Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ending Welfare vs. a Participatory Society

The celebration of Clinton's worst action - the ending of guaranteed state assistance for those in need - in the US press is sickening. It shows the absolute narrowness of US political opinion. From Left to Right in the US, would fit into the "extreme right" of most Western European political spectra.

Apart from the fact that single men were never well-served by the Nixon-initiated system, the US system was always stigmatizing.

Here is another view. Modern Capitalism is both individuating and destructive of family units. Some people will as part of the system always end up without support, without access to jobs, and with children. This is how the system works. Stigmatizing such people is part of the terror needed to make the system work.

The European model, which is better (and yes, I do want to go back to civilization), is that everybody should have a right to participate in society. When macroeconomic policies create unemployment, then the state has a duty to provide such people with incomes sufficient not just to survive, but to participate in society.

This is what makes me a democratic socialist.

What pisses me off the most though is the hypocrisy of the American right. For them, male worker's wives should, for the good of the children, stay at home to raise the kids.

But single mothers should put children into low-level day care with minimum wage caregivers.


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