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Welfare State

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NEWS
July 17, 1989 | BY MIKE ROYKO
It had been some time since I last saw my conservative friend Grump. So when he sat down at the bar, I raised my glass and offered him my congratulations. "Congratulations for what?" he said, with his customary scowl. Oh, you sly devil. You know very well what I'm referring to. "You'll have to refresh my memory. " Don't be modest. I'm talking about the stunning victory of the Reagan administration over that which you loathe more than anything - the welfare state.
NEWS
January 16, 1987 | By Richard Reeves
I went to a drugstore here last Wednesday to get something for a cold. But I left right away because there were 15 people in line and I didn't have the time to wait. But maybe it was worth standing there for those Swedish citizens holding doctors' prescriptions. The most any of them could pay was $9 for a year's supply of whatever they needed. They would pay nothing if a doctor had certified their condition was "chronic and serious. " Such is life in the world's greatest democratic welfare state: lines and waiting lists, and benefits and taxes an American has trouble imagining, much less fully comprehending.
NEWS
June 26, 1994 | By Dick Polman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
At night, 6-year-old Frederik Warnsberg wets the bed. In the morning, he cries to his parents, and pleads to stay home from school. When he gets home at day's end, he is exhausted. His father, Ulrik Warnsberg, blames the government. This, he says, is what happens when you start slashing the welfare state. The budget at Frederik's public child-care center has been cut, teachers have been laid off, and more children are being herded into fewer classes. When Frederik was 3, he shared a room with seven children, taught by three adults.
NEWS
September 19, 1994 | By Dick Polman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a bid to save their cradle-to-grave benefits from further assault, Swedish voters yesterday ousted the conservative government that had spent the last three years trying to slash the welfare state. They voted to reinstate the socialists, who had built the system during the postwar era and sold it to the world as a model of governmental benevolence. The election paves the way for Social Democratic leader Ingvar Carlsson to return as prime minister - replacing Carl Bildt, the only right-winger to hold top office in decades, an eloquent ideologue who argued in vain that the welfare state was burdening a nation mired in red ink. Carlsson, the prime minister from 1986 to 1991, rode back into office on a wave of nostalgia, but last night he was careful not to promise any miracles.
NEWS
September 18, 1994 | By Dick Polman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was not the kind of remark that would go down well in America. Mona Sahlin, a key figure in Sweden's largest political party, was telling voters here the other day, "If you are a Social Democrat, you think it is terrific to pay taxes. For me, taxes are the finest expression of what politics is all about. " Such candor can kill a career in America, but not here. In fact, the Social Democrats - postwar architects of the world's most bountiful welfare state - are poised for a return to power.
NEWS
September 26, 2005 | By Jonah Goldberg
Here's my silver-lining hope this hurricane season: George W. Bush's compassionate conservatism gets wiped out like a taco hut in the path of a Category 5 storm. Outside of people inside the administration, I've never met anyone who really likes the President's "compassionate conservatism. " To the extent conservatives praise it at all, they celebrate the fact that compassionate conservatism got Bush elected. This is no small or insignificant feat, note the realists. Without victory, nothing else is possible.
NEWS
December 5, 2003
WHEN AL GORE gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention rivaling any socialist in history, I condemned him. Little did the American people know that his opponent, the purported conservative Republican George W. Bush, was a silent big spender who would return us to the days of massive deficits. With the passing of the $400 billion Medicare prescription entitlement package, a new era of the welfare state has been set in place. Al Gore, whose misguided policies would have been a disaster, at least had the decency to let us know upfront what we could expect in his presidency.
