A recent study queried Americans about their preferences regarding wealth distribution, and found “a surprising level of consensus: All demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.” When asked to choose from among three charts representing wealth distributions of unnamed countries, Sweden was the favorite. But oh, those suicide rates!
Here, I want to go on record as a champion of The Welfare State, so much abused and denigrated now. Society exists to provide food, clothing and shelter to its members. Nowadays, it also is supposed to supply medical care and other aids to well being. I see the welfare state as a higher stage in the evolution of society: it is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the social realm have at least the minimum acceptable level of these social goods. Very simple.
Critics will argue that welfare states don’t meet those goals, but the Scandinavians certainly are a good counter-argument. Or, they can argue that that type of society cannot work here – more American exceptionalism, but in a bad way! And they will say, that ultimately, our free-wheeling system provides more to more people, but those people seem to have other ideas.
Americans – get your act together. We Want a Welfare State Now!