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The welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of
equal opportunity Equal opportunity is a state of fairness in which individuals are treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices Prejudice can be an affective feeling towards a person based on their perceived group membership. The word is ...
, equitable
distribution of wealth The distribution of wealth is a comparison of the wealth Wealth is the abundance (economics), abundance of Value (economics), valuable financial assets or property, physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used fo ...
, and public responsibility for citizens unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. Sociologist T. H. Marshall described the modern welfare state as a distinctive combination of
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...

democracy
,
welfare Welfare (or commonly, social welfare) is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet Basic needs, basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or ref ...
, and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
. There is substantial variability in the form and trajectory of the welfare state across countries and regions. All welfare states entail some degree of private-public partnerships wherein the administration and delivery of at least some welfare programmes occurs through private entities. Welfare state services are also provided at varying territorial levels of government. Early features of the welfare state, such as public pensions and social insurance, developed from the 1880s onwards in industrializing Western countries. World War I, the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, and World War II have been characterized as important events that ushered in expansions of the welfare state, including the use of state interventionism to combat lost output, high unemployment, and other problems. The fullest forms of the welfare state developed after World War II.


Etymology

The
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
term ''sozialstaat'' ("social state") has been used since 1870 to describe state support programs devised by German ''sozialpolitiker'' ("social politicians") and implemented as part of
Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (german: Otto Fürst von Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, Herzog zu Lauenburg ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a c ...

Otto von Bismarck
's conservative reforms. The literal English equivalent "social state" did not catch on in Anglophone countries. However, during the Second World War, Anglican Archbishop
William TempleWilliam Temple may refer to: * Sir William Temple (logician) (1555–1627), English Ramist logician and Provost of Trinity College, Dublin * Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet (1628–1699), English diplomat, politician and essayist, employer of Jonath ...
, author of the book ''Christianity and the Social Order'' (1942), popularized the concept using the phrase "welfare state". Bishop Temple's use of "welfare state" has been connected to
Benjamin Disraeli Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881), was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is e ...

Benjamin Disraeli
's 1845 novel ''Sybil: or the Two Nations'' (in other words, the rich and the poor), where he writes "power has only one duty – to secure the social welfare of the PEOPLE". At the time he wrote ''Sybil'', Disraeli (later a prime minister) belonged to
Young England {{about, the Conservative political group, imaginary military society, Edward Oxford Young England was a Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the wikt:period, period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 ...
, a conservative group of youthful
Tories A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between ...
who disagreed with how the
Whig Whig or Whigs may refer to: Parties and factions In the British Isles * A pejorative nickname for the Kirk Party The Kirk Party were a radical Presbyterian faction of the Scotland, Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. ...
s dealt with the conditions of the industrial poor. Members of Young England attempted to garner support among the privileged classes to assist the less fortunate and to recognize the
dignity of laborThe dignity of labour is the philosophy that all types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior and none of the jobs should be discriminated on any basis. Regardless of whether one's occupation involves physical work o ...
that they imagined had characterized England during the Feudal Middle Ages.


History


Ancient


India

Emperor
Ashoka Ashoka (; Brāhmi: 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓, ''Asoka'', IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit ...

Ashoka
of India put forward his idea of a welfare state in the 3rd century BCE. He envisioned his ''
dharma Dharma (; sa, धर्म, dharma, ; pi, dhamma, italic=yes; ta, aṟam, italic=yes) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the s ...
'' (religion or path) as not just a collection of high-sounding phrases. He consciously tried to adopt it as a matter of state policy; he declared that "all men are my children" and "whatever exertion I make, I strive only to discharge debt that I owe to all living creatures." It was a totally new ideal of kingship. Ashoka renounced war and conquest by violence and forbade the killing of many animals. Since he wanted to conquer the world through love and faith, he sent many missions to propagate Dharma. Such missions were sent to places like Egypt, Greece, and Sri Lanka. The propagation of Dharma included many measures of people's welfare. Centers of the treatment of men and beasts founded inside and outside of the empire. Shady groves, wells, orchards and rest houses were laid out. Ashoka also prohibited useless sacrifices and certain forms of gatherings which led to waste, indiscipline and superstition. To implement these policies he recruited a new cadre of officers called Dharmamahamattas. Part of this group's duties was to see that people of various sects were treated fairly. They were especially asked to look after the welfare of prisoners. However, the historical record of Ashoka's character is conflicted. Ashoka's own inscriptions state that he converted to Buddhism after waging a destructive war. However, the Sri Lankan tradition claims that he had already converted to Buddhism in the 4th year of his reign, prior to the conquest of Kalinga. During this war, according to Ashoka's Major Rock Edict 13, his forces killed 100,000 men and animals and enslaved another 150,000. Some sources (particularly Buddhist oral legends) suggest that his conversion was dramatic and that he dedicated the rest of his life to the pursuit of peace and the common good. However, these sources frequently contradict each other, and sources soundly dated nearer to the Edicts (like ''
Ashokavadana The Ashokavadana ( sa, अशोकावदान; ; "Narrative of Ashoka") is an Indian Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging t ...
'', circa 200 BCE at the earliest) describe Ashoka engaging in sectarian mass murder throughout his reign, and make no mention of the philanthropic efforts claimed by later legends. The interpretation of Ashoka's dharma after conversion is controversial, but in particular, the texts which describe him personally ordering the massacre of Buddhist heretics and Jains have been disputed by some fringe Buddhist scholars. They allege that these claims are propaganda, albeit without historical, archaeological, or linguistic evidence. It is unclear if they believe the entire ''Ashokavadana'' to be an ancient fabrication, or just the sections related to Ashoka's post-conversion violence.


