It was conceived with the best possible intentions. Yet the welfare state has gradually become an albatross around the neck of Western Governments and their citizens. The safety net, designed as a temporary respite for the sick, elderly and unemployed, has come to be viewed as an "entitlement" rather than as a helping hand in times of trouble. The consequence? Generations of long-term unemployed for whom work no longer seems possible, or even desirable, and European welfare budgets which consume ever greater proportions of national income. But help is at hand. American reformers have laid the building blocks of a new welfare contract which is revolutionizing attitudes to work, slashing welfare rolls and dramatically reducing dependency.
Both in Wisconsin under the "Wisconsin Works" approach and more recently in New York under Mayor Giuliani, policy makers have pioneered an approach which reunites work and income and reminds claimants that they too have a responsibility for their own destiny. In this collection, Jason Turner, one of the architects of Wisconsin and New York's welfare reforms outlines the practical steps and philosophical shifts in thinking which have underpinned his successes, while Professor Alan Deacon displays the spectrum of arguments for welfare reform from a moral perspective -showing that there is now a broad consensus that reform is not only economically efficient but also humane. The authors explain that Europe can no longer afford to ignore this problem. Unfunded pension liabilities, ageing populations and the challenge of immigration will all put greater pressure on European welfare states than ever before. This books sets out the case for reform and some possible strategies. It shows that there has never been a better time to get Europe working.