largely state-controlled (serving more than 70% of students at primary and secondary levels), with 100% of schools (even receive money from the state and are required to follow the same curriculum.   The possibility of placing your children in kindergarten is available to the entire population of Singapore, with the cost varying according to the families' ability to pay. The monthly fee varies between S $ 1.50 (approximately R $ 3.35) for the poorest population and S $ 150 (approximately R $ 334) for the most affluent population.   Primary and secondary education in Singapore is virtually free. Monthly fees in the range of S $ 6.50 (approximately R $ 14.47) apply for primary education and S $ 15 (approximately R $ 33.40) for secondary education, which are exempt for underprivileged students (eligible grant programs).    At the higher education level, the situation is not very different: This small city-state has 6 public universities ( National University of Singapore , Nanyang Technological University , Singapore Management University , Singapore University of Technology and Design , Singapore Institute of Technology and SIM University ), which largely dominate local higher education. Students pay according to their income, and may be fully exempt in the case of needy students.  Singapore's healthcare system is public and universal, largely dominated by state hospitals, especially after the Asian crisis of 1997, and it is also built in such a way that people pay according to their financial capabilities, reaching free of charge for needy populations. .   6. Singapore has a mandatory pension fund and several labor rights Unlike what is advocated by (neo) liberals, labor rights in Singapore exist: - The workload is limited to 44 hours per week, with one hour of lunch. - There must be one minimum paid rest day per week. - There are 11 paid national holidays which, if there is work, must be compensated by the employer. - Workers are entitled to up to 14 pay days without work in case of illness and up to 60 days in case of hospitalization depending on the length of employment. - They are also entitled to paid vacations, which vary between 7 and 14 working days depending on their time at home. - Your employer is obliged to pay public pension, called CPF. - They have the right to take 6 days out of the year to take care of their children, although they are not paid. If the child is less than 2 years old, he / she has another 6 additional paid days. - Women are entitled to up to 16 weeks of maternity leave and 2 weeks of paternity leave. Among other labor rights.       7. Singapore's taxes are low, but progressive Singapore is a country known for charging relatively low taxes and this is not a myth: Taxes in relation to GDP are actually below the OECD average . In 2016, the government calculated the tax burden at 16.7% of GDP, with the 2015 OECD average being 34.3% of GDP and Brazil was close to that average.    Obviously, this has an impact on the island's social welfare policies and, although the State offers a lot to the population compared to underdeveloped countries (as can be seen in the previous items), these benefits are less than those offered by the government of Norway , for example.  Despite this, it can be said that the city-state is far from following the liberal ideas in this regard. According to the government itself, 3 objectives are taken into account to define expenditures: Promote economic growth with low inflation, maintain a balanced budget and focus government investments on providing essential public services (education, health, infrastructure, housing and protection programs) to the environment), that is, everything listed in items 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this article, plus environmental protection programs.  Other signs that show departure from the liberal method of collecting taxes are at the origin of the revenue. The item that most contributes to the collection are the taxes on corporate profits, followed by taxes on consumption, personal income, vehicles (which are a type of property) and properties. It can be said that more than half of the tax revenue comes from income and property, which are the most difficult to pass on to consumers and whose cuts are most defended by new liberals (classic liberals have a more critical view of the property).  It is well known and well known that consumption taxes weigh more on the poor, due to the ease of passing on the price of the products sold and also because they spend practically all their wages, which makes Brazilian taxation regressive (in Brazil, most taxes is on consumption), contrary to Singaporean taxation.   It is also surprising to Brazilians that, unlike our country, Singapore does not exempt profit from capital gains from foreign investments on the stock exchange or the distribution of dividends by publicly traded companies.   