There are three different forms of a welfare state, which each have their own characteristics of which some are positive and others negative. These different forms are the Scandinavian model, the Anglo-Saxon model and the Corporatist model.
The first one which I will discuss is the Scandinavian model. This model is used in the Scandinavian countries and has social security and a flexible labour market. A flexible labour market makes it easier to find another job without any trouble for employees. If finding another job does not go well and the person is unemployed for a longer time, they have the opportunity to get an individual training course. This makes sure that they receive good benefits. The social security makes sure that the people have high benefits and makes sure that extensive parental leave for parents with small children is possible. A negative characteristic is that there is a heavy collective tax burden. This means that the people have to pay a lot of taxes. The costs are high, because the money is used for the field of education and child care.
The second form is the Anglo-Saxon model. This model is used in America and has no extensive social security. This is because liberal values such as self-sufficiency, freedom and private initiative are very important. Therefore people pay lower taxes, premiums and the government spending is lower. This also means that the collective sector is smaller compared to the collective sector of the Scandinavian model. The wages are determined by market forces and a flexible labour. Therefore people have to work very hard and there occur a lot of problems to those who drop out or lose their job. The liberal values are the reason that the people have to pay for healthcare and education by themselves. For the people that do have benefits, these are short term and these people have to meet many conditions.
The last one is the Rhineland model, also known as the corporatist model and is used in the Netherlands. It has social security and a free market which is contained by a well-developed collective sector. The free market makes a harmonious collaboration possible between government, employers’ organisations and the trade unions. This model is also not fixed and therefore is able to amend and adjust itself to bring itself in line with international and political developments. This also gives shape to discussions between politicians, experts and citizens. Social security is also very important and makes sure that employees are well-protected against the risk of dismissal or illness. The workers also pay pension premiums, to make sure that they have a good income after they retire. One of the downsides is that the amount of benefits is based on how long you have worked. There is a lack of solidarity. The second one is that even though that education and childcare is regulated, it is not as well-regulated compared to the Scandinavian model. The last downside is that collective goods, energy, public transport and healthcare are left to the free market and private companies. This means that the free market and private companies can influence the prices.
In the article (of which you will find the link below) they talk about two different models, which are the Scandinavian model and the Anglo-Saxon model. In this article I believe that the researchers prefer one of the models, which is the Scandinavian model. There are multiple reasons why I think they prefer this model. The first reason is that in the article the researchers compare the Scandinavian model with the Anglo-Saxon model and are more positive about the Scandinavian model.
One of the researchers mentioned in this article is Hendrik Jacobsen Kleven. One of his arguments to explain the exceptional rates of participation in the workforce in the Scandinavian countries is: “If the goal is to get more people working, what’s important about a social welfare plan may be more about what the money is spent on than how much is spent.” As mentioned above, one of the pros of the Scandinavian model is that the government uses a lot of the tax money to improve and invest in child care and education. This quote indirectly criticizes the Anglo-Saxon model, because within this model the government does not invest in education and childcare, because within this model the liberal value, such as self-sufficiency, is very important. Therefore the people have to pay for healthcare and education themselves.
Hendrik Jacobsen Kleven also made a graph to show that the employment rates are higher in countries that subsidize child care compared with countries that do not.
As you can see in this graph, the Scandinavian countries have higher employment subsidies and have a higher employment rate. This graph shows that subsidising child care is important and has a positive effect on the employment rate. The countries which have the highest employment rates that also have more than 4% employment subsidies are all Scandinavian. You can see that the employment rate is lower in the U.S. compared with the Scandinavian countries. Therefore the Scandinavian model has a more positive effect on the employment rate.
In the article there is also a part where a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute says “… and I think everybody agrees that we could do better with education, I think the Scandinavian countries do those things well, and there are certain things we can learn.” In other words, the scholar speaks highly about how the Scandinavian model has better education compared to the Anglo-Saxon model.
If I had to pick one of the three models, I would choose the Scandinavian model. One of the reasons why I would prefer this model is that the employment rate is higher. This is because education is better (compared to the other models) and therefore the chance of getting a job is bigger. Even though I would have to pay a lot of taxes, I do not get a lot of problems with healthcare and education as I would when I lose my job in a Anglo-Saxon model. This is because with an Anglo-Saxon model you have to pay education and healthcare yourself. This can cause problems because if I would lose my job and I get ill, I am not able to pay for healthcare or the right care I would need. With the Scandinavian model the amount of problems would be less. This is because the government pays a large part of healthcare with the tax money.
Another reason is that if I would lose my job and it takes a long time to find another one, I have the opportunity to get an individual training and might be able to find a job easier. The minimum wage is also higher in Scandinavia compared to the United States. Not only for normal jobs, but also for the entry-jobs. This is possible because there are stronger labour unions and the cultural norms of the Scandinavian countries according to the article.
In conclusion, I would prefer the Scandinavian model, because the employment rate is higher, I would not get a lot of problems if I would lose my job and education and child care is better.
I informed a book named “Getting to know Dutch Society” for the definitions and characteristics of the different models.
Author: Daphne Mathijsen – Freaders