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Is welfare not used as an adjective, as in the welfare state? Is it worth adding this meaning, when it mainly seems to be used in set phrases? For what it's worth, a dictionary I checked only lists it as a noun. BookishAcolyte 07:50, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Welfare (United States)[edit]

Welfare, and some related terms have a very different meaning in the United States to those as used in other countries.

WELFARE in most countries just means well being or prosperity. This is the first definition listed. As such it has very positive connotations. As democracy developed it became guaranteed through a government program known as SOCIAL SECURITY which prevents people from falling into a state of poverty or not faring well. This meaning is reflected in other languages which have obtained their meaning from this original meaning. E.g. French bien-etre (well being) and Finnish Hyvinvointi (well being) and securité sociale (social security) and sosiaaliturva (social security).
WELFARE in the UNITED STATES originally originally had the same meaning as the first definition (well being or prosperity) but WELFARE AID (which in other countries is known as SOCIAL SECURITY) has been shortened to just WELFARE. This therefore is the origin of the second definition. It has therefore become a word with negative connotations. SOCIAL SECURITY in the United States has a different meaning to that used in other countries. In the U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY is a specific government program for retirement pensions.

A welfare state is therefore is state in which ALL THE PEOPLE enjoy welfare - i.e. a state of well being in which everyone is free from want of basic human needs such as food, shelter, health care.

Because the second meaning is specific to the United States, I have labeled it as such.

Your definition in social security has been removed as it's simply a specific case of the first definition. Every country has its own instance of social security with slight variations across the spectrum. There is no need to list out each specific instance of it. JamesjiaoTC 11:19, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
That's exactly what the original definition means, which you deleted rendering the definitions of this entry incomplete. You really need to look at other countries and see how their welfare system works. JamesjiaoTC 11:26, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I have left extended comments about this at User_talk:Jamesjiao#Welfare. I checked Canadian and Australian government websites and they do not use the word welfare to indicate a system of payments to promote welfare. Most British Canadian and Australian government websites refer to welfare as meaning 1 and not meaning 2. Hence I put back the qualification that meaning 2 is mostly used in the United States.~~