8. Singaporeans have their individual freedom extremely restricted by the government The island has several laws that restrict individual freedom, to the point that the country is systematically the target of lists of "unbelievable laws", precisely because the government tries to control minute details of the lives of its inhabitants through specific laws. Among these laws (all with punishment provided for in the local penal code), we can mention the prohibitions on selling and chewing gum, disturbing someone with musical instruments in a public place, flying a kite or playing any game that gets in the way of traffic, singing songs with obscene lyrics in public, spitting, distributing obscene material (including photos, DVDs and pornographic magazines), connecting to someone else's wi-fi, forgetting to flush the toilet, walking naked inside the house (in public it is also illegal, but that's already common in other countries), feeding pigeons, using drugs before entering the country (if they do anti-drug tests right at your entrance you can be arrested even if you have done nothing in Singaporean lands), have sex with someone of the same sex, cross the street outside the lane, drinking alcohol in public places between 10:30 pm and 7:00 am…    9. There are well-founded accusations that Singapore has a one-party regime and not a democracy Although there are several registered parties in Singapore, its policy is fully controlled by the People's Action Party (PAP), which has owned the prime minister since the city ceased to be a British protectorate in 1959. This includes the period that the country was in united with Malaysia and the entire post-independence period until the date of writing of the article (1965-2017). Analysts and supporters of the opposition often accuse the country of operating under a disguised one-party regime, an accusation similar to that which occurs with the North Korean government (which also has several parties, but there is no alternation of power), which seems to be corroborated. by reality (it is at least strange for a single party to remain in power for almost 60 uninterrupted years). Lee Kwan Yew was the country's ruler and commanded him with an iron fist from 1959 until 1990, being replaced by his fellow Goh Chok Tong until 2004 and since then by the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (who is even one of his sons) former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew). PAP was a Leninist party in its origin, but it is extremely difficult to be precisely defined ideologically. Although the party has historically declared itself a democratic socialist, this article has no intention of placing it on the ideological spectrum. This does not change the fact that a leading PAP minister declared in honor of Lee Kwan Yew at the time of his death that "This country must never forget its socialist heart, which will always do more for those who have less" . [70 ] [71 ] [72 ] [73 ] [74 ] [75 ] [76 ] [77 ] 10. There are serious doubts about the existence of press freedom in the country Accusations of violations of press freedom in this city-state are diverse. In the ranking of the world press freedom index made in 2016 by the independent organization Reporters without Borders , Singapore appears in position 154 (out of 180 countries evaluated), behind nations systematically accused in the west for violations of press freedom such as Russia (148th position) and Venezuela (139th position). [78 ] In describing the press situation in the country, Reporters Without Borders cites the possibility of the Media Development Authority (MDA) censoring journalistic content, including online content, supported by the Media Development Authority Act, Films Act and Broadcasting Act. In 2015, the The government went so far as to order the closure of the news site The Real Singapore (TRS) for “excessively critical” content and to accuse 2 of its participants for the crime of sedition (insubordination against the state), which is why they were sentenced to prison. [79 ] [80 ] Final considerations By then, it should be clear that: - Individual freedom is restricted by extremely strict legislation, very different from Western countries. - The State of Singapore is very large and interferes in business not only through regulation, but being the controller of a large number of companies (including 6 of the 10 largest in the country) in strategic areas. - The Singapore government is not exactly a model of austerity, having a debt greater than GDP while offering extensive services to the population. - Public services, as well as essential services, are controlled by the State and are much better structured than in underdeveloped countries (such as Brazil). - The real estate and land market is one of the most concentrated in the hands of the State across the planet. - The tax regime is progressive (there is no room for the idea that the rich should be taxed less than the poor, because they are wealth generators). - Singapore was not built on a liberal basis and remains very far from being a model of (neo) liberalism. - There is evidence that there is a disguised one-party system in Singapore, with the only de facto party (PAP) Leninist origin, associated with accusations of persecution of the press. Two questions remain open, as it is not part of the scope of the article to answer them: - Given that Singapore shows unequivocally that the economic freedom indices visibly do not measure the minimum state nor the adoption of (neo) liberal measures, what do they measure? - Why do right-wing activists use these indexes as a justification for adopting their policies, even though the first place adopts them? Finally, it is necessary to remember that Singapore is not even a country, but rather a city-state, located in a strategic region of the globe, with a population of around 5 million inhabitants. Singapore, like Hong Kong and Taiwan , has been