Age, Class, Politics, and the Welfare State (American by Fred C. Pampel, John B. Williamson

By Fred C. Pampel, John B. Williamson

This research of the expansion of welfare spending examines the relative impression of sophistication and standing teams as opposed to demographic composition and political constructions. particular realization is given to the function of the elderly as consultant of the significance of ascription and middle-class teams in welfare progress, and to the impact of welfare spending on source of revenue inequality. combination cross-national facts from the UN, ILO, and the area financial institution are analyzed and the belief is drawn that an enormous elderly inhabitants, particularly together with democratic political approaches, is a right away and an important impact at the point of welfare spending.

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Extra info for Age, Class, Politics, and the Welfare State (American Sociological Association Rose Monographs)

Example text

By emphasizing the automatic response of governments to the needs of the population, industrialism theory only vaguely identifies the causal linkages involved. In addition, industrialism theory fails to predict or account for the financial problems and weakened political support for the welfare state apparent in many advanced industrial nations. Given that the welfare state responds to the needs of industries and groups adversely affected by industrialization, and contributes to economic growth and increased equality, there is little reason to expect the emergence of sustained political opposition to the welfare state in recent years.

Democracy has been defined as a political system that supplies regular constitutional opportunities for changing government officials and allows the largest possible part of the population to influence major decisions by choosing among political contenders (Lipset, 1964:7-8). Equally important, however, is the way activities of the population in a democracy are organized. For some theories, such activity operates through class-based political parties; for other theories, it operates through smaller interest groups and voting blocks.

Chapter 5 examines income inequality, or the share of income going to various groups positioned along the income distribution continuum, with particular focus on the role of welfare spending relative to economic and demographic change. Chapter 6 examines an additional aspect of equality relating to the physical quality of life and health of a nation - infant mortality. Much variation in infant mortality exists across nations - as illustrated by the unexpectedly high rate in the United States - and it provides a useful indicator of equality among highincome, low-inequality nations.

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