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With the economy changing rapidly and inequality on the rise, a greater number of working and middle class Americans are now facing unemployment. Families experience this risk as the stress of insecurity, which manifests in voting trends and the undercutting of loyalties that bind workers to firms. Instead of developing institutions to cushion this risk, American policy has increased the extent to which risk falls on the individual and the family. The privatization of risk is pervasive in American society. It hurts individuals and threatens social cohesion. Examining the risks of unemployment and related public policy, Laid Off, Laid Low is a crucial book for policymakers, social scientists, and all who care about the public good.
— Craig Calhoun, president, Social Science Research Council