an important port area in Southeast Asia since the 19th century, due to its territorial characteristics that make it a commercial center and through the developmental policies of its State, which transformed it into a platform for export. For these reasons, the reality of Singapore cannot be reproduced in other countries, especially those with a large population, such as Brazil, which needs a diversified economy and cannot support a population of almost 200 million of inhabitants only with port-financial activity. Singapore is not liberal, nor has it used economic liberalism in any of its stages of development. On the contrary, the State has always fulfilled the role of organizer of the economy and this continues to this day. Even if it had developed with economic liberalism, however, its example would be of no use to other countries due to its very particular reality, impossible to be replicated in countries with a large population or with a larger territory, not insular and outside a privileged location. that is, Singapore would not even serve as an example if it had actually followed the liberals' agenda. 8 – The “you are a communist” tactic There is a manipulation tactic that is often employed in general contexts – very workable. Its the tactic of the false dichotomy. I will transcript an example from a video meant to be sort of funny, so it is sort of a fictional video. Actually, my transcript isn’t a 100% accurate, but it aids the message. And actually, the video has english subs, so here it is the link (title: “Controversy of the week: Chloroquine”): POLEMICA DA SEMANA - CLOROQUINA - YouTube Activist: <Says people should take lots of chloroquine to cure COVID> Doctor: “Don’t do that! It is a medicine that if taken in excess can kill!” Activist: “It could kill... Is there something that kills more than drug trafficking? But nobody wants to stop that. Because this is what makes the media rich, I never saw any important doctor going to the door of drug dealers to ask for the end of these drugs. There is no political interest. Chloroquine doesn’t make them rich! That is why I have my own campaign: Less cocaine, more chloroquine” Journalist mediating the debate: “We have a dispute here. In one side, the activist defends more chloroquine. In the other, the Doctor defends more cocaine. We can conclude that everything has two sides, always!” The tactic is simple: Everything has two sides; People usually creates a big and enormous dichotomy (like the ones we use on typology), and if you are not on one side, you are in the other one. It is a common tactic to build ground in one dichotomy, so if people are not in one side, they must be in the other. So, if people are not neolibs, then they are communists and should go to Cuba. This, of course, is deadly wrong, it is just another common manipulation trick. 9 – The most efficient neolib instrument: Public debt For those who might not be aware, now most of nations have a large public debt. US had passed the 100% GDP mark of public debt, some other countries as well. This is not a developed or under-developed country (I thought it was 3 years ago lol). Japan is the country with most debt so far, with more than 200% GDP. These debts grow and grow with time and, although in the short years I dont think anything of special is going to happen, it might happen anytime soon. So, what you guys think might happen? There is also some stuff that are really happen. I think the rise of the public debts has everything to do with the rise of neoliberalism. If you stop to think about it, putting the state into a large debt with a high interest rate is a good way to kill the state and reduce/nerf its influences, since it forces the state to reduce other expenses in order to pay the debt and opens the door for the neoliberalism politicians. Making a "statist" politician to bait this trap is not actually hard - getting a corrupted or perhaps just short-sighted politician on any party isnt that hard in the last decades. What actually happens today is that the public debt is a good way to make the welfare state to eat itself (to null a part of its purposes). Let me explain this better. The welfare state and "big" states are supposed to have a wide set of public services, and these public services goes from tax payers; These kind of states makes accessible services that are not accessible to poor people by capitalism default. Some of them does even have measures made to combat poverty and re-distribute wealth in a less unequal way, so the welfare state works a lot in order to drop Gini. The public debt and its interest rates does pretty much the opposite. The average tax payer is poorer than those who win money from the interest rates from public debts. What does happen is that the money from public debt goes from the average tax payer pocker directly to people who profit out of the public debt, that are richer than the average payer, so the effect of state into reducing Gini is mitigated. With the right politicians, debt and place, this can even work as a way to use the state to increase inequalities - a good way to make the neoliberalism rich guys happy. So, basically, its a way to take money of the average Joe right to the pockets of rich people - and perhaps superrich too - in a total "legit" way. In the case of Brazil, the public debt origin is largely unknown. But as I had checked last year, it seems that the