The Great Society's Next Frontier
This is why I like to read Progressive blogs and other publications, to not only see what they are thinking but. To have these discussions and debates and as a Liberal and there's a big difference and I'll get to that later, social insurance is a perfect example of that. I manage to even debate these issues with Social Democrats from time to time, without being called a corporatist. Or a sellout to American Capitalism, Conservative even which is the funniest charge I've heard so far and I can go down the line but if you. Are familiar with Progressive rhetoric you should know the rest but this is a perfect area of where we disagree
Liberals and Social Democrats even disagree on what grand package of programs that social insurances should be labeled under. Social Democrats call it welfare state, I and other Liberals call it safety net, sounds similar but there's a difference. A welfare state implies free money if there's such a thing, for people to either be taken care of by government or welfare. For people who for whatever reason or reasons can't pay their own bills but if you are familiar with social insurance. You know its not free because of how its financed, take Unemployment Insurance which comes out of our paychecks and we. Collect from it when we are guess what unemployed, so UI is obviously not welfare but money for people. Who need it when they are unemployed and then once you are working again, you go back to paying into UI. To keep that program running for the people who need it in the future.
A safety net is different because its there to catch us when we literally fall in the economy, lose our job, not making. Enough money to eat adequately or pay our own rent, keep the heat on etc, its there to help sustain us when we are down. But this is what a safety net also does or is suppose to do and a lot of times does and I would go further to make this part of the safety net. Work better, its there to not only help us when we are down but help us get back up, Welfare to Work or TANF from 1996, perfect . Example of that, meaning while people are down and collecting public assistance its there job to get themselves. Back up, while you are on Unemployment Insurance, its your job to be either looking for work or in job training to find other work. Same thing with TANF and government helps you finance that.
The next phase of the safety net in America as I call it, again depends on who you ask but if you are asking. Leftists such as myself, Liberal or Progressive your answer would get around to how to improve it, Progressives would say. It should look more like Sweden and that we move towards a Democratic Socialist model, where not only healthcare and health insurance. Would be provided by the Federal Government like in Sweden but where Unemployment Insurance would be like a middle class income. Where childcare would be provided for by government, education including higher education would be. Provided by government and I could go down the line but I'll spare you for now. That would be the Social Democratic model, Liberal Democrats such as myself have a much different approach.
As a Liberal I go with the Jack Kennedy/Bill Clinton model, that is "not ask what your country can do for you. But what you can do for your country", and with WJC Bill Clinton for you non Clintonian's, that is welfare should no longer be. Free but only there for the people who truly need it and that all physically and mentally able people should be expected to work, even if they have kids. And that government can play a role in empowering people who are mentally and physically able to work but. Lack the education to do so, with those skills so they can be self sufficient, rather then having a Swedish style. Welfare state thats there to provide services for people who can get those services themselves.