The Welfare State

The official start of what’s now known as “the welfare state” started in 1945, but as a bit of background, I’m going to go about 40 years further back than that. At the 1906 General election, the Liberal party were suffering a bit of a split. This was the first case of there being modern liberalism and classic liberalism.  The Liberal leader, Henry Cambell-Bannerman, was a firm believer in free-trade, but also, apparently believed in improving social conditions. So after wining the general election, they slowly moved away from their strictly free-market capitalist stances, But not by much. This wasn’t […]

Continue reading

The Stagnation of Living Standards and Technical Decline

According to the latest government figures, real pay levels in Britain have not risen in 12 years, and are now lower than they were in 2007. Money wages have risen, but the rise in money wages has been totally absorbed in rising prices (Fig. 1↓). This is the worst and most prolonged fall in peacetime living standards since records began. At one level this is a terrible indictment of the Conservative and Liberal governments since 2010, but the decline in earnings started in 2007 under the Labour government so the causes go deeper than just which government is in power. […]

Continue reading