public debt interest rate takes about 40-50% of government spending already. Seems likely, because even this sort of information is confusing. The spending on equality programs - programs against poverty that basically are expenses for food or a small extra income (something like 50 dollars monthly) for Brazilian super-poors is more than 10x less than what is spent by paying the public debt interest rate. In the case of Japan, I do wonder if the public debt is the 21th century solution to control "the japs" (I guess jap is what US people call the japanese when they want to see them in a negative way), because with a big debt sure somebody got some influence and control over government. There is a word that google translates as sovereignty, which is a word that means that a government is supposedly independent from other governments or any other sort of parties and is able to have decisions of its own. I do wonder if the big public debt is the way to take away the japanese sovereignty while still officially making the japanese state as "sovereign". 10 – My own final considerations Well, despite part of these debunking here are sort of polite, I prefer to be a little bit more direct: Neoliberalism does employs tactics of manipulation and deceiving to support lies. Zero doubts about that, and that is why I have a disgust for it. Actually, the list of lies and manipulations are sort of big, these are the big major ones. This thread could be larger and in no way I had made a complete list of neoliberalism manipulations and tricks – you can be certain that there is more. Here are some local few very resumed that perhaps have a form on the US: 1) Brazil state is too big (“inchado”) and people working on the public sector earns way more than people on the private one and are privileged people that drags the country development: Generally, the neolibs uses a study or two that did implicit (actually, its explicit) categorized the people working on Brazil’s public sector in 3 categories (one relates to the feds, which is the richer; Another one is state related; And another one is related to cities), they cut the richest category that does something like double the real average and only has 10% of people on the whole sector; Then, on the private sector side, they remove the employers, entrepreneurs and profits for the stock market, only putting the employees on the account, likely even missing the CEOs (since some of them owns a part of company); So, they compare the relatively poor part of the private sector with a richest category that have like double the real average of the public sector to make a point that the state is big and people from public sector are just unproductive overpaid people. 2) There is the ridiculous idea that private companies are all honest and full of honest people, and that if you privatize a company you will end up the corruption, since you end the corrupted state. Well, that is sort of a highly functional yet childish lie, since people are not going to say: “Look, now the company is private, lets stop our lack of honesty and be super honest because it was the state that were corrupting us, yaayyy”. 3) Capitalism meritocracy is a farce, and I had covered that on the post on the spoiler: SpoilerYou know how many use meritocracy as a defense of their ideology and use the word "self-made" people who are not actually self-made? Many! You know how many people actually defend meritocracy as an ideology on its own, requesting equal opportunities for everyone (equal opportunities for every children) and requesting something to be done about the randomness? Nearly zero! Most people enrolled at meritocracy defense dont actual defend meritocracy, they defend that the money they have is meritocract, which is a lie... I already seem a lot of usurpation in the terms of meritocracy because of that. You cant judge or mistreat people even rationally because of their money, simply because the system is not meritocratic. This isnt even funny as betting with cards... but rather annoying. And here I am giving in a little bit of anger that dont belong me about an issue that isnt my fault... There is an semi-abandoned movement of meritocracy, called meritocracy party, it partially started in 2008 by Britrish. Never gained much traction. It is called Meritocracy Party, although it is quite against party on themselves. I dont consider myself from any ideology in specific, but this one is worth mentioning and its not a bad one (it has it flaws although). It helps clear how much deep meritocracy can be and clear about what meritocracy isnt. I didnt came here to convert anyone into that, but I want at the end of the post point the hypocrisy.. Resuming the movement: - Equal Opportunity for Every Child by making decent forms of health and education accessable to all children, and having the best educational places picking it students by merit and not by money. They defend public hospitals and public schools and university. Since the best universities and health centers are not done by pure voluntarism, they defend it to be done by the government. - Limit the inheritance to one million dollars, some people inside that movement thinks that it should be zero. But zero inheritance would make things too complicated. - The motto is for children but the real motto is expanded to nearly everyone. - THey defend that the politicians must be qualifided for that, so with