Danish folk schools
In the middle of the 19th century, Denmark transformed itself from a fairly low and demoralized state into a very prosperous nation by actively upgrading the skills of its populace. To some degree that's the essential ingredient in the whole Nordic model.
I was thinking about that in regards to the example of the Netherlands as a former great power that managed to adapt to maintain a high standard of living after the loss of that status.
I think the US and UK have cultural impediments to that, though, in terms of a more rigid class structure. In the US race is at the heart of ours- if the benefits of socialism also accrue to The Other then we'd rather have none at all.
Re: Danish folk schools
There is another thing about making sure everyone is cared for.
If someone is left with little or nothing then they are desperate enough to take what they need and so you are left with the expense of policing and jailing and replacing all the things that were taken or damaged
If you make sure everyone has enough to eat, a warm dry place to stay and good health care they are less likely to just take what they need.
The question should be asked what is more cost effective.
And I did not even mention making sure everyone has a good education too.