Polly\’s desire

I want Britain to aim for the social and economic balance that thrives in Nordic nations.

OK. Here:

Unemployment insurance

As opposed to all other forms of social security in Denmark, unemployment insurance is voluntary. Thus, you are not automatically insured against unemployment.

An unemployment insurance policy is taken out from an unemployment insurance fund, also known as an \”A-kasse\”. These are private associations that are associated with trade unions and other professional organisations.

Most unemployment insurance funds are affiliated to specific trade unions, but there are also a number of cross-industrial unemployment insurance funds. It is possible to become a member of an unemployment insurance fund without being a member of the associated trade union.

If that\’s the way you want it Polly. Moves us back to the system of what, pre-1945?

14 comments on “Polly\’s desire

  1. You can have it, but you have to choose to have it and do it yourself. In Denmark, I believe (please correct me if I am wrong), a company can lay you off and they continue to pay you for 3 months while you look for a job. The amazing this is that an high percentage of people actually manage to get a job in that time. How on earth do they manage it?

    It’s funny actually. Scandinavia in general has been moving steadily towards more ‘aggressive’ forms of obliging the individual to take responsibility for their own well-being.

    The safety net becomes that and it is generally good and solid. But they do want you to take responsibility for yourself.

    Ms. Toynbee seems to have a slightly out-of-date and somewhat romantic vision. Not unusual for her

  2. Been reading up on Sweden. Apparently when the GFC hit, instead of going on a borrowed money spending binge, finance minister Anders Borg instituted permanent tax cuts instead. They still have problems with massive unemployment, but they don’t have a massive deficit and have the fastest growing economy in Europe (or at least, one of the fastest).

    This here Scandinavian model is starting to look more attractive!

  3. Polly is right.

    We should learn from Sweden on monetary and fiscal policy: have good monetary policy and then run fiscal surpluses to get public debt under control. As Johnson mentions, the Swedes did less than 1% of deficit spending even after hitting the so-called 0% bound on interest rates.

    Danish flexicurity is an excellent model and their world-beating low level of structural unemployment is a tribute to the success of neo-liberalism.

  4. UK “system”pre National Insurance Act 1911 actually.Rather shows how deeply embedded the mixed economy is in British life and how eccentric (not in a good way) , unBritish and wet behind the ears laissez faire liberals tend to be in this country ,all funny haircuts and ghastly suits.

  5. I heartily agree with Polly for the only time in my life. But why limit it to unemployment benefit? Go for it Polly! Self-funded health care, properly self-funded pensions, self-funded education; the whole swathe of stuff that should not be part of the state’s remit. Make people take responsibility for them selves again.
    Strike yourself out of a job? Perhaps not, but get the health treatment you’ve paid for and children educated the way you want? UMMM, Utopia.

  6. I want Britain to aim for the social and economic balance that thrives in Nordic nations.

    That social balance being largely due to small, well-educated, homogenous, mainly Protestant populations most of whom actually want to work and possess admirable civic pride. Kinda hard to transfer this model to the UK.

  7. In short: the reason we are not like the Nordic countries is because we are not Nordic. It’s the same reason why we don’t behave like the French around alcohol: we’re not French.

  8. I think Polly means the image of Nordic countries which exists only in her head: that of the Progressive Utopia.

  9. As dbcreed implies, Tim, you’ve fallen for the Labour line that they introduced the welfare state in their ’45 government. Whereas they just buggered up what was there already, plus they brought in their own unintelligent version of Beveridge’s NHS.

  10. It’s a lefty see-saw.

    You have one cigar-smoking, top-hatted, ex-Bullingdon fat-cat at one end and you have to guess how many hundreds of starving waifs need to be placed in the rubbish bin at the other end to balance him out.

  11. @ dbcread
    Friendly Societies were not Trade Unions. Also they mainly provided sickness and funeral benefits. Trade Unions provided strike pay to members but their social benefits weren’t a patch on the Friendly Societies.
    Get your facts right!

  12. Thanks, SE. I do hope the waifs are grateful for being allowed to have a rest in the bin. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s ingratitude.

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