Never Enough: Capitalism and the Progressive Spirit

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9780199361335: Never Enough: Capitalism and the Progressive Spirit

It is said that greed fuels capitalism and socialism feeds on envy. But what happens in a stable society when a successful economy generates material progress for one population sector, while simultaneously creating income inequality and poverty for another sector? While this has long been a classic debate for economists, Neil Gilbert, a social welfare theorist, offers a new take. In this landmark work, Gilbert addresses the long-standing tensions between capitalism and the progressive spirit and challenges the contemporary progressive outlook on the failures of capitalism. In doing this, Never Enough analyzes the empirical evidence for conventional claims about the real level of poverty, the presumed causes and consequences of inequality, the meaning and underlying dynamics of social mobility, and the necessity for more social welfare spending and universal benefits.

The book's careful analysis suggests that it is time to resist the material definition of progress that stands so high on the current agenda and envision alternative ways for our government to advance the "good society." Insatiable consumption and the commodification of everyday life has dominated the last half-century, and is encouraged by modern capitalism because it feeds the economy and is also used as a measure of individual success. But Gilbert argues that it is perhaps no longer the best way to stimulate the economy. Never Enough also challenges the prevailing assumptions about the decline of middle-class prosperity, opportunity and material well-being in the United States and in other post-industrial nations. In a careful reading of the evidence and a critical analysis of its implications, Gilbert demonstrates the extent to which the customary progressive claims about the severity of poverty, inequality, social mobility and the benefits of universalism not only distort the empirical reality of modern life in an era of abundance, but confounds efforts to help those most in need.

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Neil Gilbert is Chernin Professor of Social Welfare at Berkeley Social Welfare. He served as a Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development was twice awarded Fulbright Fellowships and served as a Visiting Scholar at the International Social Security Association, where he was a member of the Advisory Board on Social Security Research.

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"What is a progressive? That's the question that must be answered before one can begin to understand this study of income inequality and the welfare state. Included is understanding the difference between 'liberal' and 'progressive.' 'Liberal' is a set of ideals, and a liberal advocates using government spending and taxation to bring about equality, an example being progressive taxation. 'Progressivism' is a problem-solving method, advocating changes in social, political, and economic policies. Not to be omitted is a definition of 'conservative,' a set of ideals advocating reduction in the size and role of government. 'Progressive conservatism,' advocated by Gilbert, is the combination of both of these concepts. He proposes replacing all the social transfer programs, which have income-tested benefits, into a single payment with a uniform level of eligibility that narrows the band of income to which it applies."

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this landmark work, Neil Gilbert addresses the long-standing tensions between capitalism and the progressive spirit. Challenging the contemporary progressive outlook on the failures of capitalism, Capitalism and the Progressive Spirit analyzes the empirical evidence for conventional claims about the real level of poverty, the presumed causes and consequences of inequality, the meaning and underlying dynamics of social mobility, and the necessity for more social welfare spending and universal benefits. A careful reading of the research reveals that these issues are far less serious than contemporary progressive claims would have the public believe. Progressive leaders, however, remain firmly wedded to the established social agenda, which conveys a vision of the good society that disregards the historically unprecedented and wide-spread abundance in the advanced post-industrial countries. Meanwhile, the progressive agenda inadvertently caters to the corrosive effects of insatiable consumption and the commodification of everyday life, from which modern capitalism profits. The analysis suggests that it is time to resist the material definition of progress that stands so high on the current agenda and envision alternative ways for government to advance society. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780199361335

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this landmark work, Neil Gilbert addresses the long-standing tensions between capitalism and the progressive spirit. Challenging the contemporary progressive outlook on the failures of capitalism, Capitalism and the Progressive Spirit analyzes the empirical evidence for conventional claims about the real level of poverty, the presumed causes and consequences of inequality, the meaning and underlying dynamics of social mobility, and the necessity for more social welfare spending and universal benefits. A careful reading of the research reveals that these issues are far less serious than contemporary progressive claims would have the public believe. Progressive leaders, however, remain firmly wedded to the established social agenda, which conveys a vision of the good society that disregards the historically unprecedented and wide-spread abundance in the advanced post-industrial countries. Meanwhile, the progressive agenda inadvertently caters to the corrosive effects of insatiable consumption and the commodification of everyday life, from which modern capitalism profits. The analysis suggests that it is time to resist the material definition of progress that stands so high on the current agenda and envision alternative ways for government to advance society. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780199361335

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