By Gunnar Myrdal
Opposed to The move: serious Essays On Economics, through Myrdal, Gunnar
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Extra resources for Against the Stream: Critical Essays on Economics
Among many other things, the low rate of Britain's increase in productivity and her high unemployment coincident with inflation can explain such a retreat. Nevertheless, I doubt that this reversal will go far. I do not believe it can be anything more than, at most, a temporary halt. In Germany, the Brandt government is firmly committed to overcoming the relative backwardness of that country's welfare position up till now. Their greatest difficulty is also the inflationary trend, which the government must seek to overcome in order to take radical steps toward perfecting the welfare state.
It is of great importance that such studies be carried out. Meanwhile, there is broad historical evidence for the view that, on the whole, social reforms have been an investment in economic progress rather than a drag on it from a national point of view. As the welfare state develops, political and popular discussion, influenced by earlier reforms not having had the ruinous effects often predicted, are actually, though without much sophistication or even explicitness, now coming to assume this new and different theory.
Neither a higher "quality of life" nor a stable value of the currency can be achieved without a rather radical change of people's attitudes. The rationality of a broad settlement among all groups 32 CHAPTER 2 in a nation where, under recognition of the demand for greater equality, the cravings for higher incomes are tempered, is obvious. The constant experience that in an ongoing inflation rises in income to be extracted from unhampered competition become fictitious, should help toward accomplishing this broad settlement.