We live in a welfare state. The government partly takes care of its citizens when it comes to healthcare, education, and other facilities. Here in the Netherlands we have a Rhineland model, but there are two other models as well. Which one of them is the best is for you to decide?

The Scandinavian model: (Social-democratic)

The biggest aspect of this welfare state is the emphasis on the large labour force participation and the social insurance funds. Because of the strong social security system a lot of people are employed. The people who are already working can work more or longer each day because of the advanced level of public services, money for day care for children for example. Whomever is unemployed can easily find another job because of this as well. They receive enough money to keep living their normal life and on top of that they are given a training course whenever it does takes longer to find a good job. These advanced social securities do costs a lot obviously. The tax burden is therefore a lot higher than in other welfare states. In the social democratic welfare state there is little inequality and also women have a large role in the labour market, this mainly due to the high tax efforts in the field of child care and education.

Advantages:

  • High benefits
  • Strong social security system
  • High employment rates
  • Little inequality between class and income

Disadvantages:

  • Public services very expensive
  • High tax burden
  • Government very involved in labour market

 

The Anglo-Saxon model: (Liberal)

This system has a way less extensive social security than the Scandinavian system. The government plays a very small role in the social security of its citizens; healthcare and education are facilities which people have to pay for themselves. It provides only the basic needs and the benefits that are provided are usually of poor quality. To be entitled to one, you have to meet a lot of conditions. The government wants the market to act as co-provider for public services, but this creates a two-class society. The poor, unemployed or low skills-sector, people who can only depend on the poor public services and the middle class in which people have a good job and therefore receive better services provided by the market. Because of all this the taxes are much lower than in any other welfare state.

Advantages:

  • Very low taxes
  • Stimulates job growth (in low-skills sector)

Disadvantages:

  • High inequality
  • Two class society
  • Large difference in income
  • Weak social security system

The Rhineland model: (Corporatists)

This welfare state is a combination of the two states mentioned above. The social security is provided by both the collective sector and the government. Everything that has to do with your job is regulated via the collective sector, such as benefits for illness, dismissal and retirement. Also when you get fired your employer should still pay you a part of your regular income for a period of time. Afterwards the government takes of the benefits. Healthcare and education is partly provided by the government as well. In this way the tax burden isn’t really high. There is however a inequality between men and women when it comes down on the public services. Since they are based on the how long an employee has worked somewhere and the fact that women need more social benefits; maternity leave and child care.

Advantages:

  • Proper social security
  • No high tax burden

Disadvantages:

  • Reaches towards the Anglo-Saxon model very fast
  • Depends on employment conditions

 

The article I read on the internet stated that the Scandinavian model might be the model we should use all over the world. At first you might think that whenever the benefits are large and the taxes are high, a lot of people will stay home instead of finding a job. But whenever you make it easier for people to work, more people will work. When transportation is cheap and accessible and day care for children is subsidized a lot of people might go to work rather than sit at home and watching the children.

The Scandinavian welfare state is in my opinion the best model. The model provides social services which are least dependant on how someone is doing in the market. This makes sense to me, because those who really need it are the ones who are unemployed or have a low income. Everyone has equal rights on those benefits and that’s how it should be. Also the government is very involved in the day care and elder care, from which we all know that in our welfare state, the Rhineland model,  that is a large problem and brings up many discussions. The big investments in education and child care is also very important. Once everyone has got a good education, even the ones who could have never paid it for themselves, can have a good job. It all starts with education. Because of the benefits in child care, it’s easier for women to work the same amount as men do. Most of the time it’s still the mother who takes one day off every week to be at home with the children.

Another reason for me to choose this model is the way unemployment is handled. Very few people are unemployed and those who are have no reason at all to panic. The unemployed receive good benefits from which they can easily live their life like before. When it takes to long for some people to find another job, they get a training course. In this way, employers will hire you sooner because you are retrained and up to date with wherever you would like to work. It happens a lot here in the Netherlands that people at an older age apply for a job for which they were schooled 20 years ago. Then the employer would rather have younger people, with fresh eyes, working for them.

Of course the tax burden is very high, but on the other hand, you are less dependent on your income with all the public services.

Charlotte Jansen, A4d

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