Friday Graph: Is Welfare Wrecking British Society?

Today’s graph is produced courtesy of British journalist and author James Bartholomew, from his award-winning, influential book The Welfare State We’re In.

Marshalling a vast array of evidence, the book examines the British welfare state, its well-intentioned origins and its unintended impacts on the character and quality of British life.  In the author’s view:

The [British] welfare state has caused tens of thousands of people to live deprived and even depraved lives, and has undermined the very decency and kindness which first inspired it.

The chart depicts his view of the damage done to British society, highlighting how effects – such as incivility and the rise in crime – arise from a combination of causes and secondary causes:

Lone parenting, low-quality compulsory education, living on benefits, council estates and the widespread reduction of the sense that each of us must take responsibility for ourselves and our families, all of these – caused by the welfare state – have contributed to it.

click the graph to enlarge

The Welfare State We’re In, published by Politico’s Publishing, is an excellent read.

For a focus on remedies to some of the entrenched problems revealed in the book, and a reform programme for moving from a welfare state to civil society in a New Zealand context, see this Business Roundtable report by David Green.