Do we no longer care about the collective good?

Feb 06, 2012
UQ sociologist Dr Mara Yerkes, co-editor of the book The Transformation of Solidarity

The Transformation of Solidarity, a book co-edited by University of Queensland sociologist Dr Mara Yerkes, tackles the subject of globalisation of national economies and societies where we put a high value on individual rights and self-expression.

In her Dutch case study, Dr Yerkes finds that people are prepared to help others but prefer policies that have more "strings" of individual accountability attached.

"Does this mean we no longer care for the collective good and aren't prepared to help people out and what does that mean for welfare policies?" Dr Yerkes asks in her book.

The Transformation of Solidarity, jointly edited by Professor Romke van der Veen, Dr Mara Yerkes and Dr Peter Achterberg shows that globalisation and individualisation do not shake the foundation of social solidarity, or the desire for collective caring of others.

According to the authors, solidarity refers to citizens' willingness to share risks -it's what binds together: the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the sick and the healthy, the employed and the unemployed.

"Solidarity still exists in the Netherlands but people value a different kind of solidarity, one that requires a greater degree of - that is, people don't just have a right to government help, they are obliged to do something in return," Dr Yerkes said.

Dr Yerkes says solidarity is crucial to help alleviate poverty and reduce in society.

"If solidarity is absent, support for erodes, which can lead to increasing inequality and poverty," she said.

"The Dutch case is important because it demonstrates that while individualisation and economic globalisation are taking place, this does not lead to an erosion of solidarity - not among citizens and not among businesses or the government.

Dutch citizens support social programs and policies, but in a different way. Individual responsibility and participation are emphasized rather than passive income support," Dr Yerkes said.

Herein lies a lesson for other countries.

"Although restrictions on welfare spending have taken place in the Netherlands, they have the aim to reducing welfare dependency, not just an aim of preventing welfare take-up," she said.

More importantly, these measures have gone hand-in-hand with various social investments from the government, businesses and unions, which helps strengthen the social foundation for these policies.

Dr Mara Yerkes is a Senior Research Fellow at the University's Institute for Social Science Research and did her Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Sociology at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. This book adds to Yerkes' previous work on the Dutch welfare state.

"While my previous book (Transforming the Dutch Welfare State) focused on which risks governments look to protect and why, this edited volume examines the underlying sense of solidarity behind the protection of social risks. It offers an investigation of this issue at the level of individuals, businesses, unions and the national level," Dr Yerkes said.

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User comments : 39

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_nigmatic10
2.7 / 5 (7) Feb 06, 2012
Without going into the details, as it is morning for me, creating the social programs that remove all responsibility normally needed for an independent state of mind also creates the nanny state of mind for those entrusting into such programs. In effect, the decades worth of these programs have conditioned much of the general populace to seek out and desire such programs. The recent economic downturn has amplified and accelerated this condition recently, as well.
Cynical1
4.5 / 5 (4) Feb 06, 2012
At last - an examination of the actual results of government intervention...
rawa1
1.9 / 5 (9) Feb 06, 2012
I noted many times here, the people aren't actually interested about global warming problems, extinction of endangered species or about implementation of cold fusion and other fundamental findings, and they're even sceptical if not hostile toward people, who are lifting such a questions. They consider them a socialistic trolls. They're do support conservative areas connected with employment and jobs positions, like the perspective of cosmic flights, nuclear and collider research and abstract disciplines like the computer simulations and mathematical research etc.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Feb 06, 2012
rawa/zephyr/calippo/add-n-other-sockpuppets: What the hell has your coment got to do with the article?

In her Dutch case study, Dr Yerkes finds that people are prepared to help others but prefer welfare policies that have more "strings" of individual accountability attached.

Which is to be expected (and not such a bad thing at all). The larger the mass of people contributing to a system the more anonymous the contribution - and hence the easier to abuse it because there is no individual you have to fear/answer to.

Though I would argue that the abuse is happening more in the top echolons of society than in the poor. We need accountability and a sense of personal responsibility for help given AND help received.

According to the authors, solidarity refers to citizens' willingness to share risks

Well, yes. Isn't that the whole point of living in a society?
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (5) Feb 06, 2012
What the hell has your comment got to do with the article?
This is just the point. Every notion of cold fusion upsets the egoistic people like you, despite it can help the collective good, but it will threat the job positions and social credit of those, which are working at specialized positions. It's because the people like you don't care about collective good, they do follow their private good only. They even cannot recognize (or at least pretend so) their own connection to the subject of this article.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Feb 06, 2012
Um. This is an article about helping people through social solidarity. This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with investment in scientific research, global warming, aether watchamacallit or any of your other 'ideas'.

