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Lecture 20

Lecture 20

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Lecture 20 – Seeing Inequality Ways of Seeing Inequality – Bearing witness: physically seeing it – Counting inequality: $1/day versus $2/day, percentage vs numbers Eradicating Poverty now becomes a matter of redistribution, the bottom billion live within middle income countries. Poverty is a sign of income inequality. Four Cases of Inequalitty Global inequality: there are rich countries and poor countries, with the rich countries growing richer, and the poor countries staying poor. The Welfare State: redistribution of income to create more egalitarian societies in capitalist countries. Gendering social protection: differences between genders Local solutions: inequality beyond the state – ways to dissolve inequality at local levels (I) Global Inequality – Keynesian compromises and embedded Liberalism (anti-mercantilism, economic interdependence) – Bretton Woods: exchange rates to be fixed, creating of institutions of financial governance – GATT: gradual reduction of tariffs – precursor to the world trade organization – European reconstruction: to rebuild European economy and trust between European states – 70s and 80s, rich countries got richer while poor countries got poorer – globalization: breakdown of Keynesian compromise and embedded Liberalism (US decided it no longer wanted to bankrolled the world economy) – technological change: manufacturing became mechanized, resulted in surplus labour – neo-liberal resurgence: IMF and World Bank demanded that developing countries abandon all trade barriers, subsidies, and currency control – Bad government policy: lack of investment in education, etc. – Rich countries are getting richer, poor countries are getting comparatively poorer (II) Domestic distribution – As countries become richer, inequality rises, but after a certain point, it will fall – Rich countries spend more on the welfare state over time as they get richer: health, unemployment, pensions, social assistance – Why do countries develop welfare states? – Industrial capitalism: as economies mature, they automatically become welfare states – Unionization of labour – work and welfare: unions use collective bargaining to create political power that allow for the emergence of the welfare state – Social democratic parties become more powerful with more unio
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