Distinction between the mega-states and countries able to have a communitarian sensibility
I usually argue for communitarian rather than statist solutions to problems.
But wouldn’t life be pretty OK if there were state-provided universal free healthcare and a basic income that obviated poverty? Such would alleviate anxiety about material insufficiency.
Naysayers say people might not work as hard. Well, maybe people would relax more, feel less stressed. Less driven. Maybe there would be a lower level of productivity, a more laid-back society. Lower GDP. Less consumerism. It figures to be better.
If I remain skeptical about statist solutions I should be considering the issue of scale.
Just as there’s a significant distinction between small businesses and multinational corporations (mega-scale businesses) it should be recognized that there are reasonably-scaled countries and mega-states.
The population of Norway is less than six million. And most of the people live in the southern part of the country; in other words, in a smallish and proximate area. Israel is only about the size of New Jersey and the population is similar. Cuba has 11 million people on an island that’s easily traversed.
Citizens of countries like that can have a much more communitarian sensibility than do citizens of the mega-states. The idea that “we take care of each other” has more resonance. The “state” (the government) is felt to be less remote and removed than in the United States. I’d be less skeptical about state-provided universal free healthcare and a basic income within that context.
I think in all discussions of social policy we need to make that distinction.