Title

Neoliberal Economic Policy & Economic Inequality

Level of Education of Students Involved

Undergraduate

Faculty Sponsor

James Old

College

Arts and Sciences

Discipline(s)

Political Science

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023

Abstract

Reducing the government's role in economic planning, encouraging privatization of government entities, and spending less is the primary goal of neoliberalism. The mechanisms used by governments are reducing taxes, allowing coporations to open offices worldwide, and encouraging individuals to indepdently save & invest. Neoliberal economics notoriously is known for lowering taxes in all categories, thus creating a society where wealth accumlation is much simpler. Primarily the US and the UK invoked the largest reforms of neoliberalism in the 1980s-by cutting income tax on the wealthiest earners. Despite both nations raising their top tax brackets during the Second World War era-a shift in taxatation from the wealthiest earners towards the middle class was underway. Comparing the US and the UK experience to other countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Germany, will comparatively assess how economic inequality occurs during neoliberalism implementation. New Zealand cut income taxes by approximately 30%, but implemented tax cuts using a phased in approach. Canada and Australia chose to diversify their economices, particularly with the globalization of trade, but did not lower income taxes by a large margin. Germany is considered the founding country of neoliberalism, but their approach is different from the US and UK approach to tax cutting. Rather focusing on keeping workers incentivized to produce more and make Germany's economy stronger in the western hegemony was vital towards Germany's neoliberalism efforts. Neoliberal ideology and economic policy shapes questions surrounding the benefits of a less tax structure, but does this fall short of putting people ahead?

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Thomas Huffman is a senior political science student at Valparaiso University. After an amazing semester at Valpo's study center in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Thomas was influenced by his American and British professors to research neoliberal economic policy on a comparative level. Thomas aspires after graduation to continue academic research on political issues surrounding the US and the UK. Thomas hopes to enroll in a MA International Relations program in the near future.

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