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Forum LockedThe "welfare state"?

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    Posted: 12-Jul-2007 at 18:24
I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a welfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else and the author of the book argues about how the idea of a welfare state is viewed as something to be proud of in many european nations and something worth sacrificing for,While here in the US it is viewed in a negative light as something socialist and as something that discourages people from finding jobs and putting effort into things.
 
So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?        


Edited by Kevin - 15-Jul-2007 at 01:13
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jul-2007 at 10:58
 
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a wlfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else
 
It's more a question of the European and anywhere else ideals of a welfare state, as against the United States alone.
 
From a historical point of view it always puzzles me that the US was so quick to establish free public schools (even even free public libraries) but resisted other welfare services. I mean, I know where the arguments against public health systems are coming from now, but why didn't the US start adopting welfare services in the first place?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kevin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jul-2007 at 11:16
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a wlfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else
 
It's more a question of the European and anywhere else ideals of a welfare state, as against the United States alone.
 
From a historical point of view it always puzzles me that the US was so quick to establish free public schools (even even free public libraries) but resisted other welfare services. I mean, I know where the arguments against public health systems are coming from now, but why didn't the US start adopting welfare services in the first place?
 
That is a puzzling question,I assume maybe because education is the building blocks of soicety,So they put foreward a free education system with everything excluding college/university,and keep in mind health care makes up a sizeable portion of the economy over here in the US. So I guess they keep in privatized to encourage competitiveness?    
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jul-2007 at 13:02
I think that due to I'm not quite sure what maybe partly because of history US citizens have no problems with evergetism. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 10:50
"Evergetism?"
 
Always wanting to get things?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 13:52
no evergetism with the g pronounced as in general was a political system in the Hellenistic world where the richest citizens or non citizens had to pay a lot with their personal fortune (to buy a play or the whole new theater, or a warship, or a temple) to become one of the members of mightiest class in the city. As if Warren Buffet had become life-long senator or vice-president for the sake of giving back to society his fortune.
it is a form of plutocracy but where the fact of being rich is not enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 19:07
Originally posted by Kevin

So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?       


In the case of Australia the welfare state was an evolution of the ideals which grew out of its convict past. Many of the early settlers were those who had simply been unlucky to have been born at the bottom end of the social spectrum and had turned to a life of petty crime, or suffered poverty in Ireland and were transported to find a new life. The early settlers developed the idea of "a fair go", where everyone deserves a reasonable level of opportunity for society to have any expectation of them to succeed in life. In creating a new nation out of wilderness, many of the settlers also had to band together and help eachother out in fighting against nature's calamities. The idea of "mateship" developed, which is a peculiar feature of Australian identity where you come to the aid of your neighbour or you help out those who suffer from difficulties which they could not possibly have forseen and prepared for. Finally, Australian society evolved in a distinctly classless way because the old feudal traditions of Europe had no application on the other side of the planet in a new land. Australians have clung to this anti-elitist tendency ever since, becoming dismissive of those who hoist themselves up on to a pedestal or try to be anything which goes against the egalitarian values of Australian society.

You can see where all this has lead to. Australian society developed a welfare state comparable to the most advanced ones back in Europe. Personally I see this not only as a commendable humanitarian achievement, but also a sound investment. Millions of intelligent and potentially talented individual who were born at the unlucky end of society are given opportunity to follow their passion in life and make themselves a useful asset to society, something I dare think many of those tough early settlers would be proud to know has been achieved. Rather than such individuals putting their intelligence and talent to use in criminal activity, they are instead given the means to make constructive use of them.


Edited by Constantine XI - 15-Jul-2007 at 19:08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jul-2007 at 09:41
Originally posted by Maharbbal

no evergetism with the g pronounced as in general was a political system in the Hellenistic world where the richest citizens or non citizens had to pay a lot with their personal fortune (to buy a play or the whole new theater, or a warship, or a temple) to become one of the members of mightiest class in the city. As if Warren Buffet had become life-long senator or vice-president for the sake of giving back to society his fortune.
it is a form of plutocracy but where the fact of being rich is not enough.
 
I never knew that. Now I guess I'll never forget it. Neverforgetism? Smile
Thanks.
 
The modern US version, I guess, is the way they appoint ambassadors, except that you have to make monetary contributions to the right party. Our US ambassador here got the post for being one of Bush's most successful fund-raisers.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ulrich Wolff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2007 at 19:59
Welfare states are viewed badly because they are the same thing as communism. Take that mans money from him, give it to the "needy" (That is the common conception of them here). America provides opportunity for your own success that is why there are libraries, schools, and even financial help. But, they draw the line, and make people work for themselves. Of course that doesn't seem to always work. There are a lot bums out there claiming they aren't able to work. America attempts to give even the poorest person a proper education, and a way to be productive, but will not support them completely depending on their situation.


