The impact of neoliberalism on Latinos

Abstract

The neoliberal movement and its policies of the past four decades have negatively impacted the entire nation. This essay provides an overview of American neoliberalism and its elements, with particular emphasis on how it is imbued with and frames powerful racist currents, and how it has impacted Latinos. An examination of the impact of neoliberalism on Latinos shows persistently high levels of poverty, declining household income and declining levels of wealth. Neoliberal policies that reduce funding for education lead to program cuts that negatively impact Latinos. In K-12, bilingual education programs and other multicultural education programs continue to be under attack. Undocumented immigrants are increasingly incarcerated in private prisons and civil and human rights generally continue to be diminished by practices allowed under the Patriot Act. The essay concludes with a critical discussion of neoliberalism and the public good in American democracy.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    An earlier version of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies, 23 March 2013, San Antonio, TX.

  2. 2.

    I recognize that from some perspectives neoconservatism is understood as part of the liberalization of markets at the global level. However, it makes sense to reserve the term to refer to the cultural reactionary movements that oppose the civil rights policies that benefit women and racial and ethnic minorities.

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks his colleagues at Michigan State University engaged in public discussions about neoliberalism in the United States and in public higher education for the many insightful conversations they had over group lunches this past year.

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Martinez, R. The impact of neoliberalism on Latinos. Lat Stud 14, 11–32 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/lst.2015.48

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Keywords

  • Latinos
  • neoliberalism
  • ideology
  • individualism
  • limited government