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What does a Welfare State mean?

What is the meaning of a Welfare State?

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Who wouldn't want to live in a state where the government provides the basic and essential needs of every citizen? It's too good to be true but there is a government that generously satisfies the needs of its people; it's known as a welfare state. Its main goal is to lower the poverty rate of the county and the cost of living of its citizens. Most of the time rich countries adopt such concept but not all progressive countries do. Some of the countries running a welfare state include Norway, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, etc.

Instead of the people spend for housing, education, healthcare and other necessities, a welfare state shoulders all considerable cost. Unemployment fee, pensions, transportation, public parks and libraries, and other free services are just some of the benefits a welfare state provides. Government funds all these through its income generating programs and taxes collected from its people.

Safety net system
Acquiring the benefits offered by a welfare state differs depending on the countries’ existing procedure. There are some countries that would provide equal shares for everyone. On the other hand, there are those that set income-based qualifications and provide only those who needed more assistance – also called as “safety net” system. This is done by adjusting the taxes of people belonging to the middle class and upper class. In return, those belonging from the lower class will gain from the taxes collected from the well-off citizens.

Welfare state negative effects
Welfare state, though paved with good intentions, is prone to abuse and can actually be taken negatively by some citizens and affect their way of living. For the less fortunate, it can encourage them not to find better ways to get a better living if that would only mean adjustment to their taxes. On the other hand, this concept leaves an impression to the wealthy ones that they are working not only for themselves but also for those who are in dire need. If everyone has this mindset, then nobody would want to succeed in a state that supposedly is after the well-being of its people.

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