Edited by Ulrich Wolff - 01-Oct-2007 at 20:03
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2007 at 03:04
That is one way of American thinking (especially my family's way). And I think this is one factor of why the American economy has a faster pace in terms of growth than say economies like France and Germany. But I am just speculating
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2007 at 06:16
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a welfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else and the author of the book argues about how the idea of a welfare state is viewed as something to be proud of in many european nations and something worth sacrificing for,While here in the US it is viewed in a negative light as something socialist and as something that discourages people from finding jobs and putting effort into things.
 
So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?        
I read a book several months ago called The Swedish Secret by Earl Gustafson that addressed this issue; it compared the american governmental system and the swedish one.  Basically the american allows the poorest to become the richest with a huge gap between the two obviously with a very large poor class, whereas the swedish model didn't have super rich but it didn't really have much poor either, think of a huge middle class.  Obviously hugely simplifying the argument but that was the main thing.  Personally I believe the swedish one is better overall, especially morally and when one thinks of helping one's fellow man.  No contest at all.  The book you are reading sounds remarkably similar to it.  I would agree with both authors assessments.  Needless to say I don't think much of this governments welfare system.  (though I do have an axe to grind in this case so keep that in mind)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2007 at 11:41
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

Welfare states are viewed badly because they are the same thing as communism.
Not in the least the same thing. Welfare states are to a large extent attempts to put Christian (and Muslim and Sikh and Jewish ... most major religions) principles into practice. That's why the medieval welfare system was run by the church, and why the modern movement towards the welfare state in most countries was driven by religious individuals.
 
Moreover, there's no reason to automatically label anything 'communist' as 'bad' without a little more analysis.
 
Take that mans money from him, give it to the "needy" (That is the common conception of them here).
I can't imagine a more Christian concept. (Again, that's shorthand, I don't want to seem biassed against other religions.)
 America provides opportunity for your own success that is why there are libraries, schools, and even financial help. But, they draw the line, and make people work for themselves.
Not if they're rich they don't. Is anyone making Paris Hilton work for herself?
 
Also most people don't work for themselves but for someone else. Incidentally one place that certainly made everyone work was Soviet Russia. Cuba does the same thing. If anything is 'communist' it's the teaching that everybody should work.
 
 Of course that doesn't seem to always work. There are a lot bums out there claiming they aren't able to work. America attempts to give even the poorest person a proper education, and a way to be productive, but will not support them completely depending on their situation.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ulrich Wolff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 18:14
Not if they're rich they don't. Is anyone making Paris Hilton work for herself?

Paris Hilton is supported by her parents not the government, it is their personal decision. They can decide at any time to cut her off.

can't imagine a more Christian concept. (Again, that's shorthand, I don't want to seem biassed against other religions.)


There is nothing more heinous to enforce on the public that they must support other people with their hard earned value. It is like taking their blood, their right to live from their very veins.

Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government. There are plenty of charities that help the needy, but they are private so that everyone has a choice of weather or not to help. Goodwill always a personal choice

Also most people don't work for themselves but for someone else. Incidentally one place that certainly made everyone work was Soviet Russia. Cuba does the same thing. If anything is 'communist' it's the teaching that everybody should work.


No, people do not work just for themselves. They work for their family, and THEIR right for happiness. Not some one else's.

I don't understand why you think communism teaches people to work. If any thing communism teaches you to rely on other people rather then your sweat, and blood.

Communism on the surface, sounds wonderful. In practice there is no greater tyranny.






Edited by Ulrich Wolff - 08-Oct-2007 at 18:15
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 18:59
Ulrich Wolff
 
Good to see you here on AE - Welcome!
Other than that - just a few words for now ....
 
You seem to suffer from lack of knowledge or understanding that could help you differ between a modern wellfare state and Communism. There is a huge difference.
 
I'm sure you have heard of Scandinavia, but I'm sure you have never heard anyone who knows Scandinavia or have been here, calling the Scandinavian countries communist countries. 

The Scandinavian countries are based on an extremely well developed wellfare system, and I can promise you, here are less than one percent communists.
 
To read a bit about the Scandinavian Wellfare Model, you can click HERE.
 
Its just a brief explanation of the major elements, but if you likewise read a bit about communism, you can easily see that the concepts really have nothing to do with each other. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Patch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:14
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a welfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else and the author of the book argues about how the idea of a welfare state is viewed as something to be proud of in many european nations and something worth sacrificing for,While here in the US it is viewed in a negative light as something socialist and as something that discourages people from finding jobs and putting effort into things.
 
