Thursday, March 14, 2019

766: Social Changes....

The Second World War was of course a dramatic time in history and we are inclined to think of death and destruction there.
However also there emerged positive things from this moment in history. One important issue was the introduction of social thinking in politics,
the consideration that the state also should have a social responsibility for the welfare of its citizens, not only its safety. 
In a previous lecture (764) I introduced William Temple and his 'christian social principles' and the suggestion, that this might be motivated by the fear of communism.
Before 1850 or so the state never saw the necessity to bother about the social welfare of the individual citizen. 
The result was a huge gap between poor and rich, massive unemployment and poverty. In the 1880s Bismarck in Germany initiated social actions of the state to support its citizens socially.
It was the beginning. The war stimulated this proces. John Maynard Keynes (1883 -1946), a British economist played an important role in this.
He immediately realized that the problem was not really about money but about resources: 
wars are won or lost through the possibility of quickly converting resources into ships, cannons, bullets and so on. 
Keynes also saw that the difference between a peacetime economy and a war economy was, that the peacetime workers spend extra income on the products they make themselves. 
In the war, extra money, apart from what the workers need to live on, goes to the government. Their money, through taxes was needed to pay for the war effort.
His second insight was that war offers the opportunity to stimulate social change, that the "equality of effort" 
which is necessary in a national emergency can be channeled into financial measures that not only reflect that equality of effort, but also stimulate greater equality after the war.
In other words, we are all in it and work shoulder to shoulder, so we also should be paid equally for the same efforts in this dangerous times.
Such ideas, once introduced in a society, can not easily be denied after the situation of  emergency is over.
A same development was seen in the US. First were measurements to introduce a greater social justice after the war.
The National Resources Planning Board formulated nine principles, which showed similarity with William Temple's six social christian principles. (see lecture 764).
In a still existing magazine, "New Republic", founded in 1914, you encountered statements like: 
"It is better to realize immediately that the old ideal of "Laissez faire" is no longer feasible ... 
A certain kind of planning and management will increasingly be needed."
This is what we inherited from the 20th century: the debate about the small / large government, but apart from this debate
at least one thing we have accepted: a high level of employment is a national priority and no longer an issue of "Laissez faire, laissez aller".
Thank you for your attention again....

