Social Expenditure, Pension Systems, and Neoliberalism
By Kunibert Raffer
The neo-liberal tide of privatisation targeted public pension schemes quite some time ago. While decreasing the role of the State as such is part and parcel of this ideology, another aspect of privatising basic needs does not seem to have received appropriate attention. Government intervention and trade union strife for higher income have created high levels of relatively wide-spread wealth, which could profitably be tapped by private business. This is similar to state property such as railways whose privatisation offers golden business opportunities. The necessity to provide for old age and outright fear of misery during this stage of one's life are powerful incentives to provide financially, even if fees and charges for doing so are relatively high - elasticity of demand will be low.
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