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Forum LockedThe "welfare state"?

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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Nov-2007 at 10:08
Hello Patch
 
I could go deep into economic mumbo jumbo but here is a wiki article about GDP and I suggest you read the criticism part carefully:
 
Read my earlier response so that you can get examples for what I have said.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ulrich Wolff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Nov-2007 at 15:57
I will not support nor oppose some thing I do not fully understand.... Please give me a link to an article of some sort.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davide Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2007 at 14:03

Hi, I'm Davide from Milan (Italy)...and my english it's no good.Cry

Discussion on welfare state it is important in Europe too: important problem is welfare for new generation, pubblic debt and the growth of population age.
There is an important document that give information on UE and USA, economic data in comparison.
Especially in Italy, the issue is show ideologically: "pubblic service is inefficient", "welfare state is death", "private service look only for profit and not to social stability" etc etc
Opinion on social equity is not simple like it seems, for example, in Italy, pubblic university support rich families.
I think that it is important the quality of policy: in Italy welfare is good, but stupid policy, political patronage of the past penalize the pubblic finance.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote longshanks31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2007 at 10:07
I like the NHS we have, i ever have a health problem, touch wood, ive never had anything serious yet, but if it happens it will be looked after and there will not be a bill to fret about afterwards.
 
Sure it has its hiccups and problems, like anything government run, but life here would be worse without it.
 
other benifits of the welfare state are a source of contention for me, my view is a man/woman should work, and the benifits system here seem to give rise to a breed of lazy sit on the backside human.
 
to my mind keep the nhs but unemployment benifits should be scrapped, theres no need for them, we would not be importing hundreds of thousands of polish if there was a job shortage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Patch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2007 at 13:06
Originally posted by longshanks31 longshanks31 wrote:

I like the NHS we have, i ever have a health problem, touch wood, ive never had anything serious yet, but if it happens it will be looked after and there will not be a bill to fret about afterwards.
 
Sure it has its hiccups and problems, like anything government run, but life here would be worse without it.
 
other benifits of the welfare state are a source of contention for me, my view is a man/woman should work, and the benifits system here seem to give rise to a breed of lazy sit on the backside human.
 
to my mind keep the nhs but unemployment benifits should be scrapped, theres no need for them, we would not be importing hundreds of thousands of polish if there was a job shortage.
 
The NHS is fine as long as you never get ill. 
 
The NHS forms poorly compared to most other European countries e.g. 20,000 people a year die from infections caught in British hospitals because of poor standards of hygine.
Cancer survival rates are much lower in the Uk than western European countries - you get better cancer treatment in Poland at a fraction of the cost.   
Waiting lists are higher than Europe..
 
While the NHS provides a poorer quality service it is not due to lack funding - UK healthcare spend is higher than the EU average.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2007 at 13:29
Hey folks, you can not fight the vagaries of history here. In terms of the state and the role of government the parameters were set in the 19th century and arose in both France and England under different guises (Saint-Simon/Comte in France and J. S. Mill in England) during the first third of the 19th century. Long before anyone had heard of Karl Marx and scientific socialism, the principles of parliamentary democracy gave birth to the Welfare State in terms of the government as the provider of social needs through the expertise and administration of a professional bureaucracy.  Let's face it, the Romanticism of the general populance in most matters--emotion over logic--made such an outcome inevitable. At the same time, it also neutered the inherent revolutionary violence premised under the Marxian variant of the socialist phenomena.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2007 at 13:29
Originally posted by Justinian Justinian wrote:

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)


Note however that the Swedish system is not the same as in the 70s anymore. It has declined a lot. One of the things the organizers of the 40's didn't count on is that the ranges of inflation comming in the future. That means that the 1000 dollars your parents payed in taxes per year during the 60s-70s, had no value for the generation of the 90s. My brother for example who lives there, will most certainly not get any money when he retires. Another problem is the system of money distirbution amongst state services. Some sectors might recieve huge amounts of funds which are an overkill while others might not have enough of them.

As for helping a fellow man, that's the original idea. However, i can't say that it is what practically happens in peoples mind. I don't think i've ever heard elsewhere in my life, people making openly statements of how much a human costs ($$$) for the society. The idea that an honest hard working individual (to avoid missconception) is always reminded of what he costs and never what he offers, to society is kinda frightening. Note however, that this type of unethical trend has been "farmed" in the last decade.