So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?        
 
Parts of the welfare state are coming under heavy critisim in the UK at present particularly benefit payments.  There are around 4 million out of work in the UK at present (those on incapacity benefit plus those on unemployment benefit) and this is becoming an increasing burden on taxpayers.
 
There are now many areas in the UK  e.g. the north of England, north Wales and parts of Scotland where there can be several generations of a family who have known nothing but living off benefits and crime.
The benefit system has effectively created an underclass for whom it is more profitable to live off handouts than to work.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ulrich Wolff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:14

Good to see you here on AE - Welcome!

Thank you.


I didn't say welfare IS Communism. I said welfare is associated with communism. Any thing that supports enforcement of "Goodwill charity" I will relate to communism, or socialism.



Citizens enjoy extensive financial security. They are supported in times of sickness, unemployment and old age. Supplementary services include help with rent payment and with expenses on children. Furthermore, citizens are offered extensive advanced services such as day-care centres, healthcare and home care.

Contrary to most other EU member states, social benefits in Denmark only depend on employer contributions and direct contributions to a very limited degree, and people’s right to benefits depends only to a limited extent on their former activity on the labour market.


That actually sounds like it could work, but it would put strain on employers causing to hire fewer people, and straining the people they have with larger work loads. It will likely fail, but it'll be interesting to see it play out.


The benefit system has effectively created an underclass for whom it is more profitable to live off handouts than to work.


Thank you patch. Exactly my point.

All the while they are getting hand outs it is putting strain on good, hard working people.

There are three things that cause communism/socialism in a person. They vary in combination.

1. They wish to help other people (Which in the end teaches people to rely on others instead of themselves)

2. They believe they were dealt a poor hand in life, and everyone else should help them.

3. They believe in a fanciful world where everyone helps, everyone. Which is a day dream at best. At worst a delusion.


Edited by Ulrich Wolff - 08-Oct-2007 at 19:30
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:37
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

Not if they're rich they don't. Is anyone making Paris Hilton work for herself?

Paris Hilton is supported by her parents not the government, it is their personal decision. They can decide at any time to cut her off.
My point is that the system doesn't make her work. Or her parents for that matter. Conrad Hilton used to work, I'll grant you.

can't imagine a more Christian concept. (Again, that's shorthand, I don't want to seem biassed against other religions.)


There is nothing more heinous to enforce on the public that they must support other people with their hard earned value. It is like taking their blood, their right to live from their very veins.
If that's the way you feel, that's the way you feel. Don't however claim to be Christian. The major institution that has enforced that on the public over the centuries has been the Church (most if not all churches).


Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government.
Why not?
There are plenty of charities that help the needy, but they are private so that everyone has a choice of weather or not to help. Goodwill always a personal choice
The normal result of that is that people channel their charity to people they know or who belong to societies they know, or possibly are just fashionable. That tends to mean that charity flows, for instance, within the Baptist or Catholic or whatever community and congregation and stays with members of that in-group.
 
So the middle-class supports the middle-class (as long as it remains part of it) and the unattached, the rejects, the failures and the simply inadequate get overlooked.
 
The organisation of charity so that it is properly allocated and spread out without bias need not be governmental, but it does need to be independent of special influence.


Also most people don't work for themselves but for someone else. Incidentally one place that certainly made everyone work was Soviet Russia. Cuba does the same thing. If anything is 'communist' it's the teaching that everybody should work.


No, people do not work just for themselves. They work for their family, and THEIR right for happiness. Not some one else's.
Yes they do. Think of all the people who work for Paris Hilton and her family. Think of all the people who worked for Ken Laye. Their goal may be their own and their family's well-being, but they are rarely the only people who benefit from their labour.


I don't understand why you think communism teaches people to work.
Because you go to jail (or at least ostracised) if you don't. 'From each according to his ability', remember?
 
If any thing communism teaches you to rely on other people rather then your sweat, and blood.

Communism on the surface, sounds wonderful. In practice there is no greater tyranny.
Depends what you mean by communism. Soviet-style communism, you're close to right[1]. Marxist communism in general, right again but Soviet-style would be a worse tyranny. Cherokee communism, you're wrong. Utopian communism, wrong again.
 
[1] I doubt that even Stalinist tyranny was the greatest ever. There's a lot of competition: how about Caligula?




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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ulrich Wolff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:58
If that's the way you feel, that's the way you feel. Don't however claim to be Christian. The major institution that has enforced that on the public over the centuries has been the Church (most if not all churches).

