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Britain and the right to work: 1886-1912

By Victor Quirk

Abstract

Modern opponents of full employment are strategically disinclined to openly defend their position, which creates distortion in the debate over direct methods of establishing full employment, such as the Job Guarantee. This study explores opposition to the full employment policy of the early British Labour Party known as the 'Right to Work' (RTW), which proposed that the state directly employ the unemployed in fully paid work of public benefit. Hostility to the RTW prior to and during the first decade of the 20th century is examined, including its abandonment by the Labour Party in 1911 in favour of unemployment insurance for some and labour exchanges. This episode supports the thesis that unemployment is preserved as a repulsive incentive to work and hence as an instrument of social domination

Topics: full employment, job guarantee, right to work, social domination, unemployment
Publisher: Inderscience Publishers
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1504/IJEWE.2007.019283
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