Generally, I love the era of the 60s-70s in that country where it was definetly a wellfare paradise. Nowdays, i believe a major update has to be done in peoples mind about myths and reality. It is 2007 and what we usually hear of is the glory of the 70s.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Dec-2007 at 11:22
 
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:


Note however that the Swedish system is not the same as in the 70s anymore. It has declined a lot. One of the things the organizers of the 40's didn't count on is that the ranges of inflation comming in the future. That means that the 1000 dollars your parents payed in taxes per year during the 60s-70s, had no value for the generation of the 90s.
The misconception here is that you can save money now and rely on being able to use it in the distant future. That's not true whether you are putting the money into some private institution or into state-run 'insurance'. Inflation wipes out both.
 
Pensions and health bills have to be paid (no matter how anyone tries to distort things to hide the fact) out of current taxes.
 
At any point in time the output of the economy, no matter how organised, is set, and controlled by various groups of people, dependent on the organisation.
 
Either those control groups are willing to divert part of their output to looking after the children, the sick and the old or they're not. How much they are willing to divert (pay/raise in taxes) determines what the welfare beneficiaries receive.
 
Saving money to anticipate the situation only serves to increase the money supply at that point in time and therefore provide an extra inflationary push.
 
(It remains true that over a short enough period of stability he who saves more will be better off than he who saves less. But that would be no consolation to anyone who lived through 1917 in Russia or the early 1920s in Germany or the late forties in any country that took the German side in WW2, particularly Hungary. And of course, many other times and places.) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Dec-2007 at 15:38
Well said, gcle. My wife and were just having a discussion about this. In the U.S. many mistake the U.S. Social Security as some kind of savings account where their money is waiting for them at the end of their years. It drives me crazy about how older people here talk about their money.

Their money is gone. It was spent years ago on the retirees that were living back when they were working, the same way that my social security contributions are being spent today. This doesn't bother me at all.

It does bother me that people don't understand the real nature of the social system that they are using though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raygun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 03:20

Well, in Singapore we have a social/personal security system in place. It's called the Central Provident Fund.

Basically, every working adult have to contribute an average 20% (depending on age) of their pay into a government account. Their employeers also need to contribute another 14% (fluctuates depending on economic performance). At out retirement age we can withdraw certain portion for our retirement and certain percentage (called Medisave) will be saved for any medical payment requirements - like big expensive items like heart surgery & stuff.
 
So, is this a better way that the US Social Service? I dunno. What I do know is, If I earn more, I'll have more in the future & it's my $. Is it the same in the US? How about Europe?
 
You can read about our CPF scheme here: http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/About-Us/Intro/Intro.htm


Edited by raygun - 29-Jan-2008 at 03:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 11:27
Originally posted by raygun raygun wrote:

Well, in Singapore we have a social/personal security system in place. It's called the Central Provident Fund.

Basically, every working adult have to contribute an average 20% (depending on age) of their pay into a government account. Their employeers also need to contribute another 14% (fluctuates depending on economic performance). At out retirement age we can withdraw certain portion for our retirement and certain percentage (called Medisave) will be saved for any medical payment requirements - like big expensive items like heart surgery & stuff.
 
So, is this a better way that the US Social Service? I dunno. What I do know is, If I earn more, I'll have more in the future & it's my $. Is it the same in the US? How about Europe?
But what will you be able to buy with those future dollars? It's not simply a matter of inflation, though that's important. You're relying on the belief that the producers of wealth in the future will honour a contract with you that they won't themselves have agreed to, that contract being that they will exchange their goods/services for your money.
Quote  
You can read about our CPF scheme here: http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/About-Us/Intro/Intro.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 13:07
The myth of security, as with almost all aspirations in human experience, stems from fear of the future and the resolution of this uncertainty. One can argue over the benefits received from the largesse of the state until doomsday, but when the burden becomes onerous in terms of individual responsibility towards the state so as to preserve the structural components, the state itself collapses. Essentially, at some point in time there is a transition in the role of the state from a vehicle for the promotion, protection and distribution of equitable wealth (where society believes itself invested in its operation) to that of an exploiter whose purported benefits overwhelm the initiatives of production and communal responsibility in the individual.  It is an ancient equation [for example look at the social and political fragmentation of the Roman Empire between AD 250-450] and one that underscores the fallacy in believing that continuous growth will ensure future prosperity. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 18:38
@drgonzaga
 
You may have a few good points, but through my lifetime (I'm old), I have always believed that when someone is responsible for the preparation, planning and actual presentations of, in a complicated manner, comprehensive, interrelated and hierarchically ordered  elements, structures and concepts, the usage of polycromatic visual stimulations of mineral origin should be taken into consideration.
 