HAHAHAHA! You should not claim to be Christian either if you come in here with that. I can't count how many times God says "Ye will not help them, or preach to them because of their creed". For centuries religion has been the biggest aggressor for war. Marx himself "Religion is opium for the masses"

Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government.
Why not?


Because you are taking away their right to be happy, and wealthy. It is a right that must be pursued by an individual, not given to them.  Basically, you must fight for your own survival if you are capable. America has plenty of welfare programs for people who cannot provide for themselves. But, we will not tolerate lazy slouches. In my opinion let the rich be rich! Because they earned it.



My point is that the system doesn't make her work. Or her parents for that matter. Conrad Hilton used to work, I'll grant you.
The point is they have the FREEDOM, to either be productive people, or sit on their butts, and suffer for it. Paris Hilton does not have to be productive because she does not have to support herself. Which is exactly what a welfare state hands to people.

Because you go to jail (or at least ostracised) if you don't. 'From each according to his ability', remember?

Ok, lets throw every one who doesn't work into jail, so they can have free food, and free beds.  While we pay for it.  That teaches people to work real hard!

Marxist communism is not bad in words. In action it is not possible.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ulrich Wolff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2007 at 19:51
I didn't have time to address a few things in my last post, so I will address them now.

Cherokee communism, you're wrong. Utopian communism, wrong again.


Cherokee communism worked because the tribe is just like a family. Each work, each take care of those who do not work with in the family. So, in a sense its just like what you said here.

The normal result of that is that people channel their charity to people they know or who belong to societies they know



Utopian communism does not work in the real world. The fact bears in its very name.



That tends to mean that charity flows, for instance, within the Baptist or Catholic or whatever community and congregation and stays with members of that in-group.


I can't count how many charity groups there are. I can't count how many I've participated in over the years. When I went to school we had at least 1 or 2 charity programs a year. When I went to boy scouts every time you turn around we're doing charity work.

Red Cross
City of Hope and affiliates
CARE
Save the Children

Those are all non-religious charity programs.


Yes they do. Think of all the people who work for Paris Hilton and her family. Think of all the people who worked for Ken Laye. Their goal may be their own and their family's well-being, but they are rarely the only people who benefit from their labour.


I think the answer to this question is the most obvious. They had an employer (AKA Hilton family) who paid them a certain amount of money to work for them, thus advancing, and providing for their families. One could even argue that having people like the Hilton family is very beneficial because they provide work for a variety of people.



Edited by Ulrich Wolff - 10-Oct-2007 at 20:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2007 at 21:26
Originally posted by Ulrich W

I can't count how many charity groups there are. I can't count how many I've participated in over the years. When I went to school we had at least 1 or 2 charity programs a year. When I went to boy scouts every time you turn around we're doing charity work.
 
That is exactly the point Ulrich.
 
How great would you feel being at the receiving end of charity?
How do you think people feel about having to rely on charity from strangers, good will (and money) from family and friends?
When would YOU start thinking that you might be a burden to those who helps you if you were in that situation?
 
Thats what welfare is about  - to ensure every citizen that they can go through life, most notably a decent and dignified life, not having to rely on crums from those who are better off.
This should be a right for every human being on this planet.
 
It also involves ie. free healthcare, eldercare, meds. and hospitals so that you can be treated for any illness - have a decent 3'rd age, getting your diabetes medicine and having the surgery you need etc. etc.
 
Wellfare is also about equal opportunities for all, - something most US citizens value very high. I also think its in your Constitution.
But - if you think that can be accomplished without a free education system all the way through university, you are dead wrong.
 
If a guy is born "on the wrong side of the street", his chances of getting a higher education, no matter how smart he is, is very poor. I know there are scholarships and so on, but they remain a possiblity for the very few (so absolutely no equality for all).
 
Also, this way a country is being "robbed" for the great brains who most likely is serving burgers at McDonalds instead of going to highschool and university. Instead, the universities are filled with "well off" kids of which quite a few, should switch places with those kids at McDonalds - if we want the best brains in the country to be educated the most.
This is actually "a Republican" point of view, but sadly enough, they don't care. And they won't care as long as they can get their own kids into the scools. Money has proved heavier than IQ on the scale.
 
Our taxload here will give any US citizen goosebumps.
But I'm happily paying my taxes, well knowing they provide and guarantee the right to basic needs for us all.
 
What is wrong with taxes anyways? - They don't matter!
What matters is, the amount of money you have left to yourself AFTER you have paid your taxes.
 
The filosophy?
"A society where only a few has too little, and even fewer too much" (N.F.S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872)

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Edited by Northman - 10-Oct-2007 at 21:28
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