Comparing the size of welfare states

Dan Mitchell provides some handy bar charts to show international figures on social welfare spending, pension spending and public health spending. Education would be an interesting addition.

He notes that there was virtually no welfare state in OECD nations prior to the 1930s and very small welfare states until the 1960s. For what it’s worth, the huge reduction in poverty in those nations occurred before the welfare state.

You can go a step further and attribute the much deplored inequality that we read about to the generation of a welfare-dependent class that is not achieving the social mobility that is possible by taking on the work ethic and self improvement. Throw in the collapse of public education.

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9 Responses to Comparing the size of welfare states

  1. stackja

    USA really started welfare under FDR then LBJ. And achieved what? Probably nothing. Australia had Gough.

  2. flyingduk

    All I know is they suck 6 figures out of my income every year (they call it ‘tax’ to hide the fact that its theft) and then tell me I am ‘greedy’ for earning so much and threaten to take more.

  3. Dr Fred Lenin

    Flyingduk,I suppose you must accept being a success attracts attacks from the mediocre as they are jealous of you,I mean the dole or government employment dont pay as much as you earn ,how ever they have a plan to loot your earnings to make theirs equal ,simple . If you cant earn it with ability and skill , steal it. The fourth raters arent short on ambition its only inteeligence and ability they lack

  4. The BigBlueCat

    flyingduk
    #2919482, posted on January 28, 2019 at 7:47 am
    All I know is they suck 6 figures out of my income every year (they call it ‘tax’ to hide the fact that its theft) and then tell me I am ‘greedy’ for earning so much and threaten to take more.

    Yes they do … Bill Shorten when/if he becomes PM, is standing by to hoover funds from your super, your franked dividends, and your negatively geared assets. And for what? To support a fat, lazy, ineffective government that has long ceased to act in the interests of those who fund it. The government has become self-serving – a job creation scheme that creates nothing other than more useless lobs. It manufactures false disasters like gerbil worming in order to secure more of your hard-earned, and they tell the so-called 1% that they have too much, so tax their income harder.

    The political classes are hypocrites of the first order … they approve their own pay rises, they rort their allowances and they know they have very generous pensions for life. For as long as we maintain the current 2-party political system, we’ll be right-royally screwed.

  5. Pyrmonter

    It’s a start, but there are other measures that really need to be added that are much more difficult to measure, for example, the effect of public housing provision. At times in the Anglophone west outside North America, that has been a significant share of the housing stock. These days it’s a welfare trap; once (at least in some places), it worked something like the trampoline imagined by welfare reformers. Curious to see Australia so low on the retirement income support side, yet high on working age support. There’s a definitional issue there that’s a bit murky: one could argue that our super system is simply a system of tax-sheltered contribution to the state pension (most superannuants end up being part-pensioners) – if you put it on the books, and treat super contributions as a tax, I suspect we’d look much more like the UK or US with large ‘government’ pension arrangements.

  6. lotocoti

    The aim of the Beveridge Report (1942) was the eradication of the ‘giant evils’ in society:
    squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease, not to make them the defining features of a welfare state.

  7. Gavin R Putland

    High rents. Low wages. Small welfare state.

    Pick any two.

  8. mundi

    In light of Australia day I was reading about the first fleet and its settlement.

    The most amazing aspect was the first successfully farming family.

    Barely two years in 1 family of 4 with 2 penal workers had a farm producing 33% of the colonies output. The other 66% came from the government farm that had over 1,000 workers and far more land.

    It is not just the farm that was orders of magnitdue more efficient, its that the living of the two prisoners who worked on it was immeasurably better also.

    And what did the British do? They decided to down play this farmers success and not communicate how quickly he had become self sufficient, because they were worried about more people showing up, because their colony was borderline disaster and would heavily dependant on imports of food for years to come.

  9. flyingduk

    Barely two years in 1 family of 4 with 2 penal workers had a farm producing 33% of the colonies output. The other 66% came from the government farm that had over 1,000 workers and far more land.

    Ah, the good old Paretto principle.

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