Would you consider such a statement to hold any value?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 21:37
Simply put you invest only to the degree that future benefit is perceivable (be it in terms of animal, vegetable or mineral). Once that perception is lost on an individual horizon no amount of tinkering would permit continuity--or shall we say longevity. The colors may look good yet the substance is but mirage.
 
Aesop might have believed the ants practical, but hey we are all grasshoppers in the end.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 22:30

Being that circumspect radiation composed of more than one wavelegth increases perceived value, overconfident presumptions can enhance a sense of hightened security let alone generalized anxiety over lack there of. A sanctuary under such conditions enables imminent refuge under a pledge of inevitable self fulfillment.

Grasshoppers may also attest that an unexamined life is not worth living.
 
 
 
A bit of lost in translation. Compliments of Danny Ocean, Linus and Matsui.
 
- Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream. I am a traveler in both time and space, to be where I have been.

- A doctor who specializes in skin diseases will dream that he has fallen asleep in front of the television. Later, he will wake up in front of the television, but not remember his dream. 
- Would you agree?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 23:52

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


Simply put you invest only to the degree that future benefit is perceivable (be it in terms of animal, vegetable or mineral). Once that perception is lost on an individu al horizon no amount of tinkering would permit continuity--or shall we say longevity. The colors may look good yet the substance is but mirage.
 
Aesop might have believed the ants practical, but hey we are all grasshoppers in the end.

Thank you for a profound answer which clearly and precisely demonstrates what I expected. Namely, an intelligent answer that noone would understand, and that you would understand even less of my post, than I did of yours. 
To avoid such examples of confusion in the future, let me suggest that we both will consider whom we are addressing and that we both will strive to use a more plain english when we are writing on a public forum.
Only that way we can ensure that our precious words of wisdom will be understood, appreciated and embedded in the minds of present and future generations.   
I usually enjoy and understand some of some of your posts (is that plain english?), but I would be ever so thankful if I could read and understand them without a 20 inch pile of dictionaries in front of me.
Please don't misunderstand me, its very educational but extremely time consuming - and I have passed 60 last year, so time is short.

Thank you

 

Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


Being that circumspect radiation composed of more than one wavelegth increases perceived value, overconfident presumptions can enhance a sense of hightened security let alone generalized anxiety over lack there of. A sanctuary under such conditions enables imminent refuge under a pledge of inevitable self fulfillment.
Grasshoppers may also attest that an unexamined life is not worth living. 
 
A bit of lost in translation. Compliments of Danny Ocean, Linus and Matsui.

No no - I understood it perfectly. Your CRT-TV blew up because you were lax and didn't secure the wavelenghts of the Cathode Rays. Now you're sitting in outmost tranquility and fulfillment without the TV to disturb you, yet still longing for your favorite Grasshopper show on Animal Planet and worries if they should commit suicide. 

Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


- Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream. I am a traveler in both time and space, to be where I have been.
________________________________________
- A doctor who specializes in skin diseases will dream that he has fallen asleep in front of the television. Later, he will wake up in front of the television, but not remember his dream.
- Would you agree?

Yes, I absolutely agree - see a shrink or get a new TV!

PS.
Back on topic guys ....  The welfare state Smile
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 01:37
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Simply put you invest only to the degree that future benefit is perceivable (be it in terms of animal, vegetable or mineral). Once that perception is lost on an individual horizon no amount of tinkering would permit continuity--or shall we say longevity. The colors may look good yet the substance is but mirage.
 
Aesop might have believed the ants practical, but hey we are all grasshoppers in the end.


Well put, Dr. G. The vagaries of the future are intangible. Of course it is the "common sense" tendency to put something by in the event of a rainy day; but nothing is guaranteed. Per an example, a farmer can grow more than he needs in the event part of the crop is lost; but if a blight wipes out the entire field, he has worked even harder for the same negative outcome. Economics can work the same way- you can put away money that may be useful in the future, but even that might be inefficient. What if the economy tanks? What if inflation were to render what was at one time a considerable sum into a measly pittance? Certainly such things can, and do, happen.

