Can Anything Be Done?

  • David Donnison


There are those who recognise that Britain is becoming a more unequal, more brutal and degraded country, but they believe nothing can be done about that. Despair offers great comfort. Once well into it, you can give up worrying about the rest of the world and cheerfully cultivate your own garden. Before looking more closely at their standpoint we should step back and reflect briefly on our times.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Albert Hirschman, The Rhetoric of Reaction. Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    TH Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1950.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Charles Murray, Losing Ground: America’s Social Policy, 1950–1980, New York, Basic Books, 1984.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gordon Tullock, Welfare for the Well-to-do, Dallas, Fisher Institute, 1983Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    For a moderate example, see Julianle Grand, The Strategy of Equality. Redistribution and the Social Services, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1982.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, London, Roudedge & Kegan Paul, 1944Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Claude Fischer et al., Inequality by Design. Cracking the Bell Curve Myth, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    AB Atkinson, ‘Seeking to explain the distribution of income’, in John Hills (ed.), New Inequalities, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 22.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    William Beveridge, Full Employment in a Free Society, London, Allen & Unwin, 1994Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Inquiry into Income and Wealth, vol. 2, York, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1995, p. 47.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    This point was first made with supporting evidence from particular urban areas by William Julius Wilson in The Truly Disadvantaged, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987, pp. 72–92.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Carey Oppenheim and Lisa Harker, Poverty: The Facts, London, Child Poverty Action Group, 1996, p. 36.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, Population Trends, London, HMSO, 1993.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    See, for example, Ray Pahl, Divisions of Labour, Oxford, Blackwell, 1984.Google Scholar
  15. Colin Williams, ‘Social and spatial inequalities in the informal economy: some evidence from the European Community’, Area, 25(4), 1993, p. 358Google Scholar
  16. Colin Williams and Jan Windebank, ‘Black market work in the European Community: peripheral work for peripheral localities’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 19(1), 1995, p. 23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    David Donnison, Long-term Unemployment in Northern Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, 1996, pp. 31–2.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nina Oldfield and Autumn Yu, The Cost of a Child, London, Child Poverty Action Group, 1993.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Keith Joseph and Jonathan Sumption, Equality, London, John Murray, 1979.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Richard Freeman and Lawrence Katz (eds), Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1995Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Donnison 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Donnison

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations