By Chack-kie Wong, Alan Walker
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Extra info for East Asian welfare regimes in transition
First, we discuss how the basic assumptions underlying the view that ‘welfare is unAsian’ are related to market ideologies. Second, we challenge the validity of these basic assumptions in order to expose the inadequacies of market ideologies. Third, we explain why some governments are keen to associate their rule with market ideologies despite their inadequacies. We argue that their eagerness to do so is due less to an ideological consideration than to a pragmatic calculation for meeting the requirements of capitalism and pleasing capitalists.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 1998a) estimated that state-owned enterprises employed two thirds of the urban labour force, although they accounted for less than 20% of GDP. This employment policy made them uneconomic. Since Mao, the Chinese government has emphasised the need for the state-owned enterprises to meet economic goals rather than fulfil social commitments. In 1984, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party decided that all state-owned enterprises must be profitable.
Org/reports/global/2004/ Walker, A. (1984) Social planning, Oxford: Blackwell. Walker,A. K. (1996) ‘Rethinking the western construction of the welfare state’, International Journal of Health Services, vol 26, no 1, pp 67-92. 19 East Asian welfare regimes in transition White, G. and Goodman, R. (1998) ‘Welfare orientalism and the search for an East Asian welfare model’, in R. J. Kwon, The East Asian welfare model:Welfare orientalism and the state, London, Routledge, pp 3-24. K. (1999) ‘Reforming China’s state socialist workfare system: the cautionary and incremental approach and beyond’, Issues and Studies, vol 35, no 5, pp 169-94.