They are indeed two entirely different cases. The latter case, of welfare state concessions, is productively examined in Piven and Cloward's *Regulating the Poor*. To a certain extent, the welfare state is something forced on the ruling class from above, rather than a positive good for it.
Then again, maybe the "ruling class" is the median voter, and the welfare state neither raises its income nor appreciably reduces largely imaginary dangers of political instability.
And (at the risk of
being dismissed as "rather silly"), it partially cartelizes the portion of the wage package that goes to providing against absolute destitution and removes it as an issue of competition.
Yes, this is even sillier. Subsidizing unemployment reduces labor supply and therefore raises wages for the employed.
It seems like no matter what exists you are going to put a "interventionism is a plot by corporate interests to advance its material interests" spin on it.
-- Prof. Bryan Caplan Department of Economics George Mason University http://www.bcaplan.com [EMAIL PROTECTED]
"Infancy conforms to nobody: all conform to it, so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"