welfare state

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Welfare State

The concept in which a government is or views itself as responsible for providing some minimum economic security for citizens. For example, the government may guarantee housing, work and a minimum income for all citizens. Less comprehensively, a government may provide income during periods of unemployment or poverty. Most governments have a welfare state to some degree. Proponents view welfare states as a form of economic justice. Critics contend that they are detrimental to GDP growth and promote needless dependency.

welfare state

a country that provides comprehensive SOCIAL-SECURITY BENEFITS such as state health services, state retirement pensions, unemployment and sickness benefits, etc. See TRANSFER PAYMENTS, GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE.