By Robin Blackburn

The onset of globalization and the getting older of populations have inspired efforts to denationalise the investment of retirement, placing in danger public pensions in lots of international locations and giving pension and coverage cash nice monetary energy. inner most money take pleasure in very important public subsidy, within the form of significant tax breaks, but as a rule fail to provide their policyholders a say, or sign up for wider social goals. Banking on Death lines the historical past of pension provision around the complex capitalist international. It concludes that tax concessions might be constrained to these cash which adhere to socially devoted and sustainable funding courses, ideally on a not-for-profit foundation. Blackburn deals a lucid survey of the debates at the way forward for social protection within the usa and the struggles over pension provision in Britain , France and Germany. right away radical and reasonable his research indicates how grey capitalism may be remodeled in pursuit of revolutionary objectives.

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Extra info for Banking on Death: Or, Investing in Life: The History and Future of Pensions

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We should not expect, still less demand, that the bene­ fits of a more active ' third age' (as the French call it) should translate into a stream of saleable goods or services. In many cases more resources may need to be expended to make it possible for all this to happen: whatever their other problems, Cuba's veterans of son shared a good life expectancy with everybody else because of a well-resourced healthcare system. Rising longevity means many more of the 'old old' whose medical and care needs all have to be met.

The first democratic republics gave birth to an idea but did not author the first universal pension systems. England remained locked into a localistic and discretionary system. 24 The restored Bourbons felt obliged to maintain these pensions, together with those to other servants of the state. The United States inherited some English Poor Law practices but in a context where actual provision was less widespread and, if anything, even more uneven. The North American republic was to be one of the last of the developed states to adopt a universal system of retirement provision, eventually doing so under the terms of the Social Security Act of 1 935.

The Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601 was legislation with national scope, codifying earlier provisions, and a response to the need for social protection in a country where a flexible T H E B A RO Q U E A N D T H E P U R I TA N 37 and disruptive new regime was transforming rural existence. This was a dynamic, decentred agrarian capitalism. Britain had a monarch and a court but very little by way of a central state administration. The Poor Law did not create one; instead it conferred obligations towards the needy, includ­ ing those too old to work, on each parish.

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