social welfare

Topics: Welfare state, Labour Party, Conservative Party Pages: 5 (2058 words) Published: February 3, 2014
 In this assignment we will be focusing on Social Welfare in Britain and discussing social reformers in Britain through-out history. We will discuss Adam Smith and his analogy, Jeremy Bentham, the Victorians and their era and William Beveridge. My assignment will finish by discussing Margaret Thatcher and her several initiatives. Previously discussing the topic of poverty, one of the effects of the industrial revolution was mass migration from an agrarian society, to an industrial one. Despite philosophers, sociologists and scientists intervention in this subject, poverty is still with us today. (Rathbone, 2013) In this assignment we will show how reformers try to change economy in Britain and their views. As each reformer looks down on society with their own, ideologies, analogies and political views, it is all in aid of Britain. We will show an understanding of economic principles and show an understanding of all reformers and their main aim, to gradually change society for the better. The first social reformer we are going to discuss is Adam Smith. Smith looked at how the economy worked and the government’s reaction to this. Smith believed in equal competition, he showed this in his book of an independent society which he called ‘the wealth of nations’. This analogy showed how private and independent businesses thrive when the government does not intervene, allowing businesses in society to compete with each other within a fair system. As indicated in Jordan (1998) Smith believed ‘much more value can be generated in an economy where different persons produce different goods, and exchange these among themselves’. (Alcock, 2008, P40) Smith therefore believed each person in society is better off contributing to the public goods, which in turn helps the welfare of every citizen, meaning work ethic would become a normative aspect of social capital within society. Even though Smiths’ analogy doesn’t allow for government intervention, it does allow for written documentation, meaning the law, as economic trust in a country cannot go by individuals solely. Competition in this analogy shows how quality in products can increase and price in products can decrease. The counter argument for Smiths laissez-faire analogy is the fact he did not take into account the limitations. Whilst price can decrease, it can also increase as well as lacking quality. This means the customer will suffer at the hands of the surviving businesses while the weak die. Jeremy Bentham, a philosopher, legal reformer and founder of utilitarianism, strongly agreed with Smiths’ analogy. Unlike Smith, a conservative who believed in letting the economy thrive, Bentham was all for the good of the people, he argued individuals act so as to gain pleasure or happiness in whatever they choose to do. ‘The greatest happiness for the greatest number’ showing his strong beliefs in a predominance of "pleasure" over "pain". (Heywood, 2012, P42) In Smith’s analogy he thought it was best to collect from working people whom pay taxes, Bentham on the other hand collected from business owners, which is why Bentham supported the idea of government intervention as well as the law. As a utilitarian every decision Bentham made was for a better society, in order for this to happen he believed the government should be able to intervene and help people out, meaning government intervention. A consequence of this particular economic model is tax. In order for this model to work the government must be funded by people paying tax. Another is the fact Bentham’s’ idea are for individuals and not people as a collective group in society. Both models allow for competition which Bentham and Smith both strongly agree with, but added additions, such as tax and the increase in the price of products, it is clear both models have consequences and weaknesses. From the 1850s and onwards was the Victorian era. They looked at the sins people were making such as, idealness. During this period...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • social welfare Essay
  • An Important Time for Social Welfare Essay
  • Social Welfare in Australia Essay
  • My Perspectives on Social Welfare Essay
  • religion and social welfare Essay
  • Welfare Essay
  • Ideologies of Welfare Essay
  • Welfare Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free