The Welfare State Today

1778 Words8 Pages
1. Discuss (a) the economic crisis of the mid -1970s, (b) the main goals of the shift from a pro to an anti-welfare state approach (b) Identify and comment on the main tactics. The economic crisis of the mid – 1970s covered several main eras in time which impacted changes in the welfare state. The first economic crisis resulted in the rise of U.S. welfare state. The crisis began with the Great Depression, as argued by Abramovitz (2004) it was the collapse of the American economy in the 1930s that led to the rise of the welfare state. This change in the welfare state meant a stronger response from the government was needed. The economy counted on the government to offer a New Deal that would restore profits by fostering economic growth. The New Deal focused on programs that would provide relief for the poor, such as AFDC or Food Stamps and Social Security for the unemployed, retired or disabled. The New Deal also focused on the recovery of the economy to normal levels and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression (Chen 2013). The New Deal did not end the depression, but it did help get people back on their feet. The economy was also helped by restoring profitability, which was a function of the welfare state. According to Abramovitz (2004), the welfare state grew in response to population growth, increased need for assistance, and the victories of the increasingly militant trade union, civil rights, women’s liberation and other movements. The new welfare state helped to save capitalism from itself by carrying out a complex set of social economic and political functions that mediated poverty, enhanced profits, and muted social unrest. The second crisis resulted in the fall of the welfare state. According to Abramovitz, from 1975 to the present, the shifts in the global economy set off a second major crisis of profitability. The
Open Document