The State of the Nation: Government and the Quest for a Better Society, 1960-1995 by Derek Bok | 9780674292109 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The State of the Nation: Government and the Quest for a Better Society, 1960-1995

The State of the Nation: Government and the Quest for a Better Society, 1960-1995

by Derek Bok
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674292103

ISBN-13: 9780674292109

Pub. Date: 01/28/1997

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Never before have Americans been so anxious about the future of their society. But rarely has anyone offered a clear statement about why, in a nation so prosperous, free, and stable, we tend to assume that the country is in dire straits and that the government can do little to help. This book is just such a statement, an eloquent assessment of where America stands,

Overview

Never before have Americans been so anxious about the future of their society. But rarely has anyone offered a clear statement about why, in a nation so prosperous, free, and stable, we tend to assume that the country is in dire straits and that the government can do little to help. This book is just such a statement, an eloquent assessment of where America stands, how our society has changed in the past half-century, and who or what is responsible for our current frustrations.

Derek Bok examines the nation's progress in five areas that Americans generally consider to be of paramount importance: economic prosperity, quality of life, opportunity, personal security, and societal values. He shows that although we are better off today in most areas than we were in 1960, we have performed poorly overall compared with other leading industrial nations. And when it comes to providing adequate health care at a reasonable cost, educating our young people for high-skilled jobs, alleviating poverty and urban blight, and reducing crime, our record has been dismal. Comparing the United States with other leading industrial nations on more than sixty key indicators, Bok shows that we rank below average in more than two-thirds of the cases and at the bottom in more than half.

What has caused this decline, and what can be done about it? In virtually all important areas of American life, Bok concludes, government policies have played a significant, often decisive role in accounting for our successes as well as our failures. But whereas others call for downsizing the federal government, Bok argues that government is essential to achieving America's goals. In short, Ronald Reagan was only half right. Government is the problem. But it is also the most important part of the solution. By assessing the state of the nation and identifying the reasons for its current condition, this book helps set the agenda for improving America's performance in the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674292109
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.57(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Prosperity

The Economy

Scientific Research and Technology

Education

Labor Market Policies

Quality of Life

Living Conditions

The Environment

Encouraging the Arts

Opportunity

Child Policies

Race

Career Opportunities

Personal Security

Violent Crime

Health Care

Regulating the Workplace

The Burdens of Old Age

Values

Individual Freedom under Law

Personal Responsibility

Helping the Poor

What It All Means

Summing Up

Questioning the Verdict

The Role of Government

Notes

Index

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