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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading for the next UK Cabinet, 10 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Reinventing Civil Society: Rediscovery of Welfare without Politics (Choice in Welfare) (Paperback)
This is a formidable work and whoever succeeds as the UK's next government should read it thoroughly and follow David Green's suggestions. At 154 pages the book is readable and digestible for the general public (citizens) as well as the professional politicians, public servants, academics and opinion leaders that it is aimed at. Based on well grounded research Green examines the failures in western liberal societies and economies and proposes improvements around the ideas of liberty and duty. Green suggest that the market based ideas from the Thatcher years leave a gap that should be filled by individuals and non government organisations performing civic duty. He provides convincing evidence that the Welfare State has caused malaise and decay because it removed the obligations for citizens to help themselves and each other. State monopolies in education, health and social security support follow centralised strategies that eliminate the innovation and choice that would naturally lead to improvements from a wider range of competing suppliers.

Green is not afraid to criticise the sacred cow of the chattering classes who claim that a fairer society can only be built on redistributive taxation and government intervention. Though it was published in 1993 it is even more pertinent after New Labour's costly failures in the NHS, education and social security. Any reader of this book will soon understand that a very effective welfare system in the UK based on an efficient voluntary sector was thrown away in the rush to implement Beveridge and that many of the problems in UK society will not be reversed until the welfare state is replaced by multiple providers who are based directly in the local communities the serve.
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