Does the welfare state deform society?

“The” welfare state and “the” society are not sufficiently sharply defined phenomena, that such questions could be pursued empirically.The choice of words also implies deformed in my view that in the absence of social-state structures society tends to an equilibrium, that there is a quasi “deformationless” status naturalis.

So what exactly do you want to hear here?

From a radical libertarian point of view in the spirit of an Ayn Rand, that is, under the postulate that any support for individuals from the public purse is not only unnecessary, but inherently amoral, even the United States is a welfare state.Certain medical emergencies were already covered without insurance even before the Affordable Care Act, and from the age of 65 — a completely arbitrary age that may still have been statistically valid in Bismarck’s time — there is a limited right to Medicaid.There are subscription certificates for social housing as well as food stamps. All of this is proven to be totally inadequate to keep those in need truly afloat, but even for the most part untouchable for most of the Republican Tea Party spectrum.

“Deformation” is thus, to a certain extent, a consequence driven by where social consensus (i.e. majority opinion — it is tired of including totalitarian systems) sets priorities.

To illustrate this in a simplified way, there are four rough models of social-state organization in the Western industrialized countries, other than the USA.

The Anglo-Saxon model,including here in Canada, offers comparatively little job security from a continental European point of view.Rather, the focus is on the rapid re-entry into the labour market due to reduced risk on the part of the employer. This also leads to a change of mentality in favour of the jobseeker. When hiring, hardly anyone is interested in the reasons for dismissal, unless gross self-fault or intentional misconduct were involved. Everyone knows that people can be fired on the basis of quite banal economic factors — non-specific “cuts” are a popular reason at all times — so that only skills and personality are relevant. Relatively low unemployment in the Anglosphere is being bought against economic fluctuation, which would immediately trigger a mass strike in France. Unemployment statistics such as those of young people in Spain are largely unthinkable.

Which brings me to the next point.

The southern European model has virtually opposite objectives.At the risk that my description is not entirely fair: it protects those who are already employed, but it makes it difficult to get there — this is one of the reasons for the high level of youth unemployment in Portugal and Spain — so it is basically ‘ageist’ and paternalistic in the sense of of over-prediscing the old people. Very capable young graduates and well-trained craftsmen and technicians are being blocked, and there is, to be said, little incentive for further training and lifelong learning of older workers, which would enable them to develop further. The high potential of these economies — good level of education, a high quality of life, functioning consumer services and, in fact, excellent infrastructure — is not developing as it could.

The Nordic model is based on a high level of social consensus and, above all, what is always deliberately overlooked here in North America: free trade.Scandinavian societies are paradoxically very individualistic within their strong consensus framework. Freelance work is widespread and encouraged. The fact that nothing fundamentally threatening can happen in the event of failure (unless such an experience is inherently shitty) encourages a certain amount of entrepreneurship. But, of course, it has a price.

The continental “Rhine model of capitalism” as in Germany, France, geared towards broad-based economic prosperity and a recognised role of the state in the economy. Larger, diversified Anglo-Saxon economies such as the US or the UK find this strange, depending on their ideological orientation; However, something similar is quite common in smaller and commodity-market-dependent economies such as Canada, Australia, or NZ, where certain sectors of the industry rely on government participation. This shows that no industrial society is likely to have a pure expression of one of these four models; they are hybridizations instead.

However, all these models and their combinations have so far successfully prevented mass social neglect.You shouldn’t expect them to level the Gini coefficient completely, there’s no such thing.

These are, of course, gross simplifications, but each of these models “deformed” in its own way… However, for all the clamours about tax burdens, “redistribution” and the like, it is more almost impossible to imagine the factor of the welfare state from European economies in order to play through a realistic what-if scenario (regardless of which moral underpinning).

There is an interesting, macro-social study on the effect of firearm ownership and the difficulties in substantiating the social impact of certain social policies.It is a tale of two cities: Vancouver (Canada) and Seattle (USA) are quasi-neighbouring cities with roughly the same population and their socio-economic distribution.Poverty and wealth, political attitudes, but also drug problems and the like are comparable. In Seattle, however, the incidence of violent crime with fatal outcomes was 10 times higher at the time of the study. This was entirely due to the easier availability of firearms in this city; the number of acts of affect and violence is negligible if fatal outcomes are deliberately not taken into account. Restrictive gun laws do not eliminate crime, but they significantly mitigate its consequences.

The “deformation rate” of a social-state model — and of the above, which ones we first examine ?— to face a consistently libertarian laissez-faire, a study of comparable size and conditions would need to be carried out.

But one could also say that any social organization creates deformations, both in individuals and in their entirety.

Finally, an anthropological thought: skeletons of Neolithic burials were found, suggesting that individuals survived for a long time despite arthritis, tooth loss at a young age, and serious injuries.This would not have been possible without the support of the semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer sipp of 30-60 individuals. The injuries were healed despite permanent disabilities and the toothless were not malnourished by comparison.

It can therefore be assumed that a significant proportion of our ancestors already considered such behaviour to be fundamentally correct long before Plato, Socrates or the Christian concept of carit’s.Although it is safe in certain locations (hunting game shortages, weather breaks, confrontations with predators or predators; necessary to overcome longer distances on foot).

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