What impact do neo-liberal policies have on workers, communities, the environment and immigration?

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Introduction

Neo-liberalism is a combination of various economic policies that have become known by individuals for the last 25 years. Neo-liberalism prompts the interests of companies and not the interests of the state – that is market ideas on economic policies that form the central government ideas and policies. Neo-liberalism has gradually boosted the growth of stronger companies providing employment, technology, and economic advancement ultimately leading to quality lifestyles. However, scholars have questioned the sincerity of neo-liberalism, in that it has been blamed for significant poverty, greatest human inequality, the rise of organized crime, and deeply rooted corruption that has engulfed most government institutions. This research opens the impact of neo-liberal policies on workers, communities, and the environment as well as immigration. The focus is largely on the neo-liberal ideology promoting global progress and economic growth.

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Neo-liberal policies have played an important in improving global labor policies. Labor has been the epicenter of human civilization. This has heavily depended on labor for its growth and development. Elements such as slavery, feudalism, and colonialism were only in pursuit of cheap workforce (Hedges and Sacco 136). However, neo-liberal policies such as Collective Bargaining, Industrial Action, and Peaceful Picketing have greatly improved the relationship between the firm and its employees. While many often favour automation of trade rather than neo-liberalization due to the fear that trade hurts ordinary workers but helps the rich, what the fail to understand is the fact that in the long-run, the living conditions for the poor workers improve (Bowman 38). In a 2014 study undertaken in America to determine how poorer workers would be without global trade, it was found that “The gains from trade accruing from cheaper goods were not felt equally between the rich and poor: the real income loss from closing off trade is 63% at the bottom 10% of the income distribution and 28% for the top 10%” (Bowman 39). Unlike feudalism, neo-liberalism has prompted equality for all, and rewards are accorded through hard work towards the employees who strive in their workplaces.

Currently, the formerly poor can emerge as leaders inside an organization holding the senior managerial position. As a consequence, formerly poor workers now live better lives since their incomes have improved, and contributing to the growth of countries’ economies. As Bowman observes, “Globally, extreme poverty has fallen from 44% of the world’s population in 1981 to 9.6% today” (39). This reduction in poverty levels is attributed to better wages and salaries earned by workers as a result of bargain agreements. Economic policies affecting labor have also been blamed for lack of standardization of the salary scheme for the working population. Case studies of Guatemala have indicated that the people were oppressed in the name of growing the economy (Tooley 126). It is further argued that neo-liberal labor policies only hurt the poor by keeping them deeply entrenched in poverty.

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The neo-liberal policies have also lead to the suffering of workers. For instance, when the authors went to a coal mining in Gary town, they met Rudy Kelly, a 90-year-old man struggling with lung cancer as a result of working in the mine – Kelly is a “Large robust man who worked as a miner for forty years and has spend the last couple of decades fighting off black lung cancer” (Hedges and Sacco 133). This shows that while neo-liberalism has led to improvement of workers’ lives by making it easy for them to gain jobs anywhere, it has also lead to the suffering of multitudes as the working conditions remain deplorable.

Neo-liberalism policies have made the greatest impact in modern global communities. Neo-liberalism has promoted the winds of change envisioned in the 1948, Global Bill of rights (Blad 63). This has ensured that every global citizen has a right to live, a right to education, a right to the equal presentation, a right of communication, and a right to life. Policies such as gender, religious, racial, or class minorities, alongside Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender have grown progressively in the recent past (Blad 56 – 69). Collective capacities of engaging in democratic debate and decision-making process mean that there are liberal attitudes toward the democratization process.

Lately, the globe has been facing significant threats to the environment, following scientific justifications of global warming cataclysm. The causes of global warming can be summarized as increased toxicity levels of nitrate and carbon emission because of unnatural modes of production and consumptions of goods and services. However, neo-liberalism policies have intensified on global campaigns advocating for a cleaner and fairer environment. Efforts such as Kyoto protocol have begun earmarking the banning of certain production and consumption models. Chemical and biological weapons have also been banned minimizing social harm.

