Chapter

The nation's wealth

Ann Oakley

in Welfare and wellbeing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861342997
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304203 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861342997.003.0002
The nation's wealth

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This chapter comes from Parents revolt, an angry volume printed on cheap war quality paper, co-authored with Titmuss's wife Kathleen. It hypothesises a connection between the growth of acquisitive social values and the tendency of people to have fewer children. It argues that a nation's true wealth is not what it is called today ‘gross national product’; rather, a nation's wealth inheres in the vitality of its people, and in people from all social classes. It observes that the fear of population decline which fuelled Parents revolt was an aspect of a European-wide anxiety about the survival capacities of national populations. It further observes in part, that this was a worry about the eclipse of elites by the masses; in part, a eugenic fear of ‘race’ pollution. It discusses themes of altruism and of the narrow-minded computation of public services in terms of economic costs and benefits — both key concerns in later social policy writings.

Keywords: Parents revolt; Kathleen; acquisitive social values; wealth; gross national product; population decline; race pollution; altruism; public services; social policy

Chapter.  2436 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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