The welfare state is and always has been a means to an end. It is and was designed to centralize power with the progressive political elite and make the masses dependent on the largess of these same elites.the welfare state is a bandaid at best, a bandaid which creates many new problems on it's own, but there are many people bleeding out there who rely on that bandaid to survive.
Are you speaking of the state enabled and sponsored monopolies? The ones that only existed because the state interfered in the free market in the first place??if we dismantal the welfare state, the excesses of capitalism will grow to the levels that exceed what they were a century ago.
What empire?dismantaling the welfare state is an effective way to speed up the collapse of the Empire.