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Gunnar Myrdal Case

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GUNNAR MYRDAL (1898-1987)

During this period, it was talked about that it is not enough for a government to merely manage the economy but it also must provide extensive public welfare benefits and consider nationalization. Gunnar Myrdal brought an analysis of socialism and the welfare state. Myrdal was not only a socialist; he was one of the leaders of the Swedish Social Democratic Party serving for many years as a member of the Swedish Senate and for several years as Minister of Trade and Commerce. Since Swedish Social Democrats had the longest record of any socialist party in governing a nation so Myrdal was already familiar with the practical problems of socialist politics. One of his major works that is entitled An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944), this talked about the status of African American in the US, it was the great American Dilemma in which the solution of which may well determine the future of the nation. In Beyond the Welfare State, Myrdal made some important points that "economic planning was not the result of a master plan or ideology favouring government intervention in the economy but that the relation between the two was the reverse." So far I understood that whenever the government intervention in the economy multiplied, the need of coordination arouse. Myrdal stressed that welfare state policies adopted reasons for social justice who lead to considerate impact on national economies by raising productivity and redirecting the distribution of a large share of national income. Keynes had discussed about full employment so as with Myrdal, according to him it was considered the biggest commitment of Western nation to economic planning where the workers now insisted that the government should take positive measure in maintaining an effective demand of labor. It was stated that the determination to maintain full employment is "the crowning accomplishment of the democratic welfare state." Myrdal conceived the possibility that in the welfare state of the future public ownership and management will play a larger role than at one sent but these will depend on practical utility and expediency. So far in general, socialist are more concerned with raising the opportunities and benefits for those on the lower position of success even if this means higher taxes and had fewer benefits for those in the upper economic status of the population. Democratic socialist are much more concerned about the equality rather than of conservatives.


 Ebenstein, W. & Ebenstein (1991) Great Political Thinkers: Plato to the present. Harcourt brace Jovanovich, Inc.



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