The Divided Welfare State: The Battle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States / Edition 1

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Overview

The Divided Welfare State is the first comprehensive political analysis of America's distinctive system of public and private social benefits. Everyone knows that the American welfare state is unusual—less expensive and extensive, later to develop and slower to grow, than comparable programs abroad. Yet, U.S. social policy does not stand out solely for its limits. American social spending is actually as high as spending is in many European nations. What is truly distinctive is that so many social welfare duties are handled not by the state, but by the private sector with government support. With sweeping historical reach and a wealth of statistical and cross-national evidence, The Divided Welfare State demonstrates that private social benefits have not merely been shaped by public policy, but have deeply influenced the politics of public social programs—to produce a social policy framework whose political and social effects are strikingly different than often assumed. At a time of fierce new debates about social policy, this book is essential to understanding the roots of America's distinctive model and its future possibilities. Jacob S. Hacker is the Peter Strauss Family Assistant Profesor of Political Science at Yale University. Previously, he was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows and Fellow at the New America Foundation as well as a Guest Scholar and Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton's Plan for Health Security (Princeton, 1997), which was co-winner of the 1997 Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration. His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and Washington Post. A regular media commentator, he has discussed his work widely on C-Span, national public radio and in papers nationwide.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hacker (political science, Yale) tries to explain why "the United States devotes much less of its economy to government social spending than do other Western nations" by meticulously tracing the history of New Deal and Great Society legislation and programs and by showing that social programs in this country have attempted to balance the values of equity and freedom. Analyzing pensions, health insurance, and private and public benefits in separate sections, he focuses on how the deeply ingrained history of employer-sponsored pensions and health insurance has swung the pendulum toward utilizing private initiatives rather than enhanced federal programs to provide Americans with social benefits. In his final chapter, Hacker discusses the future of what he calls the American welfare regime, insisting that we need to understand the connectivity and tradeoffs between public support of social programs and the increasing willingness of the federal government to entertain privatization. Written in a scholarly style, with plenty of jargon, statistical tables, charts, and graphs, and references to primary and secondary sources cited in the extensive, annotated endnotes, this is a measured analysis of an important political issue affecting all Americans. For large public libraries, most university libraries, and some four-year college libraries.-Jack Forman, San Diego Mesa Coll. Lib., CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521013284
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 466
  • Sales rank: 745,244
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface
Pt. I The American Welfare Regime
Introduction: American Exceptionalism Revisited 5
1 The Politics of Public and Private Social Benefits 28
Pt. II The Politics of Public and Private Pensions
2 Connected at Birth: Public and Private Pensions Before 1945 85
3 Sibling Rivalry: Public and Private Pensions After 1945 124
Pt. III The Politics of Public and Private Health Insurance
4 Seeds of Exceptionalism: Public and Private Health Insurance Before 1945 191
5 The Elusive Cure: Public and Private Health Insurance After 1945 221
Pt. IV The Formation and Future of the American Welfare Regime
6 The Formation of the American Welfare Regime 275
7 The Future of the American Welfare Regime 313
Appendix 337
Notes 341
Index 435
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