America Goes Socialist?

In his article The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Esping-Andersen categorizes the welfare states into clusters that exist in the modern states. The author states that although it is unlikely to classify a welfare state completely under one category, the states often lean towards one of the three types characterized by their dependence and belief on the free market versus on the government. The liberal state operates “modest” welfare, selectively targeting the lower classes and depending on the free markets. The corporatist state focuses on traditional values and the social democratic state believes in universal welfare policies to ensure high equality and basic needs for everyone.1


The Wall Street Journal publishes an op-ed article in which Mr. Sartwell, a Philosophy professor at Dickinson College, argues against the case of a social democratic welfare state in America under the Trump era and the young socialists that advocate for universal welfare policy. Mr. Sartwell proposes that since the definition of socialism itself is inherently impractical and authoritarian, the United States’ problems will only be exacerbated by the government’s over control on its people since “what if the Trump administration controlled the universities and hospitals?”2


What welfare reform does the United States need to solve their problems of inequality and extreme poverty?


If social democratic policies seem to be a radical change since the United States is a liberal welfare state, the reform needs to stand in the middle line between an extremely universal policy and one completely dependent on the free market. Like the Scandinavian welfare states, the salient examples of a social democratic state, private companies still play a role in providing welfare to the rising middle class, but the government is in charge of guaranteeing these basic needs and welfare to all people in the country.

1 James Tyler Dickovick and Jonathan Eastwood, Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings (New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 65-69.

Crispin Sartwell, “How to Argue With a Young Socialist,” The Wall Street Journal  (August 22, 2018),


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