Inequality at the Twilight of Economic Neo-Liberalism

Free Public Lecture

Inequality at the Twilight of Economic Neo-Liberalism

Many of the long-established truisms of neo-liberal economic policy appear to be in retreat. The proposition that economic prosperity will lift all boats, that the private sector and free trade are forces for social good, that states should avoid intervening in markets, and that inequality should be addressed by welfare policy: these have all come under increasing challenge in Australia and elsewhere. Signs of the times are the interest shown in the work on inequality of Thomas Piketty, or the social media impact of a little known historian at Davos calling for the rich to be taxed more, or the Royal Commission’s highlighting a culture of greed in the financial sector.

If neo-liberalism as an idea and as a set of policies is indeed in retreat, then what comes next? What does the shifting landscape mean for existing approaches to tackling inequality? Does poverty and inequality go beyond being about welfare policy? What replaces previous ideas that low wages motivate poor people? Dr Richard Denniss will discuss this intellectual shift in conversation with Professor Sundhya Pahuja.

All Free Public Lectures