: The main problems and prospects in welfare I think are:
: 1) Structural change has led the permanent exclusion of a section of the population from employment, this is going to have a bad effect since employment isnt just a source of income but a source of social networks, social and community level integration.
SDF: Aren't the French trying to deal with this by reducing the length of the standard work-week so that more people could be given salaries and wages? Wasn't this something that Jeremy Rifkin was advocating as a way of dealing with job-automation, w/ his book THE END OF WORK, speaking tours etc.? What's that all about, anyway?
: 2) The real, that is pragmatic social policy I'm not engaging in one dimensional thought here, choice is High expenditure on the creation Mass Employment and low social expenditure or Low expenditure on Mass Unemployment and high social expenditure. I know which one I'd prefer considering the physiological and psychological consequences of permanent/intergeneration unemployment for the individual and society, however at present the might of transglobal companies/the privately owned command economy makes the later the only possible option or at least the only option weaklings like Blair and Clinton will consider.
SDF: Aren't economies along those lines made possible in any way by the position of the US and of the UK as beneficiaries of corporate imperialism, that access to cheap products made in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Mexico, the Phillipines etc. make it possible for the US and the UK to consider the above as so many ways of dealing with prosperity?
: 3)What is required then is community based organisation so the work can be organised by and for the unemployed so that they do not suffer the stigma of unemployment and the consequences of permanent exclusion from the conventional source of social interation, skills acquirement etc. Social Partnership is probubly not sufficiently radical(when wages where determined in the Republic of Ireland on a Partnership basis, that is, the capitalists would pay thier taxs if the workers would accept wages determined for them not by them, the capitalists all conspired to construct illegal ofshore accounts with the assistance of senior politicians, so much for an end to class struggle) to fulfil this vision but there's always a possibility.
SDF: Aren't you talking about the idea of "conscientization" as espoused by Paulo Freire?