Download e-book for kindle: After Social Democracy: Politics, Capitalism and the Common by John Gray

By John Gray

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Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess Welfare, local justice and complex fairness These counterproductive results are not accidental. They arise from the libertarian political morality of neoliberals, in which any state expenditure other than that on narrowly public goods is inherently suspect. Welfare expenditures are particularly suspect because of their allegedly perverse distributional effects, when benefits are extended to those who are not yet poor. The benefits of well-conceived universal schemes in promoting social integration and preventing poverty are not perceived, even when (as with the NHS) such universal schemes are far more cost-effective and less wasteful than targeted schemes in other countries.

This is itself an illicit generalisation from one historic variety of market economy, roughly that of England during the last few centuries, and of countries to which English market institutions were successfully exported. It fails to recognise that flourishing market institutions might be accompanied by, or even depend upon, non-individualist forms of social and moral life. It was unable to anticipate that freeing markets would fracture communities, deplete ethos and trust within institutions, and finally mute or thwart the economic renewal which free markets were supposed to generate.

I am well aware that on available evidence the extent of the growth of job insecurity remains somewhat controversial. See on this Income data services focus, Quarterly 74, March 1995,‘The jobs mythology’. What is less controversial is the expectation that job security will decline in future, and with it our inherited culture of work which presupposes job-holding as its central institution. 18. An example of such a place in Britain may be Swindon, which is currently the subject of a research project being conducted by Matthew D’Ancona.

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