proper qualification, including hours and hours of study and tests, they can be candidates. Some might defend they even have minimal IQs. - Only those with proper education should be able to vote. And I would suggest minimal of critical thinking for that. - They defend that everybody has the right to have a house, because thats a minimal pre-requisite for opportunity for everyone. Heres the hypocrisy: Most people who use the term meritocracy, state its a meritocracy, self-made man, judge other people based on pure money and the random social prestige of it, are completely against the limitation of inheritance, are in favor of all schools to be private so the students get the best education based on what their parents can afford and not by their own merit and are against the housing-right politic, so, basically, most people who say "its all merit" are actually completely against meritocracy!! Here it is the second hypocrisy: The people who usually use the term meritocracy use it to defend the super-rich. The Meritocracy Party is against the SUPER rich (note the word "Super";they are against the super rich not against the rich) and are against the billionaries (but not millionaries). I have my A on that, I can explain how the randomness happens. I already did that so let me quote myself: There is one thing that I hope clarify your understanding, I call it as “the chess championship principle”, which belongs mostly to number 3 (randomness filtering) and it is inside the game example. In a chess championship, every new game is a completely restart. Every piece comes back to a start position, every new game is truly a new game. Now just imagine if there was a different rule, like, for example, if you win the match you are awarded the right to start with two queens in next matches until you lose a match. Imagine if every win was awarded a better advantage for the next game. What would happen? Well, you can only have one opponent per match in chess. If you are lucky on the start, your first opponent is a newbie, and you will win the match and gain advantage for the next one. In the next match, another newbie, more advantages. At the same time, suppose another chess player that is your twin brother that plays exactly like you with same skills, have a grand-master chess player at first round. He loses. Then one pro at the other. He loses. Then he becomes your opponent. You, with three queens, against him with only one, same skills, who wins? You. This example is just a wordly explanation of something that is inside math, and it is basically this: If there is a dependency on the initial condition (if the latter results depends on the former results), and if the initial condition is subject to randomness, then the whole system is subjected to randomness. What I call Chess Championship Principle is this in english: When the next match depends on the former match, and the former match (or any former of the former of the former ….. match) is subject to randomness, this match is subject to randomness as well. Regular Chess Championships resets the table in every new match and the result from a new match dont have any interference from the last one. So, in this championship example where winners can have extra queens, if we spread chess players from the same level, they will have very different results and it will be dictated by how lucky they are with their first opponents. Some of these players will likely match the same results that they would have without this system if they are not too lucky or too unlucky (lets call too hazardous, since english should have a proper word for the opposite of luck). I seem to have gone way off topic but I am not. The capitalism we know – any system we know, include “kingism”, socialism, whatever – dont fullfill all those 4 (and we could have more) meritocracy conditions. Including Chess Championship Principle for capitalism! What actually happens is that the capitalism never truly resets the game, and that the game has a clear dependency on the beggining, those who gets hazardous keeps it for the rest of their lives despite the hazardousness comes from a bad market time, no inheritance, crysis, whatever.. So, as we expect, people from the same “skills” (hard work, effort, hability, inteligence, etc...) are spread over several different incomes, it is imminent that there are some coincidences – people who were not too hazard but not too lucky – with “skill” and income matched. These ones are the perfect to fruitpick and get used as evidence that everything is properly working with merit. And, of course, some will start from ‘zero’, but will have a fortunate series of events that led them, aha!, fortunate (first matches, except the one counting heritage, were lucky)! But guess what – a series of events with them being at the right time at right place doing the right activity, so it is possible to fruitpick one case of that and say ‘you see, he/she did it, why not you?’ and all the speech comes after that question (“it is just victimism of yours and etc...”). You can fruitpick any unfair cases as well, such as too income for zero “skills” or too much “skills” for low income. Meritocracy Party US website: https://meritocracyparty.org/about/4) Fruitpicking is awfully common too (actually, number 1 on this final section of my post is a fruitpicking trick). 5) I dont think I actually remember everything, so I should stop here.