Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) : an alternative to Neoliberal Economy

Speech delivered at the 40th Anniversary and symposium on Solidarity Economy of the Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC) in Tokyo, Japan

Benjamin, JR Quinones, April 2014

Neoliberal economic policies have wrought havoc on developing and less developed economies. They have brought about loss of export incomes and jobs, reduced revenues and capacities of states to deliver social services; reduced social services (healthcare, education, eldercare); increased income inequality; loss of worker protection (informalization of labor, lower wages and benefits, lower rates of unionization); environmental degradation; and increased frustration and insecurity ( Garrett-Peltier & Sharber, 2008).

The case of the Argentina demonstrates how neoliberal policies have vastly devastated a nation’s economy. This scenario of economic devastation is replicated in other developing countries of Latin America as well as in Asia (Quiñones, 2013b). In the Philippines neoliberal policies have brought about widespread poverty incidence (around 70% of the population in 2012 or some 66 million Filipinos, are living off less than P104, roughly US$2 per person per day),high unemployment rate, averaging 11% and the underemployment rate 20% over the period 1997-2012, and high prices of privatized education, health and housing (Ibon News, December 2013).

Pervasiveness of poverty mentality, growing social tensions unrest, increasing economic and social insecurity, and a general pessimism about the prospects of development are the “social costs” of neoliberal policies (Beneria, 2003).

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