This week South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed a law that bans almost all abortions in the state. Neither the governor nor the law's supporters have been honest about what the effect of the law will be.
The power resources perspective, which attributes cross-nationalvariations in social provision largely to differences in thedistribution of political resources among classes, has been theleading approach in comparative politics to explaining patterns ofwelfare state expansion.
First, strong states are likely to produce strong welfarestates, with state strength defined in terms of governmentaladministrative capacities and institutional cohesion.
We recommend that the government distinguish more clearly between health care and welfare service and have greater respect for their different degrees of professionalisation. Professors in social work and their colleagues in relevant disciplines ought to be given a key role in defining decisions by social workers that they can make as independent professionals on scientific grounds (see, for example Turner 1995). Where there is insufficient scientific basis, the role of social workers as government employees subject to law should be emphasized and their decisions made only according to specific rules determined by Parliament.
George Gilder has explained better than anyone else the role of welfare in family breakdown. Most women have a natural superiority to men in affairs of love and the heart, including especially the bearing and nurturing of children. What, then, can a man offer a woman? To put it bluntly, money and honor. Women rarely marry men who make less money than they do or whose social rank is below their own (unless the men have a good career in prospect), and women frequently divorce men who make less. Men and women often lose romantic interest in each other when one of the partners cannot offer an equalizing contribution.
In socialterms, the welfare state is accused of fostering dependency andtrapping people in (4)Evidence on the dynamics of poverty shows that poverty and dependencyare not long-term, but affect people at different stages in the lifecycle; the population of welfare claimants is constantly changing. Formost people in developed countries, poverty is transitory. (5)Where poor people are separated and excluded by welfare, this is mainlythe product of the kinds of restricted, system the radical right has been arguing for.
Universal benefits and services are benefits available to everyoneas a right, or at least to whole categories of people (like 'oldpeople' or 'children'). Selective benefits and services are reservedfor people in need. The arguments refer to the same issues as ' and ''welfare, but there is an important difference. Institutional andresidual welfare are principles: universality and selectivity aremethods. A residual system might use a universal service whereappropriate (e.g. a residual system of health care might be associatedwith universal public health); an institutional system needs someselective benefits to ensure that needs are met.
The quality of historical research on thewelfare state has encouraged a simple process of borrowing alreadydeveloped models for the examination of a new environment.
I wouldargue, however, that there are compelling reasons to reject such astraightforward extrapolation, that the new politics of the welfarestate is instead quite different from the old.
These claims about the American past are either untrue or misleading. America has always had laws providing for the poor. The real difference between the Founders’ welfare policies and today’s is over how, not whether, government should help those in need. Neither approach has a monopoly on compassion. The question is: What policies help the poor, and what policies harm them?
Conservatives today sometimes make the same mistake that liberals make about America’s past. Reacting to what they regard as the excesses of the modern welfare state, conservatives tend to assume that poor relief in early America was entirely private. They continue to echo Barry Goldwater’s statement in The Conscience of a Conservative, written before he ran for President in 1964: “Let welfare be a private concern. Let it be promoted by individuals and families, by churches, private hospitals, religious service organizations, community charities and other institutions that have been established for this purpose.” Goldwater apparently did not realize that the Founders would have rejected such a policy as heartless.
The grouping of particular countries tends to be unreliable, but theclassification may help to understand some of the main patterns ofprovision. This table shows rates of economic exclusion in fivecountries. The blue bars at the front show the proportions of poorpeople; the red bars the "poverty gap", how far those remaining fallbelow minimum standards; and the green bars at the rear the numbers ofpeople before transfers and taxes. Social protection in the UK andis ,but the UKoffers less to poor people, both in the numbers of people brought outof poverty and in poverty reduction. is solidaristic, but itsperformance has still secured coverage as good as the institutionalwelfare states. The system is : it excludes some people who have not contributed, and itdoes not extend to those on the highest incomes. The system in the has substantial elements, and socialpolicy is often hostile to the poor. It has fewer people in povertybefore transfers than France or Germany, but it fails to bring peopleout of poverty and the poverty that remains is more severe.
As a result, the welfare state hasproved to be far more resilient than other key components of nationalpolitical economies and far more durable than existing theories of thewelfare state would lead one to expect.