China

The Emperor Wen (203 – 157 BCE) of
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
instituted a variety of measures with resemblances to modern welfare policies. These included pensions, in the form of food and wine, to all over 80 years of age, as well as monetary support, in the form of loans or tax breaks, to widows, orphans, and elderly without children to support them. Emperor Wen was also known for a concern over wasteful spending of tax-payer money. Unlike other Han emperors, he wore simple silk garments. In order to make the state serve the common people better, cruel criminal punishments were lessened and the state bureaucracy was made more meritocratic. This led to officials being selected by examinations for the first time in Chinese history.


Rome

The
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
intervened sporadically to distribute free or subsidized grain to its population, through the program known as ''
Cura Annonae Cura Annonae ("care of Annona") was the term used in ancient Rome, in honour of their goddess annona (goddess), Annona, to describe the import and distribution of grain to the residents of the city of Rome. After the re-foundation of Byzantium by ...
.'' The city of Rome grew rapidly during the Roman Republic and
Empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

Empire
, reaching a population approaching one million in the second century AD. The population of the city grew beyond the capacity of the nearby rural areas to meet the food needs of the city. Regular grain distribution began in 123 BC with a grain law proposed by
Gaius Gracchus Gaius Sempronius Gracchus (154–121 BC) was a populist Ancient Roman, Roman politician in the 2nd century BC and brother of the reformer Tiberius Gracchus, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. His election to the office of tribune in the years 123 BC an ...
and approved by the Roman
Plebeian Council The ''Concilium Plebis'' (English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually ...
(popular assembly). The numbers of those receiving free or subsidized grain expanded to a high of an estimated 320,000 people at one point. In the 3rd century AD, the dole of grain was replaced by bread, probably during the reign of
Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius Severus (; 11 April 145 – 4 February 211) was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna (present day Al-Khums, Libya) in the Roman province of Africa (Roman province), Africa. As a young man he advanced thro ...
(193-211 AD). Severus also began providing
olive oil Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomi ...

olive oil
to residents of Rome, and later the emperor
Aurelian Aurelian ( la, Lucius Domitius Aurelianus; 9 September 214c. October 275) was Roman emperor from 270 to 275. As emperor, he won an unprecedented series of military victories which reunited the Roman Empire after it had practically disintegrated ...

Aurelian
(270-275) ordered the distribution of
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flow ...

wine
and
pork Pork is the culinary name for the meat of the Pig, domestic pig (''Sus scrofa domesticus''). It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig animal husbandry, husbandry dating back to 5000 BC. Pork is eaten both freshly ...

pork
. The doles of bread, olive oil, wine, and pork apparently continued until near the end of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
in 476 AD. The dole in the early Roman Empire is estimated to account for 15 to 33 percent of the total grain imported and consumed in Rome. In addition to food, the Roman Republic also supplied free entertainment, through ''
ludi ''Ludi'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

ludi
'' (public games). Public money was allocated for the staging of ''ludi,'' but the presiding official increasingly came to augment the splendor of his games from personal funds as a form of
public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British E ...
. The sponsor was able to cultivate the favor of the people of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
.


Middle East

The concept of states taxing for the welfare budget was introduced in early 7th century Islamic law. ''
Zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving Alms (, ) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue Virtue ( la, virtus ''Virtus'' () was a s ...

Zakat
'' is one of the
five pillars of Islam 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era * 5 BC, the fifth year before the AD era Literature * 5 (visual novel), ''5'' (visual novel), a 2008 visual novel by Ram * 5 (comics ...

five pillars of Islam
and is a mandatory form of 2.5% income tax to be paid by all individuals earning above a basic threshold to provide for the needy.
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
(584–644), leader of the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an ...
(empire), established a welfare state through the
Bayt al-mal ''Bayt al-mal'' () is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, ...
(treasury), which for instance was used to stockpile food in every region of the Islamic Empire for disasters and emergencies.


Modern

Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (german: Otto Fürst von Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, Herzog zu Lauenburg ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a c ...

