Abstract

This Article maintains that in order to fully comprehend the politics of welfare, retirement security, and national health coverage, it is necessary to examine Machiavellian principles in relation to the variables of economic development and inter-party competition. If the principles of Machiavelli are applied in a slightly different and more constructive manner, they may facilitate reform of the American welfare, retirement, and national health systems. Now that the political balance in the United States has shifted from the conservative to the liberal, the time is ripe to consider reforming the entire Social Security system and instituting a comprehensive national health system. Sections II and III provide a basic overview of the American and Canadian systems, respectively, and allow a direct comparison of the retirement, welfare, and national health systems of the two countries. This Article will limit its discussion of welfare policy to those programs which are a part of the public retirement system: Social Security in the United States and Old Age Security in Canada. Section IV examines the differences among the systems and attempts to explain these differences from a Machiavellian perspective. Section V discusses the political implications of the Machiavellian principles and how those principles may be used constructively to reform the American system.