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The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream

by

The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Andrea Louise Campbelland#8217;s sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was run off the freeway by a hit-and-run driver, she was seven-and-a-half months pregnant. She survivedand#151;and, miraculously, the baby was born healthy. But thatand#8217;s where the good news ends. Marcella was left paralyzed from the chest down. This accident was much more than just a physical and emotional tragedy. Like so many Americansand#151;50 million, or one-sixth of the countryand#8217;s populationand#151;neither Marcella nor her husband, Dave, who works for a small business, had health insurance. On the day of the accident, she was on her way to class for the nursing program through which she hoped to secure one of the few remaining jobs in the area with the promise of employer-provided insurance. Instead, the accident plunged the young family into the tangled web of means-tested social assistance.

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;

As a social policy scholar, Campbell thought she knew a lot about means-tested assistance programs. What she quickly learned was that missing from most government manuals and scholarly analyses was an understanding of how these programs actually affect the lives of the people who depend on them. Using Marcella and Daveand#8217;s situation as a case in point, she reveals their many shortcomings in Trapped in Americaand#8217;s Safety Net. Because American safety net programs are designed for the poor, Marcella and Dave first had to spend down their assets and drop their income to near-poverty level before qualifying for help. Whatand#8217;s more, to remain eligible, they will have to stay under these strictures for the rest of their lives, meaning they are barred from doing many of the things middle-class families are encouraged to do: Save for retirement. Develop an emergency fund. Take advantage of tax-free college savings. And, while Marcella and Daveand#8217;s story is tragic, the financial precariousness they endured even before the accident is all too common in America, where the prevalence of low-income work and unequal access to education have generated vastand#151;and growingand#151;economic inequality. The implementation of Obamacare has cut the number of uninsured and underinsured and reduced some of the disparities in coverage, but it continues to leave too many people open to tremendous risk.

Behind the statistics and beyond the ideological battles are human beings whose lives are stunted by policies that purport to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in Americaand#8217;s Safety Net offers a way to change it.

Synopsis:

Campbelland#8217;s book revolves around the experiences of her brotherand#8217;s family when his pregnant wife suffered a horrific accidentand#151;leaving Marcella a quadriplegicand#151;without health insurance. Yet the accident was more than a physical and emotional tragedy. It was an economic tragedy that hurtled Marcella and Dave out of what passes today as the middle class into the world of means-tested social assistance programs. A world where, like tens of millions of other Americans, they find themselves trapped in the and#147;safety netand#8221; of public programs for the poor. As a social policy expert who has taught at Harvard and at MIT, Campbell thought she knew a lot about these programs. This eye-opening and disturbing book tells us what she learned. Passionate, but clear-eyed, it compellingly traces her brotherand#8217;s familyand#8217;s Dickensian odyssey through Americaand#8217;s health insurance and other social insurance programs. Using her brotherand#8217;s family and her own situation as examples, she reveals the many shortcomings and inequities of America social policy that leave people exposed to tremendous risk. Nowhere else among advanced industrialized democracies can a single accident render a person bankrupt, or forever impoverished. Nowhere else can oneand#8217;s economic fate differ so much from one state to another within the same country. And, far from being too generous and breeding dependency, many of our means-tested programs are perversely structured not to give people a hand up, but to keep them trapped in poverty. Behind the statisticsand#150;beyond the ideological battles over social assistance programsand#150;are human beings whose lives are molded, distorted, and diminished by the very policies purported to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in theSafety Net offers a way to change it.

Synopsis:

America's leaders say the economy is strong and getting stronger. But the safety net that once protected us is fast unraveling. With retirement plans in growing jeopardy while health coverage erodes, more and more economic risk is shifting from government and business onto the fragile shoulders of the American family.

In The Great Risk Shift, Jacob S. Hacker lays bare this unsettling new economic climate, showing how it has come about, what it is doing to our families, and how we can fight back. Behind this shift, he contends, is the Personal Responsibility Crusade, eagerly embraced by corporate leaders and Republican politicians who speak of a nirvana of economic empowerment, an "ownership society" in which Americans are free to choose. But as Hacker