Neoliberalism It is the current form of the classic economic liberalism laid out in Adam Smith’s famous capitalist manifesto, The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776 soon after the Industrial Revolution. He advocated laissez-faire (hands off) economics as the basis of capitalism. Smith’s liberalism is today’s capitalist conservatism. Neoliberalism entails open (tariff and barrier free) international trade and investment. Profits are sought through lowering costs by improving productivity, laying off workers, or seeking workers who accept lower wages. Accompanying the belief in free markets and the idea of cutting costs is a tendency to impose stern measures that cut government spending. This means reduced public spending on education, health care, and other social sciences. Neoliberalism has been spreading globally, especially since the fall of communism. These policies have been imposed by powerful financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank and are being implemented in developing nations (especially post-socialist societies).