welfare - Should the Canadian welfare state be reduced or...

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Should the Canadian welfare state be reduced or expanded? Government involvement in the economy has been widely debated throughout our history, as has the government’s idea of their responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. A welfare state is a society where the government takes it upon itself to see that its citizens’ economic needs are met. The government gets funds to do so by; encouraging the private sector to contribute, using its ability to borrow in times when the economy is bad and social assistance is especially needed, and saving in times of economic prosperity. Economist John Maynard Keynes was the first to advocate the idea of regulating economies through fiscal policies such as taxing and spending, to prevent further economic suicide of governments in western industrialized countries. His economic system, Keynesianism promotes state intervention through fiscal and monetary policies. The welfare state began to be pushed in countries following the American stock market crash of 1929, which created a world wide economic crisis. The crash triggered the implementation and legislation of the welfare state, as assistance from the government was clearly needed at this point. This time period showed so much unemployment that the government could no longer blame it on the individual, and had to do something about the dire state of it’s citizens. Most of the programs and policies of the welfare state were further elaborated following World War II, an active state is undeniably necessary to rebuild war torn countries. As society progressed equality became more demanded. The Civil Rights Movement demanded that Aboriginals, the disabled, women and youth be included and 1
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Should the Canadian welfare state be reduced or expanded? considered in the states concerns, perspectives and decision-making. This was only the beginning. Universal suffrage made it so the view of everyone had to be incorporated into decision making if the party wanted to be re-elected. This ensured that the welfare state encompassed all that needed it and was realized to its fullest potential. “Perhaps the greatest promise of the welfare state lay in its presumption that all citizens should be able to maintain a minimum standard of living” 1 During times of large unemployment the government created work projects such as bridges to provide jobs. Countries of welfare states began to help the helpless, and save the economy. Things such as work projects helped balance out the boom and bust of capitalist economies. The condition of the Canadian welfare state has been slowly, but constantly improving over the past century. However, it still has a long way to go before it can be sufficient in helping their citizens who are helpless without assistance. This paper will explore the welfare state with focus on the areas, which require the most improvement. The welfare state in Canada took a huge blow when Prime Minister Brian
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course POLISCI 101 taught by Professor King during the Spring '08 term at University of Alberta.

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welfare - Should the Canadian welfare state be reduced or...

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