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Liberalism and the Welfare StateEconomists and Arguments for the Welfare State$
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Roger E. Backhouse, Bradley W. Bateman, Tamotsu Nishizawa, and Dieter Plehwe

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190676681.001.0001

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Liberal Economists and the British Welfare State

Liberal Economists and the British Welfare State

From Beveridge to the New Right

(p.39) 2 Liberal Economists and the British Welfare State
Liberalism and the Welfare State

George Peden

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores changing liberal attitudes to the welfare state. Hayek shared much common ground with Beveridge and Keynes in the 1940s, but saw postwar expansion of welfare services combined with inflationary full-employment policy as a threat to individual liberty. Other liberal economists thought Hayek exaggerated the threat, but were nevertheless critical of state monopoly in welfare provision and were keen to maintain the independence and individual responsibility of citizens. From the 1960s neoliberal ideas that had originally been conceived within the Liberal Party became associated with Conservatism and the New Right. The New Right had a considerable impact on housing policy and set an agenda for free-market alternatives in the provision of health and education services.

Keywords:   Beveridge, Hayek, Keynes, inflation, liberal, neoliberal, New Right, unemployment, welfare state

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