The Paradox of the Welfare State
THE SOURCE: “What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy?” by Tony Judt, in The New York Review of Books, Dec. 17, 2009.
Americans may complain
about health care, schools, and crime, but they seem to have “difficulty even
imagining a different sort of society,” contends historian Tony Judt. Their thinking is biased by what Judt calls “economism”—“the invocation of economics in all discussions of public affairs.” He calls for a “moral critique of the inadequacies of the unrestricted market.”
The “propensity to avoid moral considerations” in our public discourse is “an acquired taste,” Judt writes, and one...