The Welfare of Nations

By James Bartholomew

What damage is being done by failing welfare states? What lessons can be learned from the best welfare states? And—is it too late to stop welfare states from permanently diminishing the lives and liberties of people around the world?

Traveling around the globe, James Bartholomew examines welfare models, searching for the best education, health care, and support services in 11 vastly different countries; illuminating the advantages and disadvantages of other nations’ welfare states; and delving into crucial issues such as literacy, poverty, and inequality. This is a hard‐​hitting and provocative contribution to understanding how welfare states, as the defining form of government today, are changing the very nature of modern civilization.

About the Author

James Bartholomew is a journalist and an author with a wide range of international experience. He is a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and of the Adam Smith Institute. His previous book, The Welfare State We’re In, won several awards including the Sir Anthony Fisher Memorial Award from the Atlas Foundation.

Praise for The Welfare of Nations

It’s refreshing to learn how other Western nations strangle opportunity with insane statist policies. America, Sweden, Greece, Italy, and France create problems for themselves that Singapore, Switzerland, and New Zealand manage to avoid. They are wise to do so. As Bartholomew explains, welfare states don’t just make people less likely to work, they cause “a pandemic of unhappiness.” Bartholomew’s work is a pleasure to read.
—John Stossel, FOX News Channel

This book is an equal opportunity offender. It will offend teachers, showing them to be wedded to a system that relegates poor children to permanent educational deprivation. It will offend liberals, declaring that their welfare programs have contributed to the dependency that results in unemployment, loneliness, ignorance, and unhappiness. It will even offend libertarians because it fails to recommend destruction of welfare states. This stands as a book which tells the hard truth about how welfare states are changing the world we live in.
—Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution

All over the world, welfare states have been created with the intention of doing good. James Bartholomew’s book brilliantly assesses unintended consequences liberally sprinkled around the globe: inferior education and healthcare; persistent unemployment; unsustainable government spending and damaged cultures. This is an unprecedented and highly readable guided tour — a vital read for anyone who wants to understand how our world is changing. It is also a search for models that can show us how to do less harm and more good.
—Meir Kohn, Dartmouth College