As a population we want healthcare, education and pensions paid collectively by the tax payer. In germany people on unemployment are paid a living wage. This eliminates the stigma of unemplyment allowing the recipient to seek work, buy smart clothes, pay for travel.
It reduces the burden on the taxpayer in the long run by eliminating the deleterious effects of poverty on the health system
It is no suprise that Germany has low unemployment and an economy that is doing well despite the recession.
I wonder if there is something to be noted, that the country's that have social conscience are not run by aristocrats.