Nonetheless, neo-liberal policies emphasize markets should be liberalized in allowing the making of globalized decisions. International relations and political economy demand the possible dismantling of trade and economic barriers hampering trade, integration and free capital mobility of export-led growth. This warrants companies and jurisdiction to apply production or consumption model regardless of its impact on the environment. Such an abstraction process dismantles the overall performance of these economies towards achieving a positive well good for the economy. As well, most of these bans have not worked effectively.

Neo-liberalism policies have continuously furthered immigration allowing people to settle where they would want to settle globally. Programs such as American Green Card program sponsoring people all over the world to live and work in the USA are some of the good examples of the usefulness of neo-liberalism towards the growth of a fair and just society (Bowman 39).

Neo-liberal devolution is at the centre of the emergence of liberal immigration policies. Through cooperative tradeoffs, regional trading blocs have lowered the tariffs of labor; in fact, in some jurisdiction like Europe Union, North America, and West Africa, neo-libreralism has prompted the complete ban of labor immigration tariffs (Nazario n.p). However, there have been concerns where firms with dubious intention migrate to host countries and further their negative interests, a concept that is known as neocolonialism (Alexander 35). Policies have been formulated at national and supranational scales have examined the consequences of fostering illegal immigrants, these immigrants have been treated as non-humans forcing various counts of discriminations. However, as Nazario advises, putting walls to secure boarders is inappropriate and states should instead open their bodies to allow free movement of goods while monitoring what moves into and out of the country (n.p).

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To what extent is the neo-liberal ideology promoting progress ensuring that a rising tide lifts all boats?

The neo-liberal ideology has promoted progress in all areas of life, by ensuring first, social, economic, cultural, religious and political justice is upheld. However, neo-liberalism is all about the free market economy. It is through neo-liberalism that emerging global multinational organizations such as Facebook, as well as several technological developments, have been realized since “A man or woman engaged in honest work has a basic right to enjoy the fruits of his or her labor” (Griswold n.p). The effect of this has been the growth of the world economy – the betterment of the lives of both producers and consumers as everyone has the right to choose who to sell to or buy from.

Furthermore, the neo-liberal ideology has contributed to the improvement of the lifestyles of both consumers and producers by giving them the freedom to receive what they want by giving out what they have. The exchange of goods is currently focused on justice in trading. As such, there is a strong belief that “Free trade is morally superior to protectionism because it places trust in what Adam Smith called “the natural system of liberty” rather than in a man-centered system of centralized industrial policy” (Griswold n.p). Based on this assertion, neo-liberalism is all about Lassie Faire where forces of demand and supply dominate the market. This implies that both the rich and poor, producers and consumers have equal chances of succeeding.

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Conclusion

Evidently, neo-liberalism has had an impact on workers, communities and the environment as well as immigration, drastically resulting in higher mass production and mass consumption. These liberal policies have furthered scholarly, economic and technological growth, but have been blamed for the creation of inequality, immorality and unethical practices. However, neo-liberalism has negative effects and it will come a time where the rich will permanently split with the poor, where the poor will live in shackles, diseases and deep poverty, while the rich enjoy a vast paradise of wealth.

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  1. Alexander, Goldsmith. “Seeds OF Exploitation: Free Trade Zones in the Global Economy. n Case Against the Global Economy, ed. Mander and Goldsmith. 30. Ibid., 267. 31. Seep. 38. 32.
  2. Blad, Cory. Neo-liberalism and National Culture: State-building and Legitimacy in Canada and Quebec. Leiden: Brill, 2012. Internet resource. Neo-liberalism
  3. Bowman, Sam. “In Defense of Neoliberalism”, Published in Policy, 3 (33), 2017.
  4. Griswold, Daniel. “Seven Moral Arguments for Free Trade.” Cato Institute, 1 May 2002,
  5. Hedges, Chris, and Sacco, Joe. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. Nation Books, 2014.
  6. Nazario, Sonia. “How to Secure the Boarder. Sonia Nazario Search.” Google, 2017,
  7. Tooley, Michelle., “Injustice in Guatemala”,isbn. Herald Press, 1997 -: 9780836190571. Print.
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