In the 1960's, there was hardly any unemployment in the Western world. However, an explosion of welfare spending occured in the 1970's. The size of the state has never come back to the normal, pre-1970's levels.
The "voracity rate" differs from government to government. The so-called Anglo-Saxon countries have been thriftier than, e.g., South Europeans, or Western European Continentals; particularly in social transfers.
Source: World Bank
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