Social Insurance discussion

Social Insurance

Question 4: There is a constant tension between local and State governments and the federal government. Can you identify one social welfare issue in which this tension influences what services will be available and for whom?

Just like the early American Social Welfare system that was influenced by the wretched British laws, the later American developments and growth were influenced by the introduction of social insurance in Europe. In the 1970s, Social Democrats in Germany urged workers from rapidly industrialized countries to demand for a bill of rights, support the international socialist movement, and demand for a republic form of government(Dolgoff& Feldstein, 2012). During the industrial and political ferment of middle Europe, the process made socialists gain strength that resulted in the enactment of antisocial policies that forbade distinct parties from overthrowing social order or established countries. Since the formulated antisocialist policies created enmity between employees, Bismarck opted to ensure that workers were contended during the great industrialization. His motives were aimed at benefiting workers because they were connected to the effects of the Great Depression that took place in 1873, issues that were connected to industrialization.

The strategy used by Bismarck resulted in the creation of social insurances. Krupp industries were experiencing strikes from workers and opted to suppress their disloyalty by firing them because of the trouble that they were causing to the company. Besides, Krupp industries also offered relief funds, hospitals, homes for the aged, health services, and pension scheme. The industry also created a large but unwavering company town with bread factory, butchery plant, charity fund, hotel, company housing, and financial help for families that affected by a period of floods. Much of the provision made by the company was before the creation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that was created to establish distinct working cooperatives. All workers working in factories and mines in 1881 whose earnings were below $2000 in a year were insured against accidents. Insurance against accidents was followed by the enactment of the Sickness Insurance Law in 1883, Old Age and Invalid Law in 1889, and Accident Insurance Law in 1884 (Dolgoff& Feldstein, 2012). Nonetheless, the eligibility age per State pension was set above 70 years, but it was later reduced to 65 years in 1916. When the decision regarding the reduction of eligibility age, the average life expectancy in Europe was between 40-45 years. Further, measures put forward failed to deter the working class away from the party because the benefits were modest. For that reason, by mid-1880s, about 10 percent of the entire population had acquired health insurance that enabled them to receive about 10 marks in a year.

Bismarck took a liberal stance about the creation of social insurance by refusing to enact legislation on women and child labor, working hours, changes in government policies on labor unions. According to Bismarck, the purpose of social insurance was to bind or bring together employees to the State through loyalty and self-interest because, to him, State was essential(Dolgoff& Feldstein, 2012). Bismarck had directed most of his energy and attention towards the creation and adoption of social movements, as well as promoting a sense of loyalty among workers. For a taste of perspective, it should be noted that social insurance that was instituted Germany influenced countries in the United Kingdom and Southern America to follow suit (Hubbard, 1995). For instance, in the UK, the Old Age Pension of 1908 took the country away from its traditional poor laws, which was used as a test. According to the policy, only certain groups of people with a particular annual income below a certain number were entitled to benefits. The creation of social insurance has helped give workers a sign of hope and trust in working with an organization.

References

Dolgoff, R., & Feldstein, D. (2012). Understanding social welfare: A search for social justice. Pearson Higher Ed.

Hubbard, R. G., Skinner, J., &Zeldes, S. P. (1995). Precautionary saving and social insurance. Journal of Political Economy103(2), 360-399.

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