Nice new sockpuppet, by the way. Don't you ever get tired of making a fool of yourself by trying to pretend that there is more than one person in the world who buys your crazy theories?
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (6) Feb 06, 2012
This is an article about helping people through social solidarity.
Nope, this is an article about how much the people do care about collective good. The fact people don't help the others through social solidarity is just one of many aspects of this ignorance. The unhealthy interest about scientific findings, which are important just for close group of people (like the Higgs boson finding) into account of interest about findings, which will be important for everyone is just another aspect of this ignorance. If you cannot recognize what belongs into private and collective good or when your stance belongs into subject of article, then it's just another evidence of this ignorance. Etc.
Sinister1811
3 / 5 (4) Feb 06, 2012
"Collective good" could be considered subjective. It probably has different meanings to different people.
Kinedryl
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 06, 2012
"Collective good" .. has different meanings to different people.
This boundary is really fuzzy. For example, the finding of Higgs could become (in some very distant perspective) useful for everyone. Instead of it, the finding of cold fusion could become important for some military complex and/or close group of people in future. But in this moment the things are the way, the cold fusion is in public interest of many people, the Higgs boson has a meaning as a salary generator for few thousands of people. This ratio is apparently unbalanced by now. Nevertheless the media promote every particular progress in finding of Higgs boson, whereas the progress in publicly important research is ignored. It's because massmedia are controlled with people, who do follow their private interests preferentially, not the public interest. And many people who are listing them do act accordingly, because the purpose of such a media is to influence the thinking and behavior of people.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Feb 06, 2012
""Although restrictions on welfare spending have taken place in the Netherlands, they have the aim to reducing welfare dependency, not just an aim of preventing welfare take-up," she said. "
Responsibility from the recipients of welfare is required. This is why charity is better. The time and money are donated, not confiscated by the state. There is no incentive for legitimate charities to create a massive bureaucracy as they must persuade donors. They can't confiscate the wealth from others.
The Netherlands population falls between the US states of IL and FL, and they have a small geographic area. It is much easier for their welfare departments to hold recipients accountable.
Scandinavian countries have even smaller, more homogeneous populations.
In the US it has been suggested food stamp recipients should be readily identifiable when making a purchase and be required to thank all the taxpayers in queue.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Feb 06, 2012
The Netherlands population falls between the US states of IL and FL, and they have a small geographic area. It is much easier for their welfare departments to hold recipients accountable.

How does size affect the ability to hold recipients accountable?
Why would the FL or IL government not be able to do what the Netherlands can?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.5 / 5 (41) Feb 06, 2012
The Netherlands is a civilized nation. Florida and IL are neither civilized or rational.

"Why would the FL or IL government not be able to do what the Netherlands can?" - antialias
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (5) Feb 06, 2012
That's a problem of aptitude - not size as rygg suggests.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Feb 06, 2012
The Netherlands population falls between the US states of IL and FL, and they have a small geographic area. It is much easier for their welfare departments to hold recipients accountable.

How does size affect the ability to hold recipients accountable?
Why would the FL or IL government not be able to do what the Netherlands can?

Some state govt do hold their welfare recipients accountable. But in the US, most states are very inhomogeneous and being critical of welfare recipients leads to charges of racism and discrimination. Calling Obama the Food Stamp president is quite accurate as federal food vouchers have dramatically increased under his regime. Supports of statism/socialism call that a racist statement.
The people of New Orleans have a culture of dependency that left them vulnerable. People in next door MS were more independent and took better care of themselves after Katrina.
Eric_B
4.1 / 5 (9) Feb 06, 2012
The riggle-troll is at it again, as usual, dribbling and drooling with Randist drivel.

Want to talk about responsibility? Start with corporate responsibility. Trickle down that!!!

If we ban corporate structures that allow individuals running corps to forsake responsibility and use the British style Ltd partnership that demands individual accountability, and enact campaign finance reform, then we will see more job creation and less corruption.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (7) Feb 06, 2012
The Netherlands is a civilized nation. Florida and IL are neither civilized or rational.

