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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The American Welfare State

I have to write an essay on the American welfare state and an exposé for that essay is due today. So, if anyone of you cares to find out why the American welfare state developed later and differently than most European welfare regimes. Have fun.

3 comments:

Travis said...

Hey Benny,

I liked reading your essay. I definitely improved my economic vocabulary with such words as decommodification, stratification, and meritocratic. I enjoyed the liberal values part of your hypothesis and especially the line "people believe that their system is meritocratic". This belief is so prevalent in this culture whereas the reality is a system that contains its fair share of class privilege, cronyism, and nepotism. Will Smith's movie "The Pursuit of Happiness" tapped into that myth and people in this country ate it up. Will Smith went on Oprah and praised the movies message stating that only in America could a story like this really transpire. I also thought it was an interesting take on why labor unions are so weak in this country. Did you by chance here of the violent labor demonstrations that transpired in San Francisco after the Civil War, which is what Union Square in San Francisco is named after? The beginning of your essay made me think of that fact.

Cheers,
Travis

Travis said...

I liked reading your essay. I definitely improved my economic vocabulary with such words as decommodification, stratification, and meritocratic. I enjoyed the liberal values part of your hypothesis and especially the line "people believe that their system is meritocratic". This belief is so prevalent in this culture whereas the reality is a system that contains its fair share of class privilege, cronyism, and nepotism. Will Smith's movie "The Pursuit of Happiness" tapped into that myth and people in this country ate it up. Will Smith went on Oprah and praised the movies message stating that only in America could a story like this really transpire.
I also enjoyed your hypothosis on why unions are so weak in this country. Very interesting! Do you by chance know about Union Square in San Francisco and the violent demonstrations that took place there post Civil War? We'll be there in a couple weeks!

Sensemania said...

I had not heard about these labor demonstrations, no. Sounds interesting, have to read up on that at some point. I know that they had something similar in Chicago (The Haymarket Riots) in the late 19th/early 20th century, where the police violently supressed workers' protests.