As we’ve learned, globalization and neoliberalism involve the centering of power within the market/to the elites and disenfranchising the working classes.  This is done through things like:
privatization/for-profit provision of health and mental health care,
lack of labour/worker protections,
continued growth of the (also privatized/for-profit) prison system and the criminalization of black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC),
militarization of the police force,
constructing the narrative that poverty is an individual problem, and
as Hasan Minhaj points out, globalization of NRA lobbying is directly fueling the migrant crisis which impacts anyone working with immigrants and refugees.
For this week’s discussion I want you to think about the organization where you’re doing your internship, your place of work, or just the area of social work practice you want to work in when you graduate.  How is this organization/institution impacted by globalization or neoliberalism?  You can talk about one of the aspects above, or something else not covered in this class, for your 100-word Discussion Post due by 11:59pm Thursday March 3rd.  By 11:59pm Sunday March 6th, respond to TWO of your classmates on how the dominant narrative can be challenged and deconstructed to decenter these power structures.  How can we reassess what’s accepted as “common sense” and change the narrative used by social services/institutions to reflect the voices of the powerless?
Response 1:
At my current agency, I work with socio-economic disadvantaged families, and for future work I am hoping to work in child welfare on a policy planning/oversight type area which will also help the same population I am working with currently. (I do not know the correct name for that yet). From my understanding and experience, neoliberalism is non-existent in my area, and where it is existent is is not helpful for the populations my organization services. If there is a reduction in government spending budgets at any capacity, it usually limits a service, necessity, or resource that greatly impacts their lives. For my organization, it would limit the services we can provide to our clients. It is also to my understanding that globalization basically prioritizes the worth and status of certain people over others. The government is still very much so in control of most financial affairs and dominate where funding goes to. I personally work with the BIPOC community, and I see it every day. It feels more so as a free for all regarding these topics. They can control government funding when it comes to mental health services, welfare, or any service that is reliant on funding. If I have a client who gets their Medicaid and food stamps taken away because they are critically examining every case with benefits and the worker finds, they didn’t turn in a document. Their mental health services get affected, they do not have assistance for food, while already struggling to get by. Usually such cases like I mentioned, are because the family did not have the means of meeting their requirements. Many of my clients want to work but are rejected often, and lack transportation, support, or childcare. If you are a family that lacks support, family and needs childcare, you’re likely to not receive help with that due to government control of funding. Also, those who receive medicaid are limited to who they can receive services through and rely on community mental health agencies where the workers are over-worked, burnt out, and lack organization to keep up with high caseloads. So the clients do not receive the most beneficial services.
These may seem as simple examples, or a far reaching implications, but these impact our communities as a whole, and keeps our communities in a low position with minimal hope for a better outlook.
response 2:
I currently work as a server at a chain restaurant, it is a franchise. I chose to talk about my place of work because I actually see neoliberalism a lot, not only at my work but also in other franchises. Everywhere you go you’re guaranteed to be able to find the restaurant I work at same with Chili’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. These big businesses do not always favor their workers, and a lot of times their goal is to make money while ignoring problems within each individual restaurant, and ignoring the care their workers deserve. I have worked at plenty of restaurants and as a server, we do not even make minimum wage, which is normally okay because you receive tips, but more and more I’m noticing people are not tipping. This is a huge problem, because how are we expected to pay our bills, it’s astonishing that huge corporations like this can’t guarantee at least minimum wage. On top of this, we work long shifts and are never entitled to breaks. I’ve worked 9-hour shifts before and they expect us to not need a break, to eat, sit down, etc. It’s truly insane how much they really only care about the business they get and not the workers.