… apparently they started april first jokes a day early. Or maybe I’m just paranoid.
Here’s another nice article – so crazy and manipulative it makes me hit myself with my statistics book. It’s titled “Generous welfare benefits make people more likely to want to work, not less” and basically says that spending money on welfare makes the recipients more likely to want to work. Bullshit. Here’s the summary of the welfare attitude findings. The clear relationship is (and I quote): “Countries where the public perceives a better quality of government are also countries where support for increased social spending is stronger.” – page 8. So, they find:
What emerges most clearly from the presented findings is the strong East-West divide in Europe. People living in Eastern Europe want quite far-ranging government responsibility for various welfare measures. At the same time they are quite, or in many cases very, dissatisfied with welfare state performance, and they think poorly of the efficiency and fairness of their public institutions. In Western Europe, including the Nordic countries, the demands for public responsibility are somewhat smaller, and people are much more satisfied with welfare state outcomes and the quality of public institutions.
It means poor countries from the east (who pay less welfare because like they’re poor) want more welfare but don’t want more responsibility because they want the government to manage the whole thing. They think what they’re getting from their taxes is not fair compared to what they’re spending, but they also want more money as welfare from the government. Sort of like “gimme, gimme, gimme” but without the quotes and the work. People in Southern and Eastern Europe have, on average, the highest demands of government intervention – like providing jobs for anyone wanting one, adequate health care, reasonable standards of living for the unemployed, and so on. They’re also rather poor. If you’d split Europe in two (north vs south), you’d find surprising things. Wealthy countries go down the scale of demands for government intervention the more south you go and poor countries go up the scale if you keep the going south. The middle is rather average, on average, if we disregard Switzerland – and we should, because they’ve got guns.
So I’d say the closer a wealthy country is to a poor country, the less welfare they’d be willing to demand from the government – because it attracts imigrants looking to escape poverty by going north-west. Makes sense, I think. Also, could it be that civic education is better in the european north-west? Nah, probably just a coincidence…