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History As It Happens

Jan 25, 2024

The origins of the populist backlash against free trade and Wall Street hegemony may be traced to the excessively optimistic 1990s when breaking down trade barriers with Mexico and China was seen as essential to America's long-term prosperity. The decade also saw figures such as Bob Rubin and Alan Greenspan exert their influence to deregulate financial markets, putting ideological faith in banks and hedge funds to regulate themselves, and in the potential of technological innovation to solve societal problems. In this episode, labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein discusses his important new book, "A Fabulous Failure," which charts the Clinton administration's drift away from outdated policies of New Deal, Keynesian liberalism to a neoliberal order prioritizing the free flow of capital, open markets, the decline of labor power, and smaller government. Was the Clinton boom built on sand?