Otto von Bismarck
established the first welfare state in a modern industrial society, with social-welfare legislation, in 1880s
Imperial Germany The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
. Bismarck extended the privileges of the
Junker Junker ( da, Junker, german: Junker, nl, Jonkheer, en, Yunker, no, Junker, sv, Junker ka, იუნკერი (Iunkeri)) is a noble honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when us ...
social class to ordinary Germans. His 17 November 1881 Imperial Message to the
Reichstag is a German word generally meaning parliament, more directly translated as ''Diet (assembly), Diet of the Realm'' or ''National diet'', or more loosely as ''Imperial Diet''. It may refer to: Buildings and places is the god specific German word ...
used the term "practical Christianity" to describe his program. German laws from this era also insured workers against industrial risks inherent in the workplace. In
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, the Swiss Factory Act of 1877 limited working hours for everyone, and gave maternity benefits. The Swiss welfare state also arose in the late 19th century; its existence and depth varied individually by
canton Canton may refer to: Administrative division terminology * Canton (administrative division), territorial/administrative division in some countries, notably Switzerland * Township (Canada), known as ''canton'' in Canadian French Arts and entert ...
. Some of the programs first adopted were emergency relief, elementary schools, and homes for the elderly and children. In the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
, a version was set up by Count Eduard von Taaffe a few years after Bismarck in Germany. Legislation to help the working class in Austria emerged from
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
conservatives Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditional values or practices of the culture Culture () is an umbrella term w ...
. Von Taffe used Swiss and German models of social reform, including the Swiss Factory Act of 1877 German laws that insured workers against industrial risks inherent in the workplace to create the 1885 Trade Code Amendment. Changed attitudes in reaction to the worldwide
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
of the 1930s, which brought unemployment and misery to millions, were instrumental in the move to the welfare state in many countries. During the Great Depression, the welfare state was seen as a "middle way" between the extremes of
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communism
on the left and unregulated ''
laissez-faire ''Laissez-faire'' ( ; from french: laissez faire , ) is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects hav ...
''
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
on the right. In the period following World War II, some countries in Western Europe moved from partial or selective provision of
social serviceSocial services are a range of public services intended to provide support and assistance towards particular groups, which commonly include the disadvantaged. They may be provided by individuals, Organization, private and independent organisations, o ...

social service
s to relatively comprehensive "cradle-to-grave" coverage of the population. Other Western European states did not, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and France. Political scientist Eileen McDonagh has argued that a major determinant of where welfare states arose is whether or not a country had a historical monarchy with familial foundations (a trait that
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
called
patrimonialism Patrimonialism is a form of governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), market, or by a social network, network – over a soc ...
); in places where the monarchic state was viewed as a parental steward of the populace, it was easier to shift into a mindset where the industrial state could also serve as a parental steward of the populace. The activities of present-day welfare states extend to the provision of both cash welfare benefits (such as old-age pensions or unemployment benefits) and in-kind welfare services (such as health or childcare services). Through these provisions, welfare states can affect the distribution of wellbeing and personal autonomy among their citizens, as well as influencing how their citizens consume and how they spend their time.


Analysis

Historian of the 20th Century fascist movement, Robert Paxton, observes that the provisions of the welfare state were enacted in the 19th century by religious conservatives to counteract appeals from
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
s and
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. Later, Paxton writes "All the modern twentieth-century European dictatorships of the right, both fascist and authoritarian, were welfare states… They all provided medical care, pensions, affordable housing, and mass transport as a matter of course, in order to maintain productivity, national unity, and social peace."
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Adolf Hitler
's
National Socialist German Workers' Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right political party in Germany active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ...
expanded the welfare state to the point where over 17 million German citizens were receiving assistance under the auspices of the
National Socialist People's Welfare The National Socialist People's Welfare (german: Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, NSV) was a social welfare organization during the Third Reich Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ...
by 1939. Richard J. Evans, ''The Third Reich in Power, 1933–1939,'' New York: The Penguin Press, 2005, p. 489 When social democratic parties abandoned
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, they increasingly accepted the welfare state as a political goal, either as a temporary goal within capitalism or an ultimate goal in itself. A theoretical addition from 2005 is that of Kahl in their article 'The religious roots of modern policy: Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed Protestant traditions compared'. They argue that the welfare state policies of several European countries can be traced back to their religious origins. This process has its origin in the 'poor relief' systems, and social norms present in Christian nations. The example countries are categorized as follows: Catholic - Spain, Italy and France; Lutheran - Denmark, Sweden and Germany; Reformed Protestant - Netherlands, the UK and the USA. The Catholic countries late adoption of welfare benefits and social assistance, the latter being splintered and meagre, is due to several religious and social factors. Alms giving was an important part of catholic society as the wealthy could resolve their sins through participation in the act. As such, begging was allowed and was subject to a greater degree of acceptance. Poverty was seen as being close to grace and there was no onus for change placed onto the poor. These factors coupled with the power of the church meant that state provided benefits did not arise until late in the 20th century. Additionally, social assistance wasn't done at a comprehensive level, each group in need had their assistance added incrementally. This accounts for the fragmented nature of social assistance in these countries.Kahl, Sigrun (2005). ''The religious roots of modern poverty policy: Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed Protestant traditions compared.'' European Journal of Sociology, Vol. 46, No. 1, Religion and Society, pp. 91-126. Lutheran states were early to provide welfare and late to provide social assistance but this was done uniformly. Poverty was seen as more of an individual affliction of laziness and immorality. Work was viewed as a calling. As such these societies banned begging and created workhouses to force the able-bodied to work. These uniform state actions paved the way for comprehensive welfare benefits, as those who worked deserved assistance when in need. When social assistance was delivered for those who had never worked, it was in the context of the uniform welfare provision. The concept of Predestination is key for understanding welfare assistance in Reformed Protestant states. Poor people were seen as being punished, therefore begging and state assistance was non existent. As such churches and charities filled the void resulting in early social assistance and late welfare benefits. The USA still has minimal welfare benefits today, because of their religious roots, according to Kahl. Also from 2005, Jacob Hacker stated that there was "broad agreement" in research on welfare that there had not been welfare state retrenchment. Instead, "social policy frameworks remain secure."


