- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Daniel Dettling
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006 at 7:18 AM
The Scandinavian model could help us find our way to social compromise and true security through investments in education and apprenticeships. Has our wealth blinded us to alternatives and encouraged our altered state of paralysis, insecurity and fear?
ON THE “SCANDINAVIAN MODEL”
The Debate around the Future of the Welfare State has been Fruitless for Years
By Harald Neuber
[This article published in the German-English cyber journal Telepolis, 12/29/2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.telepolis.de/r4/artikel/21/21443/1.html. Daniel Dettling, author and social expert at the German think tank Berlinpolis is interviewed.]
Reorganization of the welfare state is on the agenda again. This was the goal of both coalition partners in the election campaign. One “austerity package” after another has been proposed since the beginning of the 1990s. A long-term perspective for the German social system is not always apparent.
The voices of those demanding a fundamental reorganization of the social model grow stronger. In several private and governmental studies, the Scandinavian model is seen as the most successful on the European plane [cf. “Longing for the North", translation available on www.portland.indymedia.org.]. What distinguishes the northern approach from social policy in the core states of the European Union and Great Britain? Telepolis spoke with Daniel Dettling, author and social expert at the German think tank Berlinpolis.
THE GERMAN WELFARE STATE FOREGOES THE SOLIDARITY OF INDEPENDENT PERSONS, OFFICIALS AND PENSIONERS
In comparisons of the different European social systems, the Scandinavian model fares very well. Why isn’t it accepted comprehensively in the European Union?
DANIEL DETTLING: There is a financial and a cultural reason. Financing a changover4 to a tax-financed social model would involve high costs, especially transition costs. Culturally, not all societies in Europe are ready to dedicate high tax rates for social projects. The top tax rates in Northern countries are far more than 50 percent.
TELEPOLIS: Is it just to finance social security entirely by taxes?
DANIEL DETTLING: What is just? A large majority feels that fair treatment is just. The four central challenges to the welfare state are avoidance of elementary poverty, access to education and work, compatibility of occupation and family and a child-friendly policy. These challenges concern all the citizens of a community and not only employees paying into social security.
TELEPOLIS: What about Germany?
DANIEL DETTLING: The German welfare state largely renounces on the solidarity of independent persons, officials and pensioners. That is the opposite of social justice.
TELEPOLIS: How is the participation of the business camp in the Scandinavian states regulated?
DANIEL DETTLING: Unions are organized more strongly there. A dependable relation of trust exists between unions, politics and businesspersons. The Danish model of retraining is an interesting example. In Denmark, there is a fund from which additional apprenticeships are paid in crisis. All enterprises that train receive reimbursement through the fund for training days and days when youths are not working productively in the enterprise. When apprenticeships are lacking, the fund steps into the breach and finances additional traineeships. In addition, far-reaching economic challenges are accepted, for example financing foreign residences of trainees that are increasingly important in a Europe that is growing closer.
TELEPOLIS: In your comparative study, the Anglo Saxon model has also improved. With minimum fringe benefits and a growing social gulf, the Anglo Saxon design is diametrically opposite to the Scandinavian model. How can this improvement be explained?
DANIEL DETTLING: The British government under Tony Blair invested massively in education and health care, the two elementary conditions of a dynamic labor market policy. The “early excellence initiative,” a policy advancing children from socially weak families, has gained Europe-wide attention. The integration of foreigners in the labor market is organized better in England because it is a more open and deregulated market.
TELEPOLIS: If success in Great Britain is based on more employment without considering the kind of working conditions, is this success sustainable?
DANIEL DETTLING: The success obviously depends on growth. The themes of life-long learning and regular health care are increasingly important in Great Britain. The sustainability of the British model is decided in these two themes.
THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES ARE AMONG THE MOST COMPETITIVE WORLDWIDE
TELEPOLIS: The so-called continental model exists in Germany; its origin goes back to Bismarck’s ideas. Because this system is financed by contributions of the working population, it skids ever deeper in crisis through the demographic development and increasing unemployment. Will the North really escape this crisis?
DANIEL DETTLING: Yes, the Northern model is more demography-resistant because it is tax-financed and simultaneously friendlier to employment because social services are also financed through taxes. An excellent public infrastructure exists in the areas of education and compatibility of occupation and family. For years the Northern countries have been among the most competitive worldwide.
TELEPOLIS: The Scandinavian countries turn out well in social security and family- and education policy. How do these points reinforce each other?
DANIEL DETTLING: The Northern model is inconceivable without a functioning family- and education policy. Both are guarantors of success. The gainful employment of men and women is recognized here as the norm and is supported by both genders. The high gainful participation of women protects them from poverty in the case of children and thus prevents the vicious circle of social transmission under which Great Britain, the US, Germany, France and other EU countries suffer. An investment policy oriented in equal chances largely prevents child- and education poverty in the Scandinavian countries. Thus the nature of investments is crucial, not so much the amount of the spending.
In Germany, family benefits are paid out directly. In the northern countries, there is investment in care, good quality institutions and high benefits in temporary unemployment. The motto “Education for Everyone” is in effect. An unsegmented school system up to the 9th or 10th grade and considerable education investments raise the education content in the lower education levels. Thus exclusion is reduced to raise the aggregate economic productivity and the tax revenues necessary to finance the social welfare.
TELEPOLIS: What has to change in Germany?
DANIEL DETTLING: Germany needs a stronger investment social policy in which all groups participate – not only the socially insured. What is central is the change from the social security state into a social investment state. The prerequisite is a change in mentality in people’s heads. The welfare state is a condition of a successful economy, not a consequence of a strong economy with whose profits a society can first “afford” social services. No modern economy is possible without children and education.
The situation is similar to a car. The brake is the prerequisite for driving faster and more dynamically on the road. No one sits in a Porsche without brakes. The brake is necessary for a functioning car. The German welfare state squeaks at all corners. It needs better oil, a re-configured financing. The increased sales tax could be a beginning of a new social model.
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Doxa du lobby
Tech workers organize
Architect Stephen Francis Jones
UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for
Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
More Breaking News...