*As a development model, it refers to the rejection of structuralist economics in favor of the Washington Consensus.
*As an ideology, it denotes a conception of freedom as an overarching social value associated with reducing state functions to those of a minimal state.
* As a public policy, it involves the privatization of public economic sectors or services, the deregulation of private corporations, sharp increase of government debt and reduction of spending on public works.
There is, however, debate over the meaning of the term. Sociologists Fred L. Block and Margaret R. Somers claim there is a dispute over what to call the influence of free market ideas which have been used to justify the retrenchment of New Deal programs and policies over the last thirty years: neoliberalism, laissez-faire or "free market ideology". Others such as Susan Braedley and Med Luxton assert that neoliberalism is a political philosophy which seeks to "liberate" the processes of capital accumulation. In contrast, Frances Fox Piven sees neoliberalism as essentially hyper-capitalism. However, Robert W. McChesney, while defining it as "capitalism with the gloves off", goes on to assert that the term is largely unknown by the general public, particularly in the United States.:7–8 Lester Spence uses the term to critique trends in Black politics, defining neoliberalism as "the general idea that society works best when the people and the institutions within it work or are shaped to work according to market principles.