What Effect the Welfare State Has on Society

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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
There is a thread running currently by bill_gates asking what welfare cuts people on the forum believe the government should make. Most people's reasoning doesn't extend further than "Britain cannot afford to fund layabouts" or "the poor defenceless cripples will be homeless without the support of the nation's wallet". I'm not interested in these economic arguments alone, however.

What I want to propose to people is that the issue of hardcore welfare states like ours, which includes the National Health Service, is the behaviour it begins to shape within the people is detrimental to society. How many working class people do you know who live their lives pay-packet to pay-packet? How many of these people do you see with new technology and gadgetry to keep up with the Jones' when they should, in reality, be saving in case of a catastrophe. This idea of "tightening our belts" from the Conservative party has become a joke in recent years, since nobody has the common sense to regulate their expenses to adjust for what they can spend. Once you become destitute, you take a stroll to the benefits office or take out a loan or max out your credit cards. So, this is the economic argument here: the welfare state encourages people not to save their money because they think they are safe.

What's more, the NHS bureaucracy is defended to support genuinely sick people and lend them the relief that there will be no pay wall to be treated or at least seen by a doctor. But smokers, binge drinkers, fatties and other drug addicts abuse and swamp the system, leading to those genuinely ill people not being seen or having a far inferior health system to take care of them in their most vulnerable state. We spend more and more on "health" every year and become sicker every year. What are we doing wrong?

What is missing from health and welfare considerations, in my opinion, is social capital. Social capital is the amount of social cohesion in society- currently it's at, what I would claim to be, an all-time low as we turn in on ourselves and become more and more individualistic. As the first generation to be born in to the Internet, the millennial generation has done just that. There is far less socialising going on, far more phone-checking and distanced communication. Everybody in your community is watching different television channels, viewing different websites to you. Because people are beginning to diverge slightly from a "norm", people will try to justify cultural relativism and by extension you cannot judge or stigmatise a behaviour from another as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. No, we have a "right" to exist as human beings and nobody can tell us how to live our lives... Right?

But this isn't the case at all. Different families hold different standards but most families have something in common: they want to see each of their family members succeed. This is only natural that our parents fund us until a certain age and support and encourage us to be the best we can be, because their responsibility as parents is to ensure the next generation is competitive, successful and pass on their genes for a further generation. This bond between parents and grandparents is vital for social capital in the small family communities, where all communities begin and spread. Without the old wisdom of the grandparents, you will fall in to the same traps in life. Without the financial support of your parents (to a point) you will suffer massive hardship and they will have failed you. However, should they both be under the delusion that if the welfare state exists, they don't have to support eachother in hardship (job loss or disability) because the State is there to comfort everybody in their time of need- this means you outsource your compassion to other people, so you don't have to care anymore. The success and failures of your children cannot be credited to you while the State has their way.

I believe this is one reason why partnerships and marriages with children in the mix find it much easier to separate now, taking little consideration for the nuisances that they couldn't abort fast enough. But enough of my rambling- what consequences do others see for the existence and removal of the welfare state completely? I'll also add that whilst I am against welfare benefits and the NHS, I am not against the nationalising of railways and other transport. I'm not a libertardian, but a conservative who is concerned with social relations and the strains on them in society.

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