Although in Europe, the rich and corporations have simply made a social contract with the workers in order to stave off Left revolution in which they settled for high taxes and an extensive welfare state in order to stay in business and continue making profits. What is interesting is that if you go to Europe, you will find that even highly paid corporate executives absolutely love the social programs – the free medical care, the long paid vacations, etc.
The Republicans have figured out that once you put these universal social programs in, it’s very difficult to get rid of them because they quickly become very popular.
All efforts at rolling back programs like this around the world have been catastrophic.
The ending or dramatic cutting of state medical care in the Global South has only resulted in collapsing health figures and an increased death rate. It is estimated that this aspect of the neoliberal globalization project alone has resulted in millions of deaths in the Global South.
Severe cuts in education simply resulted in the collapse of education figures in the nation. In Nicaragua, the Right demanded that parents buy their kids school uniforms and cut back drastically on public education. Many parents could not even afford the ~$50/year to buy the uniforms, so the coming of Violeta Chamarro resulted only in tossing hundreds of thousands of kids out of school. The gutting of education funds in neoliberal Chile resulted in collapsing schools with soggy roofs that leaked whenever it rained.
The Chicago Boys Friedmanite privatization of Social Security was a disastrous failure. Even (((Milton Friedman))), the father of neoliberalism, realized that these programs were extremely popular, and there were few ways to get rid of them via democratic means. Therefore, he actually stated that a rightwing dictatorship was necessary in order to put a neoliberal project in.
The mass rejection of neoliberalism in Latin America after two decades of failure is what led directly to the Pink Tide Left governments in the region.
Of course the US either can’t or won’t figure it out, and the US and EU (the West) continues to try to shove neoliberalism down the throats of Latin Americans at gunpoint or via out and out starvation and disease (sanctions).
To admit that the region rejected neoliberalism would be to admit that it is hated in the vast majority of nations; in other words, that it is a failure because nobody wants it. To do so would probably mean the death of the project. As such, neoliberalism has become a dirty word, and rightly so. The response of the US has been to never mention the word. So they’ve simply repackaged neoliberalism as “freedom and democracy” and continue to force it down everyone’s throats.
*With apologies to a fellow named V. I. Lenin, of course.