In El bienestar desigual (The Unequal Welfare), I analyze the deplorable state in which our welfare system nowadays finds itself. The title is not a pun, but an acknowledgement of the reality of a discontented citizenry, accustomed to expect more and more social protection.
The economic crisis brought about a certain degree of returning to the past. The lack of income growth and the consequent decrease in tax revenues, caused the customary levels of services with their new features that were taken for granted, to become financially unsustainable. Previously, social spending had been growing even above revenues, the recession at least slowed down its growth.
The outrage caused by sharing the costs of the crisis, the growing inequality of its incipient departure and perception that little or nothing has been done to immunize the economy against another future pandemic, have focused citizen’s hate towards social spending cuts. Consequently, political circles and citizens protest against austerity without assessing what has been achieved and without questioning how it has been achieved, whether the same or less may be better and even more reasonable when faced with potential waste; all of these factors erode financial sustainability and nurture professional corporations who want to be able to decide as self-employed and be charged as employees. Continue reading