In the controversial book The Welfare State We're In, James Bartholomew argues that the welfare state in Britain has resulted in a generation of badly educated and dependent citizens, leading to lives of deprivation for thousands and undermining the original intent behind its creation in the 1940s.
Has the welfare state really led to more harm than good? What does this imply for the ever-expanding welfare state in the United States?
James Bartholomew trained as a banker in the City of London before moving into journalism with the Financial Times and the Far Eastern Economic Review, for whom he worked in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Returning to England on the Trans-Siberian Railway through communist China and the Soviet Union an experience which influenced his political outlook he subsequently became a leader writer on The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
Wendell Primus is the Senior Policy Advisor on Budget and Health issues to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Prior to this appointment in March, 2005, Dr. Primus was the Minority Staff Director at the Joint Economic Committee. Prior to that position, Dr. Primus was the Director of Income Security for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. He previously served in the Clinton Administration as the Deputy Assistant Dr. Primus is the Secretary for Human Services Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. In that position, Dr. Primus was primarily responsible for policy development and for the conduct of research and evaluation on issues relating to income assistance, employment and related human services programs.
Dr. Primus has also served as Chief Economist for the House Ways and Means Committee and Staff Director for the Committee's Subcommittee on Human Resources. During his fifteen-year tenure at Ways and Means, he was responsible for editing thirteen editions of the Committee's "Green Book." Dr. Primus received his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.
As director of Cato's health and welfare studies, Michael Tanner heads research on new, market-based approaches to health, welfare and Social Security. His approach is based on individual responsibility rather than government control.
His most recent book, Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution (2007), chronicles the demise of the Republican party as it has shifted away from its limited government roots and warns that reform is necessary to avoid electoral defeat in 2008.
Under Tanner's direction, Cato launched the Project on Social Security Choice, which is widely considered the leading impetus for transforming the soon-to-be-bankrupt system into a private savings program. Time Magazine calls Tanner, "one of the architects of the private accounts movement," and Congressional Quarterly named him one of the nation's five most influential experts on Social Security.
In addition to his work on Social Security, Tanner oversees Cato's research on new, market-based approaches to health care reform and social welfare programs.
No one is ever going to take you seriously, doctorgonzo, if you keep alleging that there is no welfare state or social safety net in America. You may not like the one that exists and may wish to see it expanded, but to argue that there is none is simply false.
You clearly miss the thrust of the argument. You say his concerns can be answered by the fact that there are "simply more people alive today than fifty years ago..." The problem is that he didn't cite raw numbers. He cites percentages of the population. Though wealth in Britain has increased the percentage of Britons receiving "means based assistance" has also increased.
What is to blame is the lazy mentality of people like you. If you want more than two weeks of vacation, get some skills and an education so that you are in a position of strength to argue for more vacation time. Don't ask the state to mandate that you get more time off from your cashier job at Wal-Mart.
You also complain that people in America must have a job in order to have health insurance. Thank you for stating the obvious: In order to pay for things, one must have money. All people here want is more time off and more benefits for less work. This predisposition increases as we become more materially wealthy.
This is mentioned in the speech with regards to cell phone ownership, but it can be expanded to other areas. We are materially wealthy. We have huge flat screen TVs, a car for each adult, cell phones that follow us around wherever we go. We have more stuff, and that stuff takes us less time to earn as costs go down. Yet more people are defined as poor and given government assistance. I've spent time in third world Africa. It makes me sick to hear someone like you, who has a job, gets time off, and enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world, complain about wages, health insurance, and more time off.
Single motherhood is rising in the United States as well. There is no welfare state to blame that one on. So, who do you blame? The problems James describes may be better attributed to the fact that there are just simply more people alive today than in fifty years ago when he was young. America isn't a polite, well-mannered place anymore either and is that because the government gives hand outs to everybody? Um, I don't think so. What is to blame? I doubt it's the tax system or welfare state. I'd much prefer the British customary six weeks of vacation that my paltry two weeks. I think if you asked the average worker in Britian if they'd rather work there or in the United States, they would laugh at you.
Privatizing these social problems don't help solve the problems either. Private companies don't take care of their workers and the United States has no social safety net to speak of at all. There is no job security here and you are required to have a job in order to have health insurance. Private companies will lay you off at the first sign of restricted profit and American workers are out of luck. Even if you work your butt off, you are still vulnerable to lay off and being without insurance. There are numbers to support increase infant morality in the United States because 45 million Americans are without heath insurance.