Social protection and its allies
Social protection is high on the international agenda today. Even the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) have admitted it should be promoted. Global initiatives such as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and most of all the Social Protection Floors from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have to be welcomed and supported. Their achievement would mean a tremendous progress for people all over the world.
However, a more ambitious and long term horizon is also necessary, as the ILO itself is indicating. Not only because social protection can and should be more than a correction mechanism to the current austerity policies that continue to follow the neoliberal philosophy of structural adjustment, but also because protective policies imply so much more than cash transfers and basic social policies (see previous article).
In this article, I want to point to some of the necessary connections to make if we want social protection to be a major element of social justice and to contribute to systemic change and the shaping of a better world for all. Lees verder
Social Protection Floors: The Case for going Beyond
End of April 2018 The Economist published a special report on universal health care and put the topic on its cover. We should welcome this ‘social turn’ but we should also reflect very seriously on what is happening and why.
Also in spring 2018, José Antonio Ocampo and Joseph Stiglitz, two famous economists, published a book on ‘Re-visiting the Welfare State’ with a purely economic perspective on social policies.
What this means and confirms is that for almost forty years now, right-wing and neoliberal forces have been dominating and shaping the discourse – and consequently the practice – on social policies. They do not talk about social justice, obviously, since justice is far away from their objectives, but they have been dominating and shaping the new thinking on poverty, social protection, health and education.The tragedy in all this is that the left has grossly abandoned its social ambition. For the radical left, social protection is counter-revolutionary and something for dummies and sissies. After the revolution, social justice will fall out of the sky. The moderate left is happy with the existing international initiatives. It means that this once high priority topic for all progressive forces is being neglected. We are now paying the price for this. Social protection has been taken out of our hands. Lees verder