From Bismarck to Hitler, to Churchill to FDR to Obama
I was wondering where the roots of the modern “Welfare” state came from. Apparently it started in Germany in the 1840s under Otto Bismacrk. Germany was the first to have a state sponsored retirement and accident insurance and even a version of what we would call “Medicare” today.
In the years preceding WWII Winnie himself (Winston Churchill) visited Herr Hitler and came back to England just overwhelmed with what a great “Safety net” that Hitler had in place for the German people. Apparently, socialism was used as a tool to keep workers from leaving the German empire for America where wages were much higher but had no social welfare programs.
England had created a socialist program in 1911 called the National Insurance act. It was a program comparable to our Unemployment insurance and work health benefits. In 1942 the Beveridge report (from Sir William Beveridge) proclaimed the five main issues, being Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness were state issues that needed to be addressed. This eventually lead to the National Health care act which was passed in 1945. Many felt this caused the “Baby Boom” as Health care was free to all citizens of the United Kingdom. The combination of the National Insurance act and the National Health care act is the foundation of the UK’s modern welfare program.
At the same time FDR was not to be left out and created the first “Social Security” program in 1935. The concept is based on taxing the rich and redistributing the taxes to those who were in need.
Socialism vs. Capitalism
In the 1930’s Europeans were flocking to America for the opportunity of creating an unlimited income. The risk was that they had to take care of their own basic 5 issues. America was founded by those who were trying to escape the control of the government. As America grew on “Self reliance”, State-ism grew in Europe. The United States of America was called the American experiment as it was one of the newest countries that provided no government entitlements. Until 1935 the United States was basically a “Libertarian” country. (Where “We the People governed themselves). We were free to pick our own laws within the frame of the Constitution.
It’s good that countries founded on the socialist model exist. Americans are free to become European citizens and live socialistic lives. Yet the American Capitalist model is being threatened. We are at a defining point in our country’s destiny. Do we seek the power of the individual over the power of centralized government ? This next election will define America as we know it.