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Welfare Reform, a Positive Sum Game

Anno XXXI, n. 137, novembre-dicembre 1996
Centro Einaudi


Testo disponibile solo in lingua inglese.
The debate on welfare reform in Italy has to abandon the logic of service cuts – perceived as a negative sum game on account of reciprocal vetoes – in favour of forms of a collective reflection on how to refound social citizenship. Four courses have to be explored: social security – finding ways of restoring the balance of compulsory social insurance schemes and redesigning the security system for the most needy; health – reviewing old rights restrictively and defining new ones; employment – identifying forms of support for unemployed young people, today devoid of protection, and redesigning the training system; family – returning the problems of (young) couples with children to a central role in the distributive and regulatory structure, rethinking family allowances, fiscal incentives and services. The strength of this kind of argument is that it would relate the sacrifices of today to the opportunities of tomorrow, encouraging political parties and trade unions alike to adopt co-operative, constructive strategies.