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Writings on the Poor Laws: Volume II (The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham)

Writings on the Poor Laws: Volume II (The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham)

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Overview

In the three works contained in this volume, written in 1797-8, Bentham offers a detailed exposition of his plan for the reform of the English poor laws.

In "Pauper Management Improved'"and the closely related "Situation and Relief of the Poor" and "Outline of a work entitled Pauper Management Improved." Bentham proposes the provision of poor relief in 250 Panopticon Industry Houses, each accommodating 2,000 people, owned and managed by a joint-stock company, the National Charity Company. The dependent poor were to be occupied primarily in the production of their own subsistence, while the Company's viability depended on the indenture until the age of 21 of a rapidly expanding number of children, whose relative productivity would cross-subsidize the provision of relief to the sick and the elderly. Bentham presents his Principles of Management (all intended to unite interest with duty), proposes the provision of Appropriate Establishments for people with disabilities (intended to enhance their productivity, and thereby their life-chances), describes the educational syllabus to be provided to pauper children, and compares the relative strengths and weaknesses of public versus private provision of relief.

The volume contains an Editorial Introduction which explains the provenance of the text, and the method of presentation. The texts are fully annotated with textual and historical notes, and the volume is completed with detailed subject and name indices.

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