welfare 300x123 Welfare


The Economist:

Are welfare states pivotal to the case for the free market? The Economist believes that strong welfare states are crucial for the survival of capitalism.

As welfare states have spread, they have often become less popular. That is partly because it has been forgotten that they are underpinned not by socialist or big-government ideas, but by a liberal principle: that people should have the security to pursue the lives they choose. These principles must be reaffirmed.

As liberals such as William Beveridge realised, the best way to secure support for free markets is to give more people a stake in them. By insuring people against some risks such as unemployment and ill health, and helping everyone to participate in the economy, welfare states can help bolster democratic support for free markets.

But the welfare state should be reformed to cope with ageing and immigration.

This newspaper argues that the welfare state must be seen as more than providing shoes and soup for the poor, and security in old age.


Romano Pisciotti: I agree

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