This introductory chapter considers the causes for the sharp increase in inequality, weakened labor and left movements, and the resulting dominance of the corporate agenda following the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Several trends have converged to define this moment. First, neoliberalism dominates the global economy. The neoliberal approach rejects the historical role of the government in overseeing the economy, which had been in place since the New Deal. The second trend is the process of globalization. Markets, finance, and production chains are not national but rather international, with capital and resources originating in different countries and crossing national borders. The third force is financialization. Financial interests increasingly dominate manufacturing and service industries.
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