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Capitalists against MarketsThe Making of Labor Markets and Welfare States in the United States and Sweden$
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Peter A. Swenson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195142976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195142977.001.0001

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Expanding the Solidaristic Welfare State

Expanding the Solidaristic Welfare State

(p.268) 12 Expanding the Solidaristic Welfare State
Capitalists against Markets

Peter A. Swenson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to the social democratic reforms of the 1940s and 1950s, rooted in cross‐class alliances that were ultimately to distinguish Sweden as the world's paragon social democratic welfare state. Looking first at its People's Pension and universal health insurance reforms, it shows how the Social Democratic government assisted organized employers in their efforts against welfare capitalism by relieving pressure on individual firms to use private social benefits to attract and retain labor under the labor scarcity associated with solidarism and strong expansionary macroeconomic pressures. It then looks at Sweden's renowned “active labor market policy” and its controversial pension legislation of 1959 to show how additional social democratic reforms directly served employers’ solidaristic interests in wage restraint, labor mobility, and the rationing of labor made scarce by collectively administered underpricing – all the while preserving capitalist domination of the investment process.

Keywords:   active labor market policy, class power, cross‐class alliances, health insurance, investment, labor mobility, retirement pensions, social democracy, solidarism, Sweden

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