By Ive Marx
Social scientists, politicians, and economists have lately been keen on the concept the complicated welfare states of Europe face a “New Social Question.” The middle concept is that the transition from an commercial to a postindustrial atmosphere has introduced with it an entire new set of social hazards, constraints, and trade-offs, which necessitate radical recalibration of social safety platforms. a brand new Social query? analyzes that query extensive, with specific consciousness to the matter of source of revenue safeguard and the problems dealing with Bismarckian welfare states. will probably be worthwhile analyzing for a person attracted to figuring out the way forward for eu social policy.About the AuthorIve Marx is learn fellow on the Centre for Social coverage on the college of Antwerp, Belgium. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]
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Additional info for A New Social Question?: On Minimum Income Protection in the Postindustrial Era
Belgium makes for a good case because it carries many of the hallmarks of what Esping-Andersen has called the conservative welfare state model, in which the Christian democratic ‘subsidiarity principle’ has institutionalised familialism in the sense of supporting the male breadwinner/female career model. It is fair to say that in Belgium the labour market and welfare state are heavily geared towards male breadwinner: minimum wages are among the highest in the advanced world, job security protection is elaborate, derived social security rights are extensive, the tax system supports the sole breadwinner model, etc.
However, economic conditions did improve after the mid-1980s. More importantly, the deteriorating state of public finances increasingly necessitated volume containment. But successive governments encountered great difficulties in getting rising dependency levels under control, even as economic conditions improved and labour demand rebounded. Powerful coalitions of interested parties had formed around many of the benefit schemes implemented to alleviate the social consequences of mass layoffs. Early retirement and invalidity benefits were after all a cheap and easy way for companies to make people redundant.
The period 19761985 in particular appears to have been one of a substantial levelling of incomes, as the high-skilled saw their net earned incomes decline. This was partly due to high inflation during this period, but also to an increase in the fiscal burden. The data also suggest that the high-skilled made up ground after 1985, so that the degree of inequality is now comparable to that of 1976. In other words, the most recent trend appears to be towards more inequality, after all, albeit at a modest pace.