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The problem of the state and neoliberalism’s resilience

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16.11.2019

Letter. Value creation appears to be more and more the result of much more complex processes than just economic competition alone, which is why we need a more sophisticated form of capitalism, imbued with goals which are more social in nature.

written by Laura Pennacchi

November 16, 2019

The persistent economic and social problems in Italy—for which some important potential solutions to be developed are outlined in the “path” set out by the 2020 Stability Law—should be interpreted in the light of the extraordinary scope of the transformations that are taking place all over the world. This is the kind of wide scope that should be adopted at the much-awaited Democratic Party program conference, which ends Sunday in Bologna. There is, in fact, a global need for a radical change of perspective at the highest level, pushing us toward questioning weighty topics such as capitalism itself.

In August, in the US, Business Roundtable (an association of CEOs of American corporations) published a manifesto which proclaimed the need to abandon the shareholder value theory (i.e. the primacy of maximizing value for shareholders to the exclusion of all else, the cornerstone of neoliberalism). And the Financial Times has declared the need for a “new agenda,” in which companies deliver “profit with purpose.”

The point is that neoliberalism has shown itself to be highly resilient, including in spurious combinations with populisms of different kinds, but its outcomes remain strongly anti-egalitarian and its........

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