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Originally posted by tradervic at 2008-6-24 10:41
It is your damn, lazy @$$ fault Europe!
This issue of immigration into places like Germany, France, and England has been the result of the local populations getting too damn hooked on social welfare programs, like 30 hour work weeks and six week paid vacations. Why work when "somebody else" can do the dirty work?
To the European folks in the BBS - want to not worry about immigration? Cut down mandatory welfare!
Hmm, hafta (partly) disagree with you there Matt.
In Australia we have a "standard" 38 hour week, standard 4 weeks paid holidays, plus about 12 or so public holidays per year.
Now I haven't worked a 38 or 40 hour week for years. It's pretty much 45. For many Australian workers the number of hours worked is going up. I would imagine that this would be similar in some professional and semi-professional fields in Europe and USA as well.
While some union dominated industries here do have 38 hour weeks, most of the time that's just means it's the point at which overtime kicks in.
As for the mandatory welfare, well that has two sides to it. On the one hand it means we (and many Europeans) are paying proportionally more tax, on the other hand it also means protection if and when you do lose your job, and for those who are more financially secure and not so reliant on welfare, it means that they are more likely to be personally secure as there is a safety net for the less well off so that there is less pressure to resort to crime.
A few years ago a visiting American academic to Australia concluded similar thoughts that while the welfare system was prone to be rorted by lazy b@stards, the upside was that there was less poverty and crime and that overall the benefits outweighed the drawbacks and costs associated with mandatory welfare.
Of course state funded welfare is not generally an option for illegal immigrants, but I would guess that would be an encouragement to would be immigrants to ensure they regularise their status so that they are on the books to be eligible for welfare & benefits. In countries with little or no welfare system, there is no extra encouragement to go on the books.
A recent PBS documentary aired here also examined another aspect of "mandatory welfare", the health systems of a number of countries. Germany, Switzerland, Twn and Britain were compared with the USA.
In none of those other countries were people being bankrupted by medical bills.
The argument from conservatives here and elsewhere is pretty much along the lines of creeping socialisation or cross subsidies from the rich to the poor.
Basically I don't think this is valid, because even in the USA there is a great deal of cross subsidy going on, even for those relatively well off. The roads and highway system, police & security services, defence etc are examples.
(No, I am not a socialist)