In 1870, Germany’s Otto von Bismarck put in place the foundations for the modern “welfare state.” Over the next 100 years, that model became preeminent in the industrialized world. In fact, it looked as if the European-style welfare state would transform the entire world. But finally, the realities of demography and human nature have caught up with the bureaucratic dream. Now, from Athens to Washington, governments and citizens are coming to grips with reforming an unsustainable system. How did we get here? What are the primary challenges? What’s likely to happen? We’ll provide the answers.
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