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Is the Welfare State A Model For Transition?

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  • Leube Kurt R.

    (Stanford University & International Center for Economic)

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    Abstract

    Despite the fact that today only very few still regard the old socialist ideas with nationalization ofenterprises and central planning as a way to promote more efficient production, greater equality, or a more “just” distribution of income some of its conceptions nevertheless seem to have penetrated into the minds of a majority of socialist scientists. There still is this deeply rooted constructivist belief that every social and economic problem can be solved by “social engineering”, “social planning”, or by just throwing government money at it. Although not openly advocating economic planning, it is widely believed that “social legislation” or “social politics” sold in a more subtle way can be used to achieve an already predetermined end: “social justice”. Most of these attempts, however seem to be little more than a repetition of the old planning idea dressed in emotionally more appealing clothes.Bien que peu nombreux soient ceux qui considèrent encore aujourd’hui les anciennes idées socialistes de nationalisation des entreprises et de planification centrale comme la voie menant à une production plus efficace, à plus d’égalité et à une distribution plus “juste” des revenus, certaines de ces conceptions semblent cependant s’être ancrées dans l’esprit de la majorité des scientifiques socialistes. Le sentiment constructiviste suivant lequel tout problème social ou économique peut être résolu à travers l’“ingénierie social”, la “ planification centrale” ou des dépenses supplémentaires de l’Etat demeure profondément enraciné. Même si leur obédience aux idées centralisatrices n’est pas ouvertement évoquée, la croyance est largement partagée qu’une “législation sociale” ou des “politiques sociales” mises en avant de manière plus subtile peuvent être employées pour atteindre un objectif déterminé à l’avance : la “justice sociale”. Cependant, la plupart de ces politiques ne semblent être rien d’autre que la réitération de l’ancienne illusion de planification centrale simplement revêtue d’une dimension émotionnelle plus attrayante.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 1-13

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:1:n:6

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    Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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