James Bartholomew

The Welfare of Nations

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Why is unemployment so low in Switzerland but so high in Spain? Why is social housing more successful in Singapore than in France? Why do welfare states across the world function so differently to Britain's? The twentieth century experienced an epochal war between capitalism and communism, but the real winner of the conflict, James Bartholomew argues, was welfare statism. The defining form of government of our age, welfare states have spread across the advanced world and are changing the very nature of modern civilisation. In his bestselling book The Welfare State We're In, Bartholomew controversially argued that the British welfare state has done more harm than good. Many people – including Lady Thatcher – responded by saying, 'If that is the case, what should we do about it?' Now, in this hard-hitting and provocative new contribution, Bartholomew sets out to answer that question. Travelling across the globe, from Australia in the east to San Francisco in the west, he investigates what happens elsewhere in the world and considers which welfare models Britain could potentially follow. His search for the best education, healthcare and support services takes him to eleven vastly different countries as he teases out the advantages and weaknesses of other nations' welfare states and delves into crucial issues such as literacy, poverty and inequality. What damage is being done by failing welfare states? What lessons can be learned from the best welfare states? And is it too late to stop welfare states permanently diminishing the lives and liberties of people around the world?
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778 printed pages
Original publication


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