Now, is that an argument against planning effectively for a foreseeable or likely future? I don't know, and can only speak with the illusionary wisdom of a twenty one year old. As an American, am I happy that the money taken out of my paychecks goes to members of a previous generation from whom I am largely disconnected and exploited by? Is it fair that I am stripped of a substantial portion of my income to provide for the health and financial well-being of those who have had their time in the sun and whose time is passed? What are the societal benefits of keeping these animated mummies breathing? Or of allowing people over the age of 65 the leisure to cease their productive endeavors so that they can play golf in Florida until they inevitable expire? I believe these are realistic questions that Americans need to address discursively, political correctness be damned.

Cheers,
BC

Edit: Note: I have not taken a stand one way or the other on these issues. On one hand, I believe that we ought to do everything in our power to preserve the lives and well-beings of every single person. On the other hand, I wonder, after providing others with the essentials, must we provide for their comfort and leisure as well? Because, as far as I can tell, there are very few geriatrics throwing any of their money into a beer fund for thirsty college kids, while we're required to give up a large percentage of our hard-earned dollars to provide for their retirement (which is generally expected to be a pleasant, enjoyable time by the beneficiaries).



Edited by Brian J Checco - 30-Jan-2008 at 01:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 12:04

Well Northman you can have comprehension without understanding, so when read the intent behind your response was more than clear for, you see, I am older than you!

Yet, the welfare state, or a discussion of it, requires incisive and complex language because it is where the "dismal science", Economics, weds Political Science, the catechist of Utilitarian harlotry. Consequently, as Ortega y Gasset underscored nearly three-quarters of a century ago, when people confuse the useful for Truth then one enters the realm of the Lie. And there is no greater Lie than the results of parliamentary democracy operating under the impetus of economic planning and social munificence. Yes, one can appeal to the Newspeak of contemporary society and in simplicity invert meaning, but such is also an intricate part of dumbing down the citizenry in but the latest version of "Bread and Circuses" for the sake of a smothering statism that is nothing but illusion. In small homogenous states, such as Denmark, the immediacy of contact keeps in check the  political stratification and manipulation (the social engineering) that overwhelms the individual; nevertheless, the larger the theatre the more oppressive democracy becomes unless kept in check by respect for the autonomy of the individual. It is not a new observation, Jacob Burckhardt intimated as much at the close of the 19th century when he reviewed the results of Industrial Democracy and its impact on individual creativity.
 
I will defend the above generalizations as the topic expands, and it does deserve to expand because current trends towards "world government" (and the desire to control all of the uncertainties in life--including natural phenomena) has become the central impetus affecting our daily lives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 15:30
 
Originally posted by Brian J Checco Brian J Checco wrote:

Now, is that an argument against planning effectively for a foreseeable or likely future? I don't know, and can only speak with the illusionary wisdom of a twenty one year old. As an American, am I happy that the money taken out of my paychecks goes to members of a previous generation from whom I am largely disconnected and exploited by? Is it fair that I am stripped of a substantial portion of my income to provide for the health and financial well-being of those who have had their time in the sun and whose time is passed? What are the societal benefits of keeping these animated mummies breathing? Or of allowing people over the age of 65 the leisure to cease their productive endeavors so that they can play golf in Florida until they inevitable expire? I believe these are realistic questions that Americans need to address discursively, political correctness be damned.

 
Quote THERE was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son's wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they bought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. "What are you doing there?" asked the father. "I am making a little trough," answered the child, "for father and mother to eat out of when I am big."
 
The deal is supposed to be that they paid for the retirement of others when they were working, and that you will be paid for your retirement by the people working then. It's called continuation of community, and I guess if you feel unfairly treated by it, then you can try and do something about it.
 
Which is why, before our polyverbal and multisyllabic diversion, I said, somewhat more tersely:
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

But what will you be able to buy with those future dollars? It's not simply a matter of inflation, though that's important. You're relying on the belief that the producers of wealth in the future will honour a contract with you that they won't themselves have agreed to, that contract being that they will exchange their goods/services for your money.
 
You apparently are toying with the idea of not honouring that contract, which exactly makes my point.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 16:08

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

What is history but a fable agreed upon?
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