social market

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The phrase ‘social market economy’ gained currency at about the time of the foundation of the Social Democratic Party in the UK in 1981 (see social democracy). It was intended to denote an economy with capitalist modes of production but also a functioning welfare state. The trouble with the term is that, since the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989, almost all politicians have believed in both capitalist modes of production and the welfare state. Therefore the term has no distinct meaning. It is used as a badge but is not a meaningful label.

Subjects: Politics.

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