Tag Archives: Social Welfare
This week on Facebook: At one of my monthly pie and a pint meetings with a friend (who is also ex-colleague), experiences in our own families had made us both aware of the difficulty in finding some form of permanent or at least longer term re-employment. This led to the subject of zero hour contracts and my subsequent research into them. For a couple of retired ex-civil servants who remembered the post WWII boom in full employment, the realities confronting those seeking employment in today’s commercial climate were brought home (quite literally) to both of us. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: My five reprises this week reflect the epigram Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The epigram is probably familiar to most of my generation and needs no translation (Google it), but perhaps some of my family may read my reflections so it was a somewhat cynical remark that translates as, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808-1890) wrote this epigram in the January 1849 issue of Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”), the year following the European 1848 Revolutions. A number of broadsheets¹ at the time extolled or attacked the presidential candidates General Cavaignac and (most of them) Louis-Napoleon, both of whom Karr described as Les Guêpes.
This week on Facebook: Is prosperity and wealth the same thing I wonder. My conclusion is that it depends on how you define each word and who that definition applies to. Oxfam¹ thinks that $8-coffee-drinking millennials with student debt are amongst the world’s neediest and they are if you define wealth without taking into account its context. A millennial who indulges in an $8 cup of coffee may not be wealthy but is certainly prosperous.
The World Economic Forum is less attention grabbing in its report² but both reports highlight the potential of persistent long-term trends, such as inequality and deepening social and political polarisation. Trends that exacerbate risks associated with, for example, the weakness of the economic recovery and the speed of technological change. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook I posted some links on the National Health Service (NHS). By the 1980s if society was divided by notions of a welfare state all strata of society were united in giving the NHS the status of a sacred cow. Yet from the moment of its inception in 1948 by the newly elected post World War II Labour Government, the NHS was unaffordable as a free service. Aneurin Bevan who, as the minister of health, was responsible for establishing an NHS that included free diagnosis and treatment for all, resigned from the government in 1951 as a protest against the introduction of prescription charges for dental care and spectacles. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook I admit to having been duped by a charity. In a fanfare of publicity the charity named The Kids Company, a Ms Camila Batmanghelidjh and, as it turned out, my own government — although there’s nothing new in that — squandered money on anything but charity. It never was The Kid’s Company and it was only the exposé of this charity that focused my attention on the work of charities in the UK. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook I posted six abstracts taken from a 1968 paper by T. E. Utley with the title What Laws May Cure. Some Eighteen years later, in 1986, Justice Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court of The United States. Both men held morality central to their tenet and were both pragmatic conservatives, but whereas the former was concerned with politics formulating the law, the latter was concerned with the law dispensing justice. Discovering Justice Scalia’s views on morality and the law seems an apt moment to reintroduce the views of T.E. Utley¹.
Laws may be capable of doing little good, but we have learnt that they are powerful engines of evil, of consequences which their authors never intended or foresaw but which press hardly and deeply into the lives of ordinary people. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure Read more of this post
One of the most important tasks of the wise legislator in the field of morality is to do away with unnecessary restrictions which merely discredit authority. T.E. Utley – What Laws May Cure
In the end, it is not government which supplies the content of morals or even plays the main part in conveying them from one generation to the next. In Western civilisation it is the function of the family. How to strengthen that institution by emphasising instead of persistently diminishing its responsibilities is one of the main questions now facing us. Though it is much too large to be debated here, one aspect of this question must be briefly mentioned. Read more of this post
The one fact which surely does emerge clearly is that legislation about morals, which so often raises passionate controversy, is peculiarly unsuitable for the attentions of either confirmed, professional ‘reactionaries’ or confirmed, undiscriminating ‘progressives’. T.E. Utley – What Laws May Cure
We could, I am convinced, have spared ourselves a good deal of emotion and reached, on various matters, much sounder conclusions had this truth been recognised. Read more of this post
In The debt we’re in (Jan 2011) I referred to a 2009 report by Brooks Newmark MP with the title The Hidden Debt Bombshell. In it Newmark claimed that the true level of government debt was £2,200 billion and not £805 billion as was reported by the Office for National Statistics. It’s interesting that Newmark has not written a similar report in the run-up to this years general election. However I can understand why. Read more of this post
On Thursday 20th November Parliament will debate ‘Money Creation and Society’ (pdf). This is probably the most important economic debate to precede a general election since the Banking Act of 1844 and one which most politicians would like to avoid. While the majority of the public may not know how money is created, the fact that most politicians do not have any understanding of ‘money creation and how we arrived here’ ought to be of great discomfort to them. These politicians being the very people in control of the economy. Read more of this post
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