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Social policy is primarily determined by the needs of the economy. Discuss - Essay Example

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Social policy is primarily determined by the needs of the economy. Discuss

ile public services have remained at the centre of New Labour governments of recent past, many market oriented changes have also simultaneously taken place. So, the original British welfare state, which was a considerable achievement on part of organized labour and citizenry against the forces of capitalism, is now becoming subservient to the market state. The consequence is that the health and welfare of workforce are brokered in “a new social contract that binds the ‘responsibilised’ individual to the exercise of choice in a supermarket of opportunity”. (Rustin, 2008,p.42) Even as the relative share of human services such as health, education, social care, etc appeared to have grown in the post-industrial economy,
“there was a further reason why it became unacceptable to tolerate the earlier duality of values, between the collectivism of welfare, and the individualism of the business sector. Capitalism could only thrive, it was held, if it could fully penetrate every sphere of the national life. And only if capitalism thrived could Britain compete as a nation, and governments meet their responsibility to advance peoples living standards.” (Rustin, 2008,p.42)
Hence, the needs of the economy had clearly begun to play a dictatorial role in ascertaining social policy. Bob Jessop has articulated the Fordist and post-Fordist stages of post-war capitalism as respectively “the Keynesian Welfare National State and the Schumpeterian Workfare Post-national Regime, the former giving its ostensible priority to redistribution and welfare, the latter to enterprise and competitiveness.” It then follows that under the latter system, social policy and collectivised consumption become more strongly subordinated to what are considered to be the needs of the economy. (Rustin, 2008,p.42) Even the pre-eminent economist Adam Smith had spoken about the trade-offs between social policy and economic growth. Under the recent stewardship of Gordon Brown and the New ...Show more


This is not in the true spirit of social democratic principles espoused in the legislatures, but has nonetheless become inevitable under the heavy influence of private capital (both…
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