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What is the welfare state?

What is the welfare state?

Update: 2020-05-25
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What is the welfare state? Thanks for asking!


The term welfare state refers to measures taken by governments to promote the well-being of the population. This usually takes the form of grants, pensions and benefits, especially for those who have the greatest financial needs. In COVID-19 pandemic times, economies all around the world have been hit hard, and many people are asking whether states should intervene more in order to protect citizens. 


When and where was the welfare state born?


Towards the end of the 19th century, German Chancellor Bismarck needed to calm social unrest and secure support among the working classes. He introduced measures like pensions and employee health insurance, which formed the basis of the modern welfare state in Europe. The welfare state is a popular concept in times of austerity, such as in the USA or UK during the Great Depression. Wealth is systematically redistributed from rich to poor. France is well known for its social security system, but that only appeared in 1945 after the end of the Second World War.


So, where does the money come from? And how is it redistributed? Will the global recession bring about an upscaling of welfare programmes? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!


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What is the welfare state?

What is the welfare state?