Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ECLAC: new report calls for pro-equality agenda

A lot of commentators have said that the global financial crisis marked the end of the neoliberal era and the beginning of a new economic order. But now roughly two years after the onset of the crisis following Lehman's collapse, have any international institutions really started to define what this post-neoliberal economic agenda will look like?

Well, one international institution now seems to be taking the lead.

Yes indeed, maladjusted just so happened to get a sneak peek at a new ECLAC report set to be published during it's 33rd general session at the end of the month. The report, entitled The Time for Equality, is an ambitious document proposing a new economic, social and political agenda to fill the gap left by the collapse of neoliberalism's ideological hegemony.

To paint broad strokes, the report calls for expanding the role and mandate of the State, a return to active industrial policies, increased redistributive social policies and more progressive taxation, among other things.

From the draft report:

"A pro-equality public agenda should not be limited to leveling out opportunities. Rather the role of the State should be broadened to obtain more equal results and levels of well-being. The State and public policies should, therefore, play a decisive role in neutralizing the inertial power of inequality within markets and families."

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to hear an international economic institution break with the liberal discourse of leveled playing fields and social mobility to explicitly address the need for equality--not to mention calling for a concerted and actually substantial regional development agenda.

1 comment:

  1. refreshing allright - but it's CEPAL - when were they ever part of the liberal discourse? My sense is more, that CEPAL has come a little closer to the mainstream over the last 15 years or so, but without throwing out it's older concerns and approaches - the result is that they have become a much more important part of the discourse.