Forms

Broadly speaking, welfare states are either universal, with provisions that cover everybody; or selective, with provisions covering only those deemed most needy. In his 1990 book, ''The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism'', Danish sociologist Gøsta Esping-Andersen further identified three subtypes of welfare state models. Since the building of the decommodification index is limited and the typology is debatable, these 18 countries could be ranked from most purely social-democratic (Sweden) to the most liberal (the United States). Ireland represents a near-hybrid model whereby two streams of unemployment benefit exist: contributory and means-tested. However, payments can begin immediately and are theoretically available to all Irish citizens even if they have never worked, provided they are habitually resident. Social stigma varies across the three conceptual welfare states. Particularly, it is highest in liberal states, and lowest in social democratic states. Esping-Andersen proposes that the universalist nature of social democratic states eliminate the duality between beneficiaries and non-recipients, whereas in means-tested liberal states there is resentment towards redistribution efforts. That is to say, the lower the percent of GDP spent on welfare, the higher the stigma of the welfare state. Esping-Andersen also argues that welfare states set the stage for post-industrial employment evolution in terms of employment growth, structure, and stratification. He uses Germany, Sweden, and the United States to provide examples of the differing results of each of the three welfare states. According to Evelyne Huber and John Stephens, different types of welfare states emerged as a result of prolonged government by different parties. They distinguish between social democratic welfare states, Christian democratic welfare states, and "wage earner" states. According to the Swedish political scientist Bo Rothstein, in non-universal welfare states, the state is primarily concerned with directing resources to "the people most in need". This requires tight bureaucratic control in order to determine who is eligible for assistance and who is not. Under universal models such as Sweden, on the other hand, the state distributes welfare to all people who fulfill easily established criteria (e.g. having children, receiving medical treatment, etc.) with as little bureaucratic interference as possible. This, however, requires higher taxation due to the scale of services provided. This model was constructed by the Scandinavian ministers and Gustav Möller in the 1930s and is dominant in Scandinavia. Bo Rothstein, ''Just Institutions Matter: the Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State'' (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 18–27. Sociologist Lane Kenworthy argues that the Nordic experience demonstrates that the modern social democratic model can "promote economic security, expand opportunity, and ensure rising living standards for all ... while facilitating freedom, flexibility and market dynamism." American political scientist Benjamin Radcliff has also argued that the universality and generosity of the welfare state (i.e. the extent of
decommodification In political economy, decommodification is the strength of social entitlements and citizens' degree of immunization from market dependency. In regards to the labor force, decommodification describes a "degree to which individual, or families, can ...
) is the single most important societal-level structural factor affecting the quality of human life, based on the analysis of time serial data across both the industrial democracies and the American States. He maintains that the welfare state improves life for everyone, regardless of social class (as do similar institutions, such as pro-worker labor market regulations and strong labor unions).


By country or region


Australia

Prior to 1900 in Australia, charitable assistance from benevolent societies, sometimes with financial contributions from the authorities, was the primary means of relief for people not able to support themselves. The 1890s economic depression and the rise of the trade unions and the during this period led to a movement for welfare reform. In 1900, the states of New South Wales and Victoria enacted legislation introducing non-contributory pensions for those aged 65 and over. Queensland legislated a similar system in 1907 before the federal labor government led by
Andrew Fisher Andrew Fisher (29 August 186222 October 1928) was an Australian politician who served three separate terms as Prime Minister of Australia – from 1908 to 1909, from 1910 to 1913, and from 1914 to 1915. He was the leader of the Australian Labo ...

Andrew Fisher
introduced a national aged pension under the Invalid and Old-Aged Pensions Act 1908. A national invalid disability pension was started in 1910, and a national maternity allowance was introduced in 1912. During the Second World War, Australia under a labor government created a welfare state by enacting national schemes for: child endowment in 1941; a widows' pension in 1942; a wife's allowance in 1943; additional allowances for the children of pensioners in 1943; and unemployment, sickness, and special benefits in 1945.


Canada

Canada's welfare programsChapter 1: What is Welfare?
Retrieved: 4 March 2019.
are funded and administered at all levels of government (with 13 different provincial/territorial systems), and include health and medical care, public education (through graduate school), social housing and social services. Social support is given through programs including Social Assistance, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Child Tax Benefit, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance, Workers' Compensation, and the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans.


France

After 1830, French
liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals ...

liberalism
and economic modernization were key goals. While liberalism was individualistic and laissez-faire in Britain and the United States, in France liberalism was based instead on a solidaristic conception of society, following the theme of the French Revolution, ''
Liberté, égalité, fraternité ''Liberté, égalité, fraternité'' (), French language, French for "liberty, Social equality, equality, Fraternity (philosophy), fraternity", is the national motto of France and the Republic of Haiti, and is an example of a tripartite motto. ...
'' ("liberty, equality, fraternity"). In the Third Republic, especially between 1895 and 1914 "Solidarité" solidarism"was the guiding concept of a liberal social policy, whose chief champions were the prime ministers
Leon Bourgeois Leon, Léon (French) or León (Spanish) may refer to: Places Europe * León, Spain, capital city of the Province of León * Province of León, Spain * Kingdom of León, an independent state in the Iberian Peninsula from 910 to 1230 and again from ...
(1895–96) and
Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau Pierre Marie René Ernest Waldeck-Rousseau (; 2 December 184610 August 1904) was a French Republican politician who served as the 29th Prime Minister of France. Early life Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau was born in Nantes Nantes (, also , ; Ga ...

Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau
(1899-1902). The French welfare state expanded when it tried to follow some of Bismarck's policies. Poor relief was the starting point. More attention was paid to industrial labour in the 1930s during a short period of socialist political ascendency, with the Matignon Accords and the reforms of the
Popular Front A popular front is "any coalition of working-class and middle-class parties", including liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent ...
. Paxton points out these reforms were paralleled and even exceeded by measures taken by the
Vichy regime Vichy ( oc, Vichèi) is a city in the Allier department of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, ...
in the 1940s.


Germany

Some policies enacted to enhance social welfare in Germany were Health Insurance 1883, Accident Insurance 1884, Old Age Pensions 1889 and National Unemployment Insurance 1927.
Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (german: Otto Fürst von Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, Herzog zu Lauenburg ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a c ...

Otto von Bismarck
, the powerful
Chancellor of Germany The chancellor of Germany, officially the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Bundeskanzler(in) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is the head of the federal government of Germany The Federal Cabinet or Federal Govern ...
(in office 1871–90), developed the first modern welfare state by building on a tradition of welfare programs in
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
and
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
that had begun as early as in the 1840s. The measures that Bismarck introduced – old-age
pension A pension (, from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be ...

pension
s,
accident insuranceAccident insurance is a type of insurance where the policy holder is paid directly in the event of an accident resulting in injury of the insured. The insured can spend the benefit payment however they choose. Accident insurance is complementary to, ...
, and employee health insurance – formed the basis of the modern European welfare state. His paternalistic programs aimed to forestall social unrest and to undercut the appeal of the new
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
, and to secure the support of the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar color ...
es for the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
, as well as to reduce emigration to the United States, where wages were higher but welfare did not exist. Bismarck further won the support of both industry and skilled workers through his high-
tariff A tariff is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated el ...
policies, which protected profits and wages from American competition, although they alienated the
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
intellectuals who wanted
free trade Free trade is a trade policy A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and servic ...
. During the 12 years of rule by
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Adolf Hitler
's
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
the welfare state was expanded and extended to the point where over 17 million German citizens were receiving assistance under the auspices of the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV) by 1939, an agency that projected a powerful image of caring and support.


India

The Directive Principles of State Policy, enshrined in Part IV of the
Indian Constitution The Constitution of India ( IAST: ) is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental ri ...
reflects that India is a welfare state. Food security to all Indians are guaranteed under the
National Food Security Act, 2013 The National Food Security Act 2013 (also 'Right to Food Act') is an n of which aims to provide food grains to approximately two thirds of the country's 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, 5 July 2013. The Nation ...
where the government provides food grains to people at a very subsidised rate. There are public health insurance schemes, social aid to families and new mothers, free school meals, pension schemes and unemployment benefit schemes run both at the federal and the state level. As of 2020, the government's expenditure on social security and welfare (direct cash transfers, financial inclusion, health insurance, subsidies, rural employment guarantee), was approximately , which was 7.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).


Latin America

Welfare states in
Latin America * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2018 , ethnic ...

Latin America
have been considered as "welfare states in transition", or "emerging welfare states". Welfare states in Latin America have been described as "truncated": generous benefits for formal-sector workers, regressive subsidies and informal barriers for the poor to obtain benefits. Mesa-Lago has classified the countries taking into account the historical experience of their welfare systems. The pioneers were Uruguay, Chile and Argentina, as they started to develop the first welfare programs in the 1920s following a bismarckian model. Other countries such as Costa Rica developed a more universal welfare system (1960s–1970s) with social security programs based on the Beveridge model. Researchers such as Martinez-Franzoni and Barba-Solano have examined and identified several welfare regime models based on the typology of Esping-Andersen. Other scholars such as Riesco and Cruz-Martinez have examined the welfare state development in the region. About welfare states in Latin America, Alex Segura-Ubiergo wrote:
Latin American countries can be unequivocally divided into two groups depending on their 'welfare effort' levels. The first group, which for convenience we may call welfare states, includes Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Brazil. Within this group, average social spending per capita in the 1973–2000 period was around $532, while as a percentage of GDP and as a share of the budget, social spending reached 51.6 and 12.6 percent, respectively. In addition, between approximately 50 and 75 percent of the population is covered by the public health and pension social security system. In contrast, the second group of countries, which we call non-welfare states, has welfare-effort indices that range from 37 to 88. Within this second group, social spending per capita averaged $96.6, while social spending as a percentage of GDP and as a percentage of the budget averaged 5.2 and 34.7 percent, respectively. In terms of the percentage of the population actually covered, the percentage of the active population covered under some social security scheme does not even reach 10 percent.


Middle East

Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
,
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regi ...

Kuwait
,
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregio ...

United Arab Emirates
, and
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares it ...

