Backlash and the public sector : does the welfare state have a future?
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The Welfare State, once seen as an important mechanism for alleviating poverty and for redistributing resources is going into low gear. It has come under fire from critics on both the left and the right. Those on the left argue that it has failed to live up to its redistributive expectations (which, they claim, were unrealistic within the context of liberal democracy) while those on the right claim that it is wasteful, inefficient, and morally repugnant. Arguments about the present and future performance of the Welfare State are arguments about claims made on the system, and the legitimacy of those claims. This paper examines these themes,and studies notions of backlash and overload from three perspectives.
Prepared for delivery at the 1979 Annual Meeting of The American Political Science Association, The Washington Hilton Hotel, August 31-September 3, 1979. Copyright by The American Political Science Association, 1979. Delivered by Adam Graycar, School of Social Sciences, Flinders University.