NEWS
June 17, 2008
MY PARTNER and I have supported the Democratic National Committee through our votes and with our money since we were able to vote. However, that support ends with this presidential campaign. We can no longer justify relying on the DNC as the truest measure of who we accept as our representatives, governing our communities and controlling our resources. Why? Well, first, for years, we have tolerated an outright bullying racist bigot as our local city councilwoman (a Democrat)
NEWS
August 21, 1991 | By WILLIAM RASPBERRY
A lot of us, looking at the shortcomings of U.S. social policy, have wondered why America can't be more like Scandinavia. We worry over what to do with aging and ailing family members, as though we are the first generation to face the problem. The Scandinavians have worked it out with a system of retirement homes. We fret about the results of enforced idleness in our prisons. Scandinavian prisoners can work for pay in prison industries, earning enough to help support their families and to smooth their return to society.
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NEWS
January 11, 2012 | By Marc Lamont Hill, Daily News Columnist
JUST WHEN the Republican primaries couldn't get any more interesting, the candidates upped the ante by approaching the third rail of race. In the most recent wave of debates and stump speeches, two Republican contenders have made extremely controversial comments regarding blacks and poverty. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told a group of supporters that he didn't want to "make black people's lives better giving them other people's money. " Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was quoted telling a New Hampshire crowd that "the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.
NEWS
May 18, 2010
America's insane war on drugs In response to a letter Sunday, "War on drugs a failed policy," I agree that America's war on drugs is immoral, counterproductive, and expensive. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. That pretty much sums up the drug war. Doing the same thing over and over, with the exception of spending more money every year, and building more prisons every year, is America's drug policy. Where is the tea-party outrage on this waste?
NEWS
May 12, 2010
By Robert J. Samuelson It is now conventional wisdom that the world has avoided a second Great Depression. When the gravity of the financial crisis became apparent in late 2008, the response was swift and aggressive. Panic was halted. The resulting economic slump was awful, but it was not another Depression. The worst has passed. Or has it? Greece's plight challenges this optimistic interpretation. It implies that the economic crisis has moved into a new phase: one dominated by the huge debt burdens of governments in advanced societies.
NEWS
January 14, 2010 | By Spencer Rand
My client told me he was living on food stamps and a monthly state welfare check for $205 - the most a person in need could get in 1996. He couldn't walk without horrible pain, as his leg had not healed properly since he broke it in several places a few years before. He had always worked on his feet and didn't think he could work again, though he had not been able to prove this to the federal government's satisfaction. If we could prove it and get him Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, we could more than double his income.
NEWS
June 23, 2008
LETTER-writer Louise Virago says her support for the Democrats has ended with this presidential campaign. Her reasons seem a little disingenuous. She claims she's tolerated for years the racist bullying of a Democratic bigot who, in her words, promotes a welfare state. Not that I agree with that type of behavior, but if you're going to leave the party for that type of politics, you should have been gone a long time ago. You speak of the DNC not understanding the importance of "representational" politics.
NEWS
June 17, 2008
MY PARTNER and I have supported the Democratic National Committee through our votes and with our money since we were able to vote. However, that support ends with this presidential campaign. We can no longer justify relying on the DNC as the truest measure of who we accept as our representatives, governing our communities and controlling our resources. Why? Well, first, for years, we have tolerated an outright bullying racist bigot as our local city councilwoman (a Democrat)
NEWS
May 19, 2006 | By DEAN BAKER
THE EXPERTS tell us that our main political choice is between conservatives who want to leave things to the market and liberals who want the government to redistribute income. The experts are wrong. In fact, both liberals and conservatives want the government to intervene to redistribute income. The difference is the direction of the redistribution and that conservatives are smart enough to hide their role for government. The conservatives' role for government can be seen in almost any policy they support, once we look a bit below the surface.
NEWS
October 12, 2005 | By Ken Dilanian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After years of trying to have a baby, Jesper and Sara Liedholm finally went to China to adopt. And wouldn't you know it: A few months after returning with beautiful Mathilda, Sara found out she was pregnant. Were the Liedholms a typical two-income American couple, their joy probably would have been tempered by anxiety, given the choice ahead: Pay for expensive child care for two babies, or do without one salary. But that is not how it works in Sweden, home to one of the world's most generous social-welfare states.
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