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IC333_StudyGuide - IC 333 Study Guide Question 4 According...

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IC 333: Study Guide Question 4: According Pontusso, what are the essential differences between "social Europe" and "liberal America"? What are the pros and cons of each and which offers the best economic performance? In this regard, specify the view of Norberg, Friedman, Hall and Soskie, David Clark et al., Hassel and Williamson, Ehrenreich, Weir and T.C. Boyle. Interpret or extrapolate the views of each author on the social Europe/liberal America debate. Group the authors according to viewpoints and add your own critique. Frame the essay with your own analytical perspective. Outline: I. Pontusso, Social Europe vs. Liberal America – “The theme of equality and efficiency, whether and how they might be reconcile, lies at the core of democratic politics in capitalist societies, always lurking behind the narrower issues that we contest in elections and legislative battles. While capitalism generates inequality, democracy is s source of egalitarian pressure.” (the distribution of power is more equal than the distribution of wealth) a. Mission of the Book: To explore the relationship between: i. Equality, redistribution, and social protection on the one hand ii. Economic efficiency, growth, employment on the other b. Previously: i. Capitalist countries experiencing sluggish growth across the board ii. Income disparities increasing iii. US: Low-Income households suffered continual decline of real income from 70’s through 90’s iv. Europe: A great effort to compensate and protect many Low- Income households in some countries through labor market institutions and institutions of welfare state but at cost to employment growth v. The European Movement to embrace American-style Capitalism (figure-headed by Margaret Thatcher) ended in the 90’s vi. The American Movement to embrace a foreign model (like the German or Japanese model) collapsed when both those countries began to face political and economic difficulties in the 90s. c. Present: i. Even in very egalitarian capitalist societies, the rich receive a greater portion of new wealth. There is a larger gap between the income levels of the highest bracket and those of the middle bracket than there is between the middle and lower brackets. ii. In these cases the median household income is less than the mean. iii. The Majority of the Population – therefore – stands to gain from progressive taxation and from “redistributive spending” iv. BUT: all citizens who are motivated by material concerns fear progressive taxation and prefer a rich society over a poor society (a
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society with a number of wealthy people over one of no or less wealthy people) d. Democracy & Egalitarianism: i. Studies show that collective bargaining makes for a more egalitarian distribution of wages than when those wages are bargained for individually ii. According to Pontusso: while Unions are “not necessarily paragons of democratic virtue” they are democratic (issues usually decided by vote) and they are interested in equal gains. However, he says,
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