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Albert Weale on Efficiency - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 217
Equality/democracy/efficiency/welfare state/Weale/Moon: (...) the commitment to equality can sometimes sit uneasily with the commitment to democracy. Consider, for example, Albert Weale's argument for earnings-related welfare state schemes, such as social security in the US. Weale argues that such schemes increase the total volume of government transfers, thus leading to greater 'egalitarian effectiveness'. Weale explains this egalitarian effectiveness in part as follows:
‚Of course, there is no necessary incentive to redistribute savings in the public earnings-related system, but equally there is little practical opportunity to resist any modest redistribution that managers of the public scheme determine. Denied the 'exit' option of shopping around, the typical citizen is confronted merely with the costly 'voice' option of changing the terms of the public
scheme. Since people are often highly ignorant of the details of pension schemes, participation to change their terms is extremely costly.‘ (1990(1): 481)
Moon: In short, because democratic control is difficult, popular opposition to redistribution will be ineffective, allowing elites to achieve greater 'egalitarian effectiveness' than citizens would be willing to support directly. >Equal opportunities/Welfare economics.


1. Weale, Albert (1990) 'Equality, social solidarity, and the welfare state'. Ethics, 100: 473—88.

Moon, J. Donald 2004. „The Political Theory of the Welfare State“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Weale, Albert
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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