Born in 1945 in post-war Britain, the welfare state met its end in Britain this month, when the chancellor George Osborne repudiated the concept of the \”universal benefit\”, the idea that everyone, not just the poor, should benefit from social protection.
If the rich become ill they can use the NHS, if the middle classes get old they get a pension, if the wealthy become unemployed they get dole.
What\’s he talking about that social protection doesn\’t extend to everyone now?
Indeed, even America\’s smaller welfare state seems aimed at the middle class more than at the poor, with the so-called earned income tax credit being the biggest handout. Every year, 24 million middle-class American families get a refund from the internal revenue service. Those below the poverty line do not receive cash, but only in-kind support.
And what sort of cretinism is this? The EITC most certainly is paid to those below the poverty line. Indeed, one estimate is that that very EITC raises 5 million households up over the poverty line.
Sure, if you\’re not in work you don\’t get the EITC but this is hardly a surprise: note the name \”earned income\”.
And yes there is cash welfare in the US as well, over and above food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, Medicaid and so on as in-kind support.
It would seem that this French philosopher is waffling on a subject where he is ill informed….but then I repeat myself.