No matter what US conservatives would like to believe, the US is the proven best world producer of safety nets. They are suited, however, for corporates rather than individuals. In 2009, in defiance of the cornerstone capitalist dogma "let those who fail go down" the US bailed out the banking and finance sector with hundreds of billions of dollars. For many decades, mostly under conservative administrations, it has been consistent in bailing out and protecting (tariffs, handouts, etc.) all sorts of corporations and badly performing industries; cotton, steel, automotive, mining, etc.
In terms of government handouts nobody can really match the generous, corporate safety net industry of the US.
Recently, the EU has invented a new type of a safety net; one used for state rescuing. Greece, Portugal, Ireland are among the first to have their costly safety nets installed; "woven" by many specialists from the IMF the ECB, the EC. Although the EU is not staying clear from corporate safety nets (if you have ever visited Italy, just ask yourself why are there so few Japanese cars on the roads), still state safety nets is the area where the EU is bound to develop its special skills in safety-net building. Of course in the EU, US-like hard-line conservatism is not so widespread; safety nets have already been around at the citizen level, as a part of the broader EU culture. In this way, it is not as ridiculous and laughable as it was in the US, when the Bush capitalist hard-liners bailed out AIG and the like, all failed corporates that Adam Smith would have rather saluted with an "Off you go guys" instead of billions of taxpayers' money.
Safety nets appear now in three distinct types; for citizens, for states and for corporates.
A question is: can there be a common approach to all these safety nets that would allow to approve of disapprove some or all of them, in a consistent way that is not subject to selfish, narrow and case dependent interests ?
(to be continued...)
(to be continued...)