”Entitlement”programs is a loaded term:Social Democratic Minimum is a Better More Accurate One

During the fiscal cliff negotiations in the U.S. one hears the term ”entitlement” programs frequently. This is of course an ideologically loaded term that by its very nature seeks to suggest that basic social democratic minimum programs like health care, social security and other civilized social programs that seek to moderate the harsh impact of unfettered capitalism and the excessive inequalities it can deliver are somehow greedy, selfish and unaffordable and privileged. The American political scientist Ira Katznelson some years ago named these programs social democratic minimum programs and explained that every western society had variants of these programs in place. The size of these programs , the extent of their coverage and the level of benefits they disbursed were a function of the state of play of political forces in a society at any given point. Much like a piston in a chamber they moved up or done depending on the play of forces. If progressives were in power or ascendent then the piston rises. If conservatives are in charge or ascendent the piston is forced downwards. So in any further debate of these programs lets describe them as they truly are” social democratic minimum “programs and drop the loaded term entitlements.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
This entry was posted in classical economics, community, free trade and globalization, Keynesian welfare state, U.S., Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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