Third Annual E.L. ‘Ted’ Wheelwright Memorial Lecture
‘Reinventing Social Democracy for the Twenty-First Century’ // Fred Block
On 5 October 2010, Professor Fred Block presented the third annual E.L. ‘Ted’ Wheelwright Lecture, in which he examined the future of social democracy in Australia and around the world.
According to Professor Block, ‘a reconsideration of social democracy is urgently needed.’ In particular, he argued that contemporary political debate must move beyond the pervasive assumption that Sweden, Norway, and the other Scandinavian social democracies are unhealthy societies slowed down by too much government and excessive taxation. Instead, his lecture demonstrated that they are, instead, characterised by positive characteristics such as the lowest levels of inequality, the fewest children living in poverty and the highest rates of union density. Further, they have also had more rapid economic growth, more creation of new jobs by small entrepreneurial high-tech firms and more vibrant innovation sectors than most other advanced nations in recent decades.
A revised version of Professor Block’s lecture can be read here.