By Ralph Segalman
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Extra info for Cradle to Grave: Comparative Perspectives on the State of Welfare
THE UNEMPLOYMENT BUREAUCRACY In most of the developed nations, the employment market is serviced by both public and commercial employment placement agencies. Most of the public agencies are funded or subsidised by the central government and are operated by massive civil service rules and regulations, which have had the usual bureaucratising effects. Registration for employment placement or checking for new openings depends primarily on the applicants waiting on long lines, only to be served in a less than effective information exchange.
PROBLEMS WITH THE NHS In Britain the national health service is almost 40 years old. Health care, at great expense to the economy, is available to all residents without cost, except for minimal fees for particular items. Despite this, observers indicate that there is no evidence that the gap in health standards between socio-economic groups has been narrowing. One example is that the daughters of blue-collar workers are four times more likely to die before the age of one year than the daughters of managerial and professional classes.
It also includes carefully considering occupational and career choices realistically, undertaking an appropriate training programme at the appropriate time, and completing it; careful examination of employment prospects, and choosing some job, no matter how menial, as long as it offers a beginning step on the employment ladder; and establishing oneself as an honest and sincere employee so that an employer will be ready to provide recommendations for more advanced and remunerative employment. This may sound like the 'Horatio Alger' legend or a sermon from Samuel Smiles, but it must be noted that those who operate as if the legend were true seem to make more progress than cynical entries in the labour market.