Improbable Dangers: U.S. Conceptions of Threat in the Cold by Robert H. Johnson

By Robert H. Johnson

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Extra info for Improbable Dangers: U.S. Conceptions of Threat in the Cold War and After

Sample text

However, as stated by Leschke et al. (2006: 3), the situation is more complex: First, there is not only a trade-off between flexibility and security. The flexibility gains of employers do not necessarily mean a loss of security among employees; similarly, security gains of employees do not necessarily have to go along with flexibility losses among employers. Therefore, the talk about a balance between flexibility and security – usually thought of as a compromise between employers and employees – does unduly simplify the nexus.

Sharply reduced rates of return to education from the late 1960s through to the 1980s had led to lower enrolment rates, but this trend has now been reversed. On the other hand, the new economic environment post-crisis arguably calls for a greater increase in wage dispersion than we have seen. The Swedish labour market is very different today than it was in 1990, with high joblessness and a much higher share of immigrants (many of whom are low-skilled) from non-OECD countries. At the same time, technological change and global competition calls for increasing wage differences.

The successful performers had stable macro economic policies and deregulated product markets in common, but differed in tax levels and labour market policies. The market-reliant countries had low taxes and flexible labour markets with relatively wide income disparities. The ‘other successful performers’ were welfare states, characterized by collective bargaining, generous welfare benefits, ALMP, low-income disparities but high taxes. The choice between the two models reflects different social preferences and traditions.

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