*was*

antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 06, 2012
Some state govt do hold their welfare recipients accountable. But in the US, most states are very inhomogeneous

Inhomogeneous in what way? Multi culturally? You'll be hard pressed to find a more multi-cultural society than in the Netherlands.

The people of New Orleans have a culture of dependency that left them vulnerable.

Given much to overgeneralizations, are you?

When was the last time someone called you a racist? I think you can reset the counter to zero.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Feb 06, 2012
"in the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt warned of the moral disintegration effect of welfare dependency."
"Social norms can be expected to be particularly relevant for the effectiveness of the welfare state. Generous support systems for unemployed are less costly if people feel obliged to care for themselves or attach a stigma to claiming benefits."
"Conversely, common views that everybody has a moral right to receive government benefits or the emergence of transfer dependency as a normal model of economic life would make a given benefit scheme more expensive both in fiscal terms and with regard to labour supply disincentives."
Kyklos

Volume 61, Issue 2, pages 237257, May 2008
The Dutch have a social norm based upon their Calvinist history.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (7) Feb 06, 2012
"A Florida lawmaker is pushing a bill that would ban the use of food stamps to purchase snacks and sweets, such as cookies and cakes."
http://www.clicko...dex.html
If the govt pays for your food, why shouldn't they be able to tell you what you buy with their money?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.9 / 5 (44) Feb 06, 2012
The alternative of course would be the Randite Solution of permitting out of work Americans to starve in the streets.

"Calling Obama the Food Stamp president is quite accurate as federal food vouchers have dramatically increased under his regime." - RyggTard

RyggTard doesn't seem at all willing to explain why his hero - Ayn Rand spent the last years of her life sucking on the government welfare teat.

Vendicar_Decarian
0.7 / 5 (43) Feb 06, 2012
No doubt the Cake and Cookie lobby will sue the government to regain lost sales.

"A Florida lawmaker is pushing a bill that would ban the use of food stamps to purchase snacks and sweets, such as cookies and cakes" - RyggTard

Cookies and cakes of course provide the highest caloric value per dollar, and that is of course what the human body is primarily interested in.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.8 / 5 (42) Feb 06, 2012
"If the govt pays for your food, why shouldn't they be able to tell you what you buy with their money?" - RyggTard

If corporations pay your wages, why shouldn't they be able to tell you what you should buy with their money?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.9 / 5 (42) Feb 06, 2012
"Volume 61, Issue 2, pages 237257, May 2008" - RyggTard

Oh, look. The Libertarian Tard quotes from a German Libertarian publication that is hell bent on bringing to Germany the economic failure that Libertarianism has brought America.

Libertarian

Friedrich Heinemann is head of the department "Corporate Taxation and Public Finance" at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) offers the corporate community unique access to some of Europe's top economists and their research on issues shaping Europe's economic, political and financial future. The corporate membership programme is an invitation to join our forum of interaction between leading researchers, policy-makers and the business community.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.9 / 5 (43) Feb 06, 2012
"The people of New Orleans have a culture of dependency that left them vulnerable." - RyggTard

Vulnerable to pumps sold to the city by George Bush's brother that turned out to be non-functional.

You know... No one ever anticipated that the levees would collapse.

Except of course the Army Corps of Engineers and all of the others that told the Bush Administration that it's cuts in levee maintenance would probably produce massive flooding.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 06, 2012
This is just the point. Every notion of cold fusion upsets the egoistic people like you
There are working free-energy machines you can buy right now. Why don't your build one of those?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Feb 06, 2012
Except of course the Army Corps of Engineers and all of the others that told the Bush Administration that it's cuts in levee maintenance would probably produce massive flooding.

Well, according to him the levees should have not been built by the government in the first place. They should have been built using donations (/sarcasm)
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Feb 06, 2012
Calling Obama the Food Stamp president is quite accurate as federal food vouchers have dramatically increased under his regime.
Financial crisis has started under Republican party government. Without Bush (and with cold fusion) no vouchers would be required by now. What the MIT is demonstrating for students as a hot new are twenty years notoriously known experiments - they just were ignored and routinely claimed as not working for not the threat the interests of fossil fuel lobby. Without Foccardi and Rossi no progress would be done during last twenty years. http://www.infini...mit.html The ignorance of cold fusion is just a flagrant manifestation of collective good ignorance - we could not get a better example of the lost of self-preservation instinct of publics.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 06, 2012
Except of course the Army Corps of Engineers and all of the others that told the Bush Administration that it's cuts in levee maintenance would probably produce massive flooding.

