Socialism's Fate Awaits the Welfare State
Less than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall it looks like socialism's fate also awaits the welfare state. The same market-based global technological revolution that toppled the obsolete communist systems now swinging its wrecking ball at work, wages and welfare in the West. From evil empire to the good corporation, all that is centralized, standardized and routinized - in short, all in the mold of bureaucratic industrialism - has come under siege.
Social benefits, once as assured as death and taxes,
are in doubt everywhere. This is as true of Social Security and Medicare
in the United States as it is of the six-week vacation in Germany. It
has also become a fact of our harsh new reality that the planetary pool
of low-wage workers and world-scale competition can knock out established
industries and entrepreneurial upstarts alike if they fail to remain perpetually
on the cutting edge.