Theodore Marmor, 21 May 1987
The last decade has quite obviously been a painful one economically. The persistent stagflation of the Seventies reversed the favourable terms of the post-war expansion of welfare states. Instead of growing economies and dampened inflation, we have grown to live with slowing economies and heightened inflation. And although during the Eighties we have largely tamed inflation, citizens have almost come to expect comparatively high rates of unemployment, modest rates of economic growth, large government deficits, and straitened circumstances for many of the poor who depend on governmental programmes. It has been a bracing time for the welfare state: and one which has occasioned wide-ranging intellectual arguments as to the contemporary circumstances, historical causes and likely future of welfare states.