Quote: "A national discussion concerning the nature of the philosophy which informs social welfare provision in Britain is well past time, I mean to begin to address this "lack of provision" with this thread, please feel free to post your own comments.
I will begin by asking you to consider one notion with regard to the issue, that of Duress...
...In Judaism Sheol is the pit in which the dead gather prior to judgement, it is also where those on welfare benefits in this country have been condemned to by the press, politicians and the spiritual institutions because it follows that in a "free market" (so-called "laissez faire") economy those that must be provided for have failed!
Now in our "Post-Friedmanion/Crass-Keynesian" state we are preparing to employ 19th/20th century Whig and Tory notions of social justice to the welfare provision for the very communities that suffered most under Monetarism, if the result of this is not social chaos and civil unrest I will (frankly) be more than somewhat shocked!*
The basic problem of social welfare provision is that it is more often than not merely public philanthropy**. This was of-couse realised (at-first) with the notion of public health-care and education being "free at point of use", however to carry that principle over into the welfare debate has always required a "leap-of-faith" few have been prepared to make (not that "we" support it now anyway re:student loans etc.).***
*See edit 17/01/11 (below).
**Which like "Public Happiness" does not appear in the American consitution anymore than it actually exists anywhere ("public-philanthropy" like "unsustainable-economy" being an oxymoron).
***I find it genuinely unsettling to ponder the link between The British Labour Party and The Trade Unions (the politicisation of which ruined the path of social reform in Britain in the latter half of the twentieth century), however (and considering my "liberal fence sitting" carefully) the monetary link between capitalist enterprise and The British Conservative Party was just as damaging.
I have found that those on state disablement benefits almost universally express a wish to contribute (in some meaningful way) to the society they live in. This has also been my experience of those receiving "Job Seekers' Allowance". It would appear to be only the traumatised that must rely on others fully until the "crisis" has passed.
What does this say about our approach to social welfare provision? It means that we must not seperate the notions of public health and public welfare, they are one and the same.
It is a Monetarist myth that "expansion = health", a market may choose* simply to improve it's own efficiency (and avoid the possiblity of a cancerous "Crass-Keynesian" demise)." From
"For Welfare to Work?", go to http://medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3067