Titel: The Property-Owning Democracy vesus the Welfare State
Autor: Albert Weale
Abstract: The political theory of the property-owning democracy can be seen as a way of overcoming the ideological conflict between individualism and collectivism. Rawls offers the contemporary reference-point for this theory. Rawls contrasted the ideal-type of the property-owning democracy with the ideal-type of a capitalist welfare state. However, the terms of that contrast are not well drawn and raise a number of questions, in particular regarding Rawls’s a priori specification of the welfare state. An inductively derived specification of ideal-typical welfare states suggests that horizontal redistribution, in line with the principle of social savings, is more important than vertical redistribution. Rawls’s preference for a social dividend or negative income tax scheme can be contrasted with the use of social insurance, but the latter has a claim to instantiate Rawlsian ideals better than a social dividend. There is a potential problem with the pre-emption of private savings in the welfare state, but this turns out not to be troublesome empirically or conceptually. The irony of the discussion is that those who have interpreted Rawlsian theory as justifying the welfare state have the better of the argument, despite Rawls’s own views.
2013 (35) Heft 1
Guest-Editors: Francis Cheneval / Christoph Laszlo
In recent years, ’property-owning democracy’ (POD), defined by widespread ownership of productive assets, has become one of the key-factors in the assessment of the institutional design implied in John Rawls’s theory of justice. The wider implications of this inquiry also engage scholars who do not subscribe to Rawls’s conception of justice but are broadly interested in normative questions of political economy and the basic structure of a just polity. In the course of this debate, the in...