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NOTE: The text below was garbled on page 59 in the citation above. This version has been corrected.
TABLE 6.4a: Mid 1950s: BV5.03 Redistribution of Wealth

TABLE 6.4b: Early 1960s: BV5.03 Redistribution of Wealth

ices (e.g., unemployment insurance, labor exchanges, training schemes, health insurance, and medical benefits, etc.) and (2) benefits for the elderly and the very young (e.g., old-age pensions, family allowances, maternity benefits, etc.). In his study of France, Friedlander (1962) makes a threefold division: (1) family allowances, social insurance, and pensions; (2) public assistance of a categorical and general nature provided locally to persons in economic or medical need; and (3) general public health measures.

The authors of Social Denmark (1945) make the distinction between insurance and public assistance. Insurance is payable only to a specified group--the insured--while public assistance is universally available. Insurance requires the payment of a premium by the insured individual, while public assistance is funded by public grant or philanthropy. Insurance payments are seen as compensation for loss, while public assistance is given to relieve a distress situation. Insurance payments are received as a matter of right and are fixed by regulation or statute, while public assistance is discretionary and based on means or needs. The Danish system is asserted to be a mix of these two approaches to providing for social welfare.

Operational Definition. While a number of specific classifications of welfare programs could have been prepared, the information in the files would not have upheld such refined coding. The following categories seek instead to accommodate a party's posture toward the general principle of government-supported welfare programs. The distinction between "universal" and "voluntary" welfare programs is paramount in this variable. Universal coverage involves compulsory participation in the sense of citizen cost-sharing through government expenditures are the essence of public assistance. Voluntary programs, on the other hand, are essentially insurance programs.


Advocates or supports universally available social welfare through a compulsory program of public assistance, including aid to the poor, unemployed, aged, and including health care and medical benefits.


Contains a mixture of compulsory programs of public assistance and voluntary insurance programs that cover most or all of the above areas.


Advocates voluntary assistance programs and generally opposed to compulsory public assistance, but favors some extension of programs to cover unprotected areas.


Includes ambiguous or contradictory positions.


Accepts the existing government programs, but opposes extension of those programs to unprotected areas; certainly favors voluntary over compulsory programs.


Accepts a situation of government inactivity in developing social welfare programs; content to leave such programs to private resources.


Advocates repeal of existing policies that promote social welfare programs; supports the reduction of program scope and coverage; prefers returning to a situation of government inactivity in these areas.

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