Age, Class, Politics, and the Welfare State (American by Fred C. Pampel, John B. Williamson

By Fred C. Pampel, John B. Williamson

This research of the expansion of welfare spending examines the relative impression of sophistication and standing teams as opposed to demographic composition and political constructions. distinct consciousness is given to the position of the elderly as consultant of the significance of ascription and middle-class teams in welfare development, and to the impact of welfare spending on source of revenue inequality. combination cross-national info from the UN, ILO, and the area financial institution are analyzed and the belief is drawn that an enormous elderly inhabitants, specifically together with democratic political techniques, is a right away and the most important impression at the point of welfare spending.

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1975; Przeworski, 1985:201). Up to this point, the monopoly capitalism theories show some similarities to the functionalist, industrialism theories. Myles (1984) argues that both theories are structural-functionalist, since both see the welfare state as responding to functional imperatives: In one case, the imperatives are technological; in the other case, they relate to the needs of monopoly capitalism. In Stinchcombe's (1968:80) terminology, functional explanations treat the consequences of a social arrangement as the causes of that arrangement.

Like the monopoly capital theory, this theory emphasizes the importance of class; yet, it argues that the welfare state results from the political efforts of a strong working class rather than from monopoly capital. The 24 Age, class, politics, and the welfare state political efforts of workers can lead to the election of leftist parties, which then implement welfare programs that redistribute income to workers and the poor. The social democractic theory predicts class determinants of social welfare spending, reduction of inequality from welfare, and important class-based political influences on both.

Private pensions, if they exist, are seldom adequate, so the state responds to the financial plight of this population by providing public pensions. Again, the state is not an autonomous force in the growth of pensions but responds to substructural changes in the age structure, family, and labor force. In addition to arguments about the aged, other aspects of population structure may be important in the determination of welfare spending, particularly in developing nations. Entwisle and Winegarden (1984) argue that as fertility and Theoretical perspectives on the welfare state 27 family size decline, parents recognize that there will be fewer children to support them in old age.

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