Qatar
have become welfare states and elaborate subsidies exclusively for their own citizens.


Nordic countries

The Nordic welfare model refers to the welfare
policies Policy is a deliberate system of guideline A guideline is a statement by which to determine a course of action. A guideline aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine or sound practice. Guidelines may be issued by an ...
of the Nordic countries, which also tie into their labor market policies. The Nordic model of welfare is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labor force participation, promoting
gender equality Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing d ...

gender equality
,
egalitarian Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all hu ...
and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution and liberal use of the expansionary fiscal policy. While there are differences among the Nordic countries, they all share a broad commitment to social cohesion, a universal nature of welfare provision in order to safeguard individualism by providing protection for vulnerable individuals and groups in society and maximizing public participation in social decision-making. It is characterized by flexibility and openness to innovation in the provision of welfare. The Nordic welfare systems are mainly funded through
taxation A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act accord ...
.


People's Republic of China

China traditionally relied on the extended family to provide welfare services. The
one-child policy The one-child policy () was a Human population planning, population planning initiative in China implemented between 1980 and 2015 to curb Demographics of China#Population, the country's growth by restricting many families to a Only child, singl ...
introduced in 1978 has made that unrealistic, and new models have emerged since the 1980s as China has rapidly become richer and more urban. Much discussion is underway regarding China's proposed path toward a welfare state. Chinese policies have been incremental and fragmented in terms of social insurance, privatization, and targeting. In the cities, where the rapid economic development has centered, lines of cleavage have developed between state-sector and non-state-sector employees, and between labor-market insiders and outsiders.


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's welfare programs focus on Healthcare in Sri Lanka, free universal health care, Education in Sri Lanka, free universal secondary education and free tertiary education which was started as part of state welfare in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1995, the government started the Samurdhi (Prosperity) program aimed at reducing poverty, having replaced the Jana Saviya poverty alleviation programme that was in place at the time.


United Kingdom

About the British welfare state, historian Derek Fraser wrote: The modern welfare state in the United Kingdom began operations with the Liberal welfare reforms, Liberal welfare reforms of 1906–1914 under Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. These included the passing of the Old-Age Pensions Act 1908, the introduction of free school meals in 1909, the Labour Exchanges Act 1909, the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act 1909, which heralded greater government intervention in economic development, and the National Insurance Act 1911 setting up a national insurance contribution for unemployment and health benefits from work. The People's Budget was introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, in 1909 to fund the welfare reforms. After much opposition, it was passed by the House of Lords on 29 April 1910. The History of the minimum wage#United Kingdom, minimum wage was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1909 for certain low-wage industries and expanded to numerous industries, including farm labour, by 1920. However, by the 1920s, a new perspective was offered by reformers to emphasize the usefulness of family allowance targeted at low-income families was the alternative to relieving poverty without distorting the labour market. The trade unions and the Labour Party adopted this view. In 1945, family allowances were introduced; minimum wages faded from view. Talk resumed in the 1970s, but in the 1980s the Thatcher administration made it clear it would not accept a national minimum wage. Finally, with the return of Labour, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 set a minimum of £3.60 per hour, with lower rates for younger workers. It largely affected workers in high turnover service industries such as fast food restaurants, and members of ethnic minorities. December 1942 saw the publication of the ''Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services'', commonly known as the Beveridge Report after its chairman, Sir William Beveridge. The Beveridge Report proposed a series of measures to aid those who were in need of help, or in poverty and recommended that the government find ways of tackling what the report called "the five giants": Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness. It urged the government to take steps to provide citizens with adequate income, adequate health care, adequate education, adequate housing, and adequate employment, proposing that "[a]ll people of working age should pay a weekly National Insurance contribution. In return, benefits would be paid to people who were sick, unemployed, retired, or widowed." The Beveridge Report assumed that the National Health Service would provide free health care to all citizens and that a Universal Child Benefit would give benefits to parents, encouraging people to have children by enabling them to feed and support a family. The report stressed the lower costs and efficiency of universal benefits. Beveridge cited miners' pension schemes as examples of some of the most efficient available and argued that a universal state scheme would be cheaper than a myriad of individual friendly societies and private insurance schemes and also less expensive to administer than a means-tested government-run welfare system for the poor. The Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Party, the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party, and then the Labour Party (UK), Labour Party all adopted the Beveridge Report's recommendations. Following the Labour election victory in the 1945 United Kingdom general election, 1945 general election many of Beveridge's reforms were implemented through a series of Acts of Parliament. On 5 July 1948, the National Insurance Act 1946, National Insurance Act, National Assistance Act 1948, National Assistance Act and National Health Service Act 1946, National Health Service Act came into force, forming the key planks of the modern UK welfare state. In 1949, the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949, Legal Aid and Advice Act was passed, providing the "fourth pillar" of the modern welfare state, access to advice for legal redress for all. Before 1939, most health care had to be paid for through non-government organisations – through a vast network of friendly societies, trade unions, and other insurance companies, which counted the vast majority of the UK working population as members. These organizations provided insurance for sickness, unemployment, and disability, providing an income to people when they were unable to work. As part of the reforms, the Church of England also closed down its voluntary relief networks and passed the ownership of thousands of church schools, hospitals and other bodies to the state. Welfare systems continued to develop over the following decades. By the end of the 20th-century parts of the welfare system had been restructured, with some provision channelled through non-governmental organizations which became important providers of social services.Pawel Zalesk
''Global Non-governmental Administrative System: Geosociology of the Third Sector''
[in:] Gawin, Dariusz & Glinski, Piotr [ed.]: "Civil Society in the Making", IFiS Publishers, Warszawa 2006


