Though neoliberalism has lost its legitimacy, its program is not dead. It now operates like something that's dead and yet still moving, still acting, still doing terrible things. Remapping the Debate:
Looking at the size of the federal workforce without taking population size into account is very misleading. Yes, 110 workers are more than 100, but if those 110 workers are serving 5,000 citizens instead of 1,000 citizens, the effective size of government employment has declined. Putting employment numbers in context is particularly important because of the common assumption that the federal workforce is much larger than it was a few decades ago. In fact, the contextualized picture shows that executive branch civilian employment is substantially down as compared with its peak in 1978. This data viz updates one we originally published in 2011.
David Harvey marks the coup against Allende's government in Chile in 1973 as the birth of neoliberalism, as the point at which its policies are properly implemented. 1978, the peak of governmental employment in the US, is a year or two before neoliberalism takes power in the UK and the US. Since that time, anything to do with social welfare has been steadily gutted from the state. Even after the crash of 2008, the attack on the social has not stopped. Obama has merely restored Keynesianism sans its social democratic promises. This is where things stand today.