The Discussion
[13:20] herman Bergson: The floor is yours...:-)
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:20] herman Bergson: It might look like a small thing,
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no i think it's a huge change
[13:21] herman Bergson: but the responsibility of the administration to keep unemployment as low as possible is very important
[13:22] herman Bergson: You can hear Trump bragging about how many jobs he  has created for is a political issue
[13:22] Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): I would say it may not be a matter of the war as much as the fact that people after the war no longer had the option to survive off subsistence farming. I.e. unemployment with no social safety net meant people died
[13:23] CB Axel: Low unemployment numbers are important, but only if the kind of jobs people have pay enough for workers to live on.
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true CB
[13:23] herman Bergson: Minimum wage is issue number two
[13:23] CB Axel: What is the real unemployment number if many people are working 2 or 3 jobs?
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes that is too low
[13:24] CB Axel: There's a saying here in the US that a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning that when the economy is good all will benefit.
[13:25] herman Bergson: But the fact that people died, Sousi, hasn't been a concern of the administration for centuries
[13:25] CB Axel: But anyone who owns a boat in tidal waters knows that when a higher than usual tide is coming the lines on the boat need to be loosened.
[13:25] herman Bergson: That, CB, has been proven not to be the case
[13:26] CB Axel: If the boat is tied too tightly to the dock by low wages, high health care costs, high education costs, high child care costs...
[13:26] herman Bergson: The profits of companies have increased in the past ten years....the wages haven't
[13:26] herman Bergson: at least not in the Netherlands
[13:26] CB Axel: that boat won't rise. It will be pulled under.
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true
[13:27] CB Axel: Our economy might be good, but we're all being swamped.
[13:27] Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): They DIDN'T die, Herman. If they had no work, they could go to the family farm, usually. After the war, this was typically rarely possible. It's the difference between an agrarian and industrial economy
[13:27] herman Bergson: But the stock holders and multinationals are not. CB
[13:28] CB Axel: Yes. Because they're not tied down.
[13:29] CB Axel: Our taxes aren't going to help the people who are paying them. They're going to prop up failing banks and other businesses and to the defense department.
[13:29] CB Axel: BTW, the defense department needs to go back to being called the war department.
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and to Trumps wall :(
[13:29] herman Bergson: Why is that so CB?
[13:30] CB Axel: We haven't fought a defensive war since WW II, if you could call that one a defensive war for the US.
[13:30] CB Axel: Let's just call it what it is: War Department.
[13:30] herman Bergson: I see :-)
[13:30] herman Bergson: But they will say....the wars we fought were to defend American interests
[13:31] CB Axel: Or the Big Industrial Killing Machine.
[13:31] herman Bergson: which were threatened
[13:31] CB Axel: There has to be a better way to do that.
[13:32] CB Axel: And what interest? Oil? We have oil.
[13:32] Sousi (sousinne.ceriano) sighs.
[13:32] CB Axel: I'd rather, if we have to, help out countries that sell us goods we don't have here.
[13:32] herman Bergson: To prevent a dictator to use mass destruction weapons for instance
[13:32] Sousi (sousinne.ceriano): I wish you a pleasant evening.
[13:32] herman Bergson: which could threaten the US
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Sousi
[13:33] CB Axel: Oh, like George W. Bush? He attacked a country that did nothing to us.
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes..there are a lot of questionable issues here
[13:34] CB Axel: And yet we do nothing to Saudi Arabia. Some of the 9/11 terrorists came from there.
[13:35] herman Bergson: that Kushner fellow is negotiating big deals with the Saudis
[13:35] CB Axel: Did I offend Sousi?
[13:35] herman Bergson: I have no idea....
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): don't know
[13:35] herman Bergson: If people don't speak their mind and just be it
[13:36] CB Axel nods
[13:36] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): but the time after the war brought us also good things
[13:36] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): we got the opportunity to study
[13:36] herman Bergson: that is what I said today
[13:36] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): even girls
[13:36] CB Axel: Very true.
[13:37] Lai Fallen (laila.streeter) is offline.
[13:37] CB Axel: And women entered the workforce in greater numbers than before the war.
[13:37] herman Bergson: Next time I'll address racism  in the US
[13:37] herman Bergson: The war brought some changes there too
[13:37] CB Axel nods
[13:37] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): yes
[13:38] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): the introducing of tv was a big change
[13:38] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): the world opened for us
[13:38] CB Axel: Good point.
[13:38] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): (sometime I make a good point)
[13:39] herman Bergson: It did indeed, but it was not a consequence of the war
[13:39] CB Axel: But it also brought us cheap entertainment to distract us from reality.
[13:39] herman Bergson: these social and political changes were
[13:39] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): we got a look in other countries
[13:39] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): we never saw before
[13:39] herman Bergson: Even so much that an entertainment show host has become a presidfent :-)
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hmm
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the one with the biggest mouth wins
[13:41] CB Axel: I have never found him to be entertaining.
[13:41] CB Axel: I agree, Beertje.
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): entertaining has not to be pleasant
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes it's shocking
[13:42] herman Bergson: Since we are off topic now, I guess we'd better move on  :-)
[13:42] CB Axel: :-)
[13:42] herman Bergson: Time to dismiss class.....
[13:43] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:43] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): thank you Herman
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank You herman
[13:43] herman Bergson: Thank you all again :-)
[13:43] CB Axel: See you all Thursday.
[13:43] CB Axel: Bye bye
[13:43] herman (hermanfox): Thank you

[13:43] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): lol herman

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