Tag Archives: Social Welfare
This week on Facebook: The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (UN) makes reference to social security and the economic, social and cultural rights of ‘the common people’¹. The UN’s writing of economic rights first is to my mind quite deliberate, in that without them any social and cultural rights look set to fall. However, finding a meaningful definition of economic and cultural rights has been difficult and resulted in my resorting to podcasts. While the podcasts have the titles ‘Economic Rights’ and Cultural Rights in the 20th Century, both lead to the question of human rights (4).
The European Union (EU) attaches great importance to the interdependence of all human rights and consider economic, social and cultural rights as part of a social welfare program that may well constrain the development of the EU (5). These issues also constrain the actions of the United Nations (UN) to a degree but are an essential part of any Group of 20 (G20) social welfare programmes, where the ratio of gross domestic product (GDP) to any social welfare programme that a G20 State has affects the forecast of future economic growth.
This week on Facebook: The UK 2010 State of the nation¹ reported on poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the UK that: “Over the past 13 years we have seen more and more money spent on the benefits system in an attempt to move people from below the 60% poverty threshold to above it. Expenditure on child-related benefits alone has almost doubled. Yet despite this expenditure, the figures in this document show that this approach is failing.
Income inequality is at its highest since records began; millions of people are simply parked on benefits with little hope of ever progressing into work; there are 800,000 more working age adults in poverty than in 1998/99; and high levels of family breakdown, educational failure, addiction and health inequality are having a severe impact on outcomes for both adults and children.” [sic] Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: As I posted in Cassandra on debt and as I had previously conclude in my 2013 post Crisis and Credit, the issue of public debt is used as an excuse for a fiscal policy of austerity measures, yet it is private debt that is behind the fiscal crisis. The State (particularly in the UK) does more to encourage private debt than to control it. Conversely the State continues with its fiscal policy of increasing public debt¹, something that I wrote about in Debt, the prolific mother (2012). Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I have remarked in my posts rather a lot on Global Inequality, that while there is a lot of media coverage given over to global inequality there is little indication that it has prompted any mass national desire for global equality. The populations of developed nations may well be aware of just how much they share with the other populations in the developed and developing word (at least in terms of a notional national wealth). My post on Global Inequality asks the question, “Just how equal do we want the world to be?” The answers would suggest that the wrong question is being asked and that — perhaps — those with a large measure of a quality of life should be asked, “What are they prepared to give up?”. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I am repeating myself here, in my 2011 post with the title ‘A Universal Debt!’ I recalled, “That someone looked into world indebtedness and facetiously drew the conclusion that The Earth must be in debt to the rest of The Universe. This was because every country in the world had an external debt load (barring about three). Obviously the earth is not in debt to someone else in the universe — unless you are a conspiracy theorist — but it is true that there is a global indebtedness. What really matters, is not the debt, but the ability to pay off the debt with the interest that the debt accrues and the consequences of any inability to do this.” [sic]
All classes alike thus build their plans, the rich to spend more and save less, the poor to spend more and work less. John Maynard Keynes (1919)
For those of us living in the Western world global debt is something that the majority of its citizens do not take seriously as no end is foreseen to the ever increasing economic growth of the Western world. Today global debt is increased and the global citizenry has increased along with its indifference to deficit finance becoming the norm. Matt’s following cartoon repeats that joke, but as Yanis Varoufakis writes in his book ‘Adults In The Room’, politicians and their financiers are using world debt to ensnare us all in a global plutocracy.
This week on Facebook: In the 10th edition of their Democracy Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently reported the worst performance in global democracy since 2010-11 in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. A special focus of this year’s report is the state of media freedom around the world and the challenges facing freedom of speech. The report aims to give a snapshot of democracy worldwide and includes 165 independent states and two territories which cover almost the entire world population.
Five categories are used to score each country: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Based on around 60 indicators each country is placed into one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”. The Democracy Index regards freedom of expression as essential for democracy to take root and flourish. The quality of democracy in any country may in large measure be gauged by the degree to which freedom of speech prevails. Societies that do not tolerate dissent, heresy and the questioning of conventional wisdom cannot be “full democracies”. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Some weeks a back an acquaintance in the USA sent me a link to What Happens When an MBA Student Raised in Communist China Reads Hayek. While the article presents a very biased view (particularly towards the USA), it does go some way to explain the explosive rise in China’s economic growth. Perhaps it isn’t known how the Hayek doctrine of economics influences Chinese communist party thought but I’m sure that it does, especially the economic views of Xi Jinping. One thing remains certain: The Peoples Republic of China is founded on a Constitution that is vastly different from the of the United States of America, notwithstanding the economic views of Hayek. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I returned to the subject of democracy, my earliest post on this being in 2009 (No to Democracy), continued in 2011 with (Democracy ‚ Do we really have it) and Democracy in 2016. What follows is new material and while I have written a number of articles on democracy, those of 2009, 2011, 2016 and now this one are — to my mind — the essentials. This post’s title ‘Democracy in Crisis‘ is taken from the 2018 updated link in the image below from Freedom House. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: ‘The Inscrutable Chinese¹’ is a western expression that is rarely used these days and amongst those of my generation (who may have understood its true intent), it was more often used to represent someone whom could not possibly be understood by any occidental. So, “Who are the Chinese?” Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: When I first read about The Great Firewall of China I concluded that it was a model that most States would try to find a way of emulating, the rationale being that it was the first step towards securing the political supremacy of a governing oligarchy under the pretext of a democracy. Now China has launched The New Silk Road¹ (OBOR: One Belt One Road) and notionally democratic governments find themselves not only having to consider a trade war with China, but to seriously consider China’s political model as representative of the future. Read more of this post
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