Professor Campbell said he agreed with commentators such as the academic Michael Pusey who have argued that the rise of neo-liberalism has contributed to undermining confidence in public institutions.
The middle classes now felt a need to insure themselves against failing government health and education systems.
From a SMH article on the My School website.
Within academia – with occasional spillovers into the Lodge – ‘neoliberalism’ has become an all-purpose trend explainer, some generally accepted broad change that is used to explain other changes. The evidence for all-purpose trend explainers is rarely better than circumstantial. Whenever I see an all-purpose trend explainer I turn my bull**** detector up several notches.
In this case, which is more likely: that people make greater use of private services because they have been influenced by an academic philosophy most people had never heard of until Kevin Rudd’s Monthly essay controversy, or that they make greater use of private services because government services are less appropriate or of lower quality than affluent people want? It takes ideological blindness to think that the former possibility is more likely than the latter.