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Essential Reading

I was sent this book by the Institute of Economic Affairs (Click link to read about and buy book) before Xmas. It is taking a long time to read because by the time I have finished two pages I'm fuming at the stupidity and waste and have to go outside.. This really is an essential read.

The Welfare State We're In

James Bartholomew

Britain would be better off without the welfare state

'The welfare state has caused tens of thousands of people to live deprived and even depraved lives, and has undermined the very decency and kindness which first inspired it.' James Bartholomew

Marshalling an extraordinary range of evidence and calling a kaleidoscopic cast of witnesses from Catharine of Aragon to Vinnie Jones, James Bartholomew summons into the dock each of the sacred cows of the welfare state and subjects them to searching cross-examination:

* Do welfare benefits cause unemployment?
* Does the NHS do what was promised?
* Has state education given better chances to the less well-off?
* What caused the failure of council housing?
* Does 'broken parenting' matter?
* Is a poor state pension better than none?

And he begins his summing up with the key question, if the welfare state is so bad, why don't we get rid of it?

This book will infuriate many and be applauded by as many again. But no one who reads it will ever view the welfare state in the same light as before.


I'm looking forward to receiving my copy. Amazon is currently out of stock, so it must be selling well.

My copy is sitting on the bookshelf waiting to be started. Thanks for the warning - I will have a stiff whisky before starting it.

Bartholomew was always an inciteful read, he has an uncanny ability to open the minds eye with facts, married to his style of delivery. Still waiting for my copy to be delivered over this side of the pond.

He certainly gave two excellent talks at the ASI. I haven't got the book yet but plan to buy it soon.

I will have to acquire a copy of this work, I wondered when someone would have the courage to state the obvious!

The book has some good stats but is rather shallow and many of the arguments are too easily countered, due to the very selective factual backup provided.

Much as I agree with the writer's thesis I don't think he has proved it very well.

It reads more like a political speech than a learned tract - which I suppose reflects the writer's CV when you come to think about it.

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