The Relevance of the Modern Welfare State

Essay by Corina5070College, UndergraduateB+, November 2004

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"The term 'welfare state' has such a pleasing sound that it has become a bit like motherhood or apple pie" (Disney, 2002:viii). As Helen Disney implies in this statement the ideas of the welfare state are very appealing to individuals around the world. The need to help the sick, elderly, disabled and unemployed are top priorities to citizens who want a moral government. This moral government is one that cares for its citizens and that put tax dollars towards the care of the most downtrodden of society. The modern welfare state was implemented during the economic and political downfall of the early 20th Century. The welfare state was used to insure a minimum living status for citizens. Heath Care, minimal education costs, old age security and employment insurance were all inventions of this great time of social economic change. Yet, political scientists now believe that the current welfare state is causing more domestic problems that it is curing.

The unemployed are becoming trapped in a bitter cycle of dependency, which often lasts for generations. Now throughout the welfare states an idea in contemporary social policy is the retreat of the welfare state. Has the welfare state met its doom? The following debate will discuss the relevance of the welfare state in modern society. It will discuss the birth, the problems facing, and the current changes regarding the welfare state.

Following the Great Depression and World War II the western world led a surge in the building of a welfare world. Even the U.S.A., which can be seen as the most capital, centered nation in the world implememted welfare social policy during this time. State welfare flourished due to the fact that many individuals suffered during the market crash of 1929. The 1920s and 1930s delivered great amounts of unemployment...