Big Conversation: Is Public spending a drain on the economy or the mark of a civilised society?
Different governments follow different ideologies when deciding how to spend a nation's money, how much tax to collect and how large the State should be. The aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis has seen many governments adopting austerity measures, but are these policies essential to restoring economic health or simply an opportunity to advance the right-wing goals of individualism, market-based societies and minimal State? With growing concern over the inequalities that capitalism seems to generate, can more left-wing policies that promote greater collectivism and State involvement offer a viable alternative? How do we, as citizens, view these issues and the State’s role as guardians of our wellbeing? Jonquil Lowe poses questions from an economic perspective that will be discussed with colleagues from the department of Politics and International Studies and Geography. Against a backdrop of recent events around migration and the new direction of the UK Labour Party, this discussion will consider many theoretical aspects as they apply to our everyday lives and asks: what can the Social Sciences contribute to our understanding of these complex issues?