Monday, January 16, 2012

The Grouch Reads

The Grouch Reads

Last night I was reading a book by an economist about neo-liberalism. In the chapter on inequality, there was a discussion of how the USA and UK differ from the countries of Europe. At the time the book was written, the most recent data would be for the ten years up to (as I recall--I will add details later) 2000. At that point the poverty in the USA was, e.g., double that in Belgium, and the author attributed that fact to the relative action/inaction of governments.

But, why is there this difference? citizens of the USA are reluctant to have their governments actively work to avoid poverty because of the racism still present in the country. (Recall the outrageous stereotypes of "welfare mothers" and such.)

A similar claim has been made by the sociologist Loic Wacquant--roughly that the dismantling of welfare was an attempt to roll back the progress made by African-Americans in the sixties.

Andrew Glyn, Capitalism Unleashed; Finance, Globalization, and Welfare, Oxford UP 2006 (paperback 2007)

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