Monday, June 06, 2005

Spot on

Linda McQuaig's columns tend to be hit or miss. This is a direct hit.
European-style social welfare systems do nothing to prevent a country from being highly competitive in the modern world.
If you doubt this, check out the latest findings of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, which ranks the economic competitiveness of more than 100 countries around the globe. Among the top six globally competitive nations are four European countries that have extremely comprehensive social welfare systems —Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Altogether, 15 European countries rank in the top 30.
Right-wing commentators find it best to ignore this reality. It's easy to see why — it utterly destroys their argument that generous social welfare systems undermine competitiveness.

Of course, the welfare system has be well-designed to ensure competitiveness. First, it needs a strong emphasis on research and education. (How much was in the budget before the NDP amendment?) And that education needs to be targeted toward the job market to ensure that people out of work for the moment need not stay there for long. If only somebody was working to reform EI in that direction.

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