Well, according to him the levees should have not been built by the government in the first place. They should have been built using donations (/sarcasm)

That is ALWAYS the excuse of a govt agency, they didn't have the money. So give us more money and we won't fail next time.
In the private sector, people are fired and lose their fortunes when they fail. If the city of NO and the state of LA thought it so important, why didn't THEY fix the levees? Same answer as before about govt bureaucrats.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (37) Feb 06, 2012
Your government didn't have the money to maintain the nation's infrastructure. Your country was too busy committing trillions to it's illegal campaign of mass murder in Iraq.

"That is ALWAYS the excuse of a govt agency, they didn't have the money." - RyggTard
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 06, 2012
Your government didn't have the money to maintain the nation's infrastructure. Your country was too busy committing trillions to it's illegal campaign of mass murder in Iraq.

But they failed...because Congress didn't give them enough money! Oh how cruel and injust. Should have sunk all that useless money for the levees into Iraq and Afghanistan. *sigh*

The obvious inconsistencies in ryggs philosophy are so easy to spot - it's a miracle he doesn't trip over them at every third word he types. Selective blindness. Textbook case.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (39) Feb 06, 2012
"So give us more money and we won't fail next time." - RyggTard

Failure was the Libertarian/Randite plan all along.

"Starve the beast of big government."

Remember. That treason is Libertarian/Randite in it's origin.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (39) Feb 06, 2012
"If the city of NO and the state of LA thought it so important, why didn't THEY fix the levees?" - RyggTard

They were too busy purchasing defective pumps sold to them by the dishonest Bush Family.
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Feb 06, 2012
[ Calling Obama the Food Stamp president is quite accurate as federal food vouchers have dramatically increased under his regime. Supports of statism/socialism call that a racist statement.


No, riggsuckin' --

They call it a goddammed flat-out lie. The TOTAL number of food stamp recipients has increased during the current administration, but the majority by far of that total number of vouchers were issued during Wee Georgie's admin.

Careful you don't choke...on yer little racist joke.

Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (37) Feb 06, 2012
RyggTard seems oblivious to the fact that his Republican Party is playing it's Ron Paul Libertarian members like the vapid suckers they are.

You would think that even the whack tard Libertarian arm of the Republican Party would be aware enough of the real world that they would recognize the derision heaped upon them by their Republican Brothers.

Within the Republican party Ron Paul is seen as the crazy uncle that no one wants to talk about,

The son Rand, is a TeaTard favorite. But the Tea-Tards have been silenced and like his father, Rand is destined to a life of Randroid nothingness.

kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2012
I guess all the people that down-rated me live in the Netherlands?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Feb 07, 2012
Given the data, it is apparent 'liberals' don't care about high unemployment among youth:
"Nor are such consequences of minimum wage laws peculiar to blacks or to the United States. In Western European countries whose social policies liberals consider more "advanced" than our own, including more generous minimum wage laws and other employer-mandated benefits, it has been common in even prosperous years for unemployment rates among young people to be 20 percent or higher.

The economic reason is not complicated. When you set minimum wage levels higher than many inexperienced young people are worth, they don't get hired. It is not rocket science."
http://www.realcl...044.html
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Feb 07, 2012
"Given the data, it is apparent 'liberals' don't care about high unemployment among youth:" - RyggTard

The truth of course is that Republicans have refused to bring the Liberal Jobs creation program to the floor for a vote.

The Republican plan is to maintain the fiscal crisis that they created as long as they can continue to profit from it.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Feb 07, 2012
Of course, RyggTard and his Randroid/Libertarian brethren believes that the minimum wage should be $0.00

The destruction of America is their stated goal.

I have even seen some Libertarians insist that in some instances employees should pay their employer for the luxury of having a job and working for tips.

"When you set minimum wage levels higher than many inexperienced young people are worth, they don't get hired. It is not rocket science" - RyggTard

kaasinees
Feb 08, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2012
ryggtard obviously proves the title.

Nah. For that he would have had to care at some point in the past.

He's just like all the egoistical people: living off the backs of everyone else without realizing it: And whining that others shouldn't do it.

Do as I say - don't do as I do.