United States

The United States developed a limited welfare state in the 1930s. The earliest and most comprehensive philosophical justification for the welfare state was produced by an American, the sociologist Lester Frank Ward (1841–1913), whom the historian Henry Steele Commager called "the father of the modern welfare state". Ward saw social phenomena as amenable to human control. "It is only through the artificial control of natural phenomena that science is made to minister to human needs" he wrote, "and if social laws are really analogous to physical laws, there is no reason why social science should not receive practical application such as have been given to physical science." Ward wrote:
The charge of paternalism is chiefly made by the class that enjoys the largest share of government protection. Those who denounce it are those who most frequently and successfully invoke it. Nothing is more obvious today than the single inability of capital and private enterprise to take care of themselves unaided by the state; and while they are incessantly denouncing "paternalism," by which they mean the claim of the defenseless laborer and artisan to a share in this lavish state protection, they are all the while besieging legislatures for relief from their own incompetency, and "pleading the baby act" through a trained body of lawyers and lobbyists. The dispensing of national pap to this class should rather be called "maternalism," to which a square, open, and dignified paternalism would be infinitely preferable.
Ward's theories centred around his belief that a universal and Comprehensive school, comprehensive system of education was necessary if a democratic government was to function successfully. His writings profoundly influenced younger generations of progressivism, progressive thinkers such as Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Dewey, and Frances Perkins (1880–1965), among others. The United States was the only industrialized country that went into the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
of the 1930s with no social insurance policies in place. In 1935 Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal instituted significant social insurance policies. In 1938 Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, limiting the work week to 40 hours and banning child labor for children under 16, over stiff congressional opposition from the low-wage South. The History of Social Security in the United States, Social Security law was very unpopular among many groups – especially farmers, who resented the additional taxes and feared they would never be made good. They lobbied hard for exclusion. Furthermore, the Treasury realized how difficult it would be to set up payroll deduction plans for farmers, for housekeepers who employed maids, and for non-profit groups; therefore they were excluded. State employees were excluded for constitutional reasons (the federal government in the United States cannot tax state governments). Federal employees were also excluded. By 2013, the U.S. remained the only major industrial state without a uniform national sickness program. American spending on health care (as a percent of GDP) is the highest in the world, but it is a complex mix of federal, state, philanthropic, employer and individual funding. The US spent 16% of its GDP on health care in 2008, compared to 11% in France in second place. Some scholars, such as Gerard Friedman, argue that Labor unions in the United States, labor-union weakness in the Southern United States undermined unionization and social reform throughout the United States as a whole, and is largely responsible for the anemic U.S. welfare state. Sociologists Loïc Wacquant and John L. Campbell contend that since the rise of Neoliberalism, neoliberal ideology in the late 1970s and early 1980s, an expanding carceral state, or government system of Incarceration in the United States, mass incarceration, has largely supplanted the increasingly retrenched social welfare state, which has been justified by its proponents with the argument that the citizenry must take on personal responsibility. Scholars assert that this transformation of the welfare state to a post-welfare punitive state, along with neoliberal structural adjustment policies and the globalization of the U.S. economy, have created more extreme forms of "destitute poverty" in the U.S. which must be contained and controlled by expanding the criminal justice system into every aspect of the lives of the poor. Other scholars such as Esping-Andersen argue that the welfare state in the United States has been characterized by private provision because such a state would better reflect the racial and sexual biases within the private sector. The disproportionate number of racial and sexual minorities in private sector jobs with weaker benefits, he argues, is evidence that the American welfare state is not necessarily intended to improve the economic situation of such groups.


Effects


Effects of welfare on poverty

Empirical evidence suggests that taxes and transfers considerably reduce poverty in most countries whose welfare states constitute at least a fifth of GDP.


Effects of social expenditure on economic growth, public debt and education

Researchers have found very little correlation between economic performance and social expenditure. They also see little evidence that social expenditures contribute to losses in productivity; economist Peter Lindert of the University of California, Davis attributes this to policy innovations such as the implementation of "pro-growth" tax policies in real-world welfare states, nor have social expenses contributed significantly to public debt. Martin Eiermann wrote:
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, social expenditures in its 34 member countries rose steadily between 1980 and 2007, but the increase in costs was almost completely offset by GDP growth. More money was spent on welfare because more money circulated in the economy and because government revenues increased. In 1980, the OECD averaged social expenditures equal to 16 percent of GDP. In 2007, just before the financial crisis kicked into full gear, they had risen to 19 percent – a manageable increase.
A Norwegian study covering the period 1980 to 2003 found welfare state spending correlated negatively with student achievement. However, many of the top-ranking OECD countries on the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA tests are considered welfare states.


Social expenditure as a percentage of GDP

The table below shows social expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product, GDP for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD member states in 2018:


Criticism and response

Early conservatives, under the influence of Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), opposed every form of social insurance "root and branch". Malthus, a clergyman for whom birth control was anathema, believed that the poor needed to learn the hard way to practice frugality, self-control and chastity. Traditional conservatives also protested that the effect of social insurance would be to weaken private charity and loosen traditional social bonds of family, friends, religious and non-governmental welfare organisations. On the other hand, Karl Marx opposed piecemeal reforms advanced by middle-class reformers out of a sense of duty. In his ''Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League'', written after the failed revolution of 1848, he warned that measures designed to increase wages, improve working conditions and provide social insurance were merely bribes that would temporarily make the situation of working classes tolerable to weaken the revolutionary consciousness that was needed to achieve a socialist economy. Nevertheless, Marx also proclaimed that the Communists had to support the bourgeoisie wherever it acted as a revolutionary progressive class because "bourgeois liberties had first to be conquered and then criticised". In the 20th century, opponents of the welfare state have expressed apprehension about the creation of a large, possibly self-interested, bureaucracy required to administer it and the tax burden on the wealthier citizens that this entailed. In 2012, political historian Alan Ryan pointed out that the modern welfare state stops short of being an "advance in the direction of socialism. [...] [I]ts egalitarian elements are more minimal than either its defenders or its critics think". It does not entail advocacy for social ownership of industry. Ryan further wrote:
The modern welfare state, does not set out to make the poor richer and the rich poorer, which is a central element in socialism, but to help people to provide for themselves in sickness while they enjoy good health, to put money aside to cover unemployment while they are in work, and to have adults provide for the education of their own and other people's children, expecting those children's future taxes to pay in due course for the pensions of their parents' generation. These are devices for shifting income across different stages in life, not for shifting income across classes. Another distinct difference is that social insurance does not aim to transform work and working relations; employers and employees pay taxes at a level they would not have done in the nineteenth century, but owners are not expropriated, profits are not illegitimate, cooperativism does not replace hierarchical management.
In 2017, historian Walter Scheidel argued that the establishment of welfare states in the West in the early 20th century could be partly a reaction by elites to the Bolshevik Revolution and its violence against the bourgeoisie, which feared violent revolution in its own backyard. They were diminished decades later as the perceived threat receded. Scheidel wrote:
It's a little tricky because the US never really had any strong leftist movement. But if you look at Europe, after 1917 people were really scared about communism in all the Western European countries. ''You have all these poor people, they might rise up and kill us and take our stuff.'' That wasn't just a fantasy because it was happening next door. And that, we can show, did trigger steps in the direction of having more welfare programs and a rudimentary safety net in response to fear of communism. Not that they [the communists] would invade, but that there would be homegrown movements of this sort. American populism is a little different because it's more detached from that. But it happens roughly at the same time, and people in America are worried about communism, toonot necessarily very reasonably. But that was always in the background. And people have only begun to study systematically to what extent the threat, real or imagined, of this type of radical regime really influenced policy changes in Western democracies. You don't necessarily even have to go out and kill rich peopleif there was some plausible alternative out there, it would arguably have an impact on policy making at home. That's certainly there in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. And there's a debate, right, because it becomes clear that the Soviet Union is really not in very good shape, and people don't really like to be there, and all these movements lost their appeal. That's a contributing factor, arguably, that the end of the Cold War coincides roughly with the time when inequality really starts going up again, because elites are much more relaxed about the possibility of credible alternatives or threats being out there.


See also


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * * Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Esping-Andersen, Gøsta; Politics against markets, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1985). * * Lane Kenworthy, Kenworthy, Lane.
Social Democratic America
'' Oxford University Press (2014). * Korpi, Walter; "The Democratic Class Struggle"; London: Routledge (1983). * Koehler, Gabriele and Deepta Chopra; "Development and Welfare Policy in South Asia"; London: Routledge (2014). * * Kuhnle, Stein.
Survival of the European Welfare State
' 2000 Routledge * * Pierson, P. (1994). ''Dismantling the Welfare State?: Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * * Bo Rothstein, Rothstein, Bo. ''Just institutions matter: the moral and political logic of the universal welfare state'' (Cambridge University Press, 1998) * Benjamin Radcliff, Radcliff, Benjamin (2013) ''The Political Economy of Human Happiness'' (New York: Cambridge University Press). * * * Van Kersbergen, K. "Social Capitalism"; London: Routledge (1995). *
Silvestri P., "The All too Human Welfare State. Freedom Between Gift and Corruption", ''Teoria e critica della regolazione sociale'', 2/2019, pp. 123-145. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7413/19705476007


External links


Data and statistics

* OECD *

*
OECD – Social Expenditure database (SOCX)
*

* [https://archive.today/20130620195520/http://aei.pitt.edu/view/euar/Development_of_the_Social_Situation.html Contains information on social security developments in various EC member states from 1957 to 1978]
Contains information on social security developments in various EC member states from 1979 to 1989

Contains information on social assistance programmes in various EC member states in 1993

Contains detailed information on the welfare systems in the former Yugoslav republics

The impact of benefit and tax uprating on incomes and poverty (UK)
{{DEFAULTSORT:Welfare State Welfare state, Capitalism Comparative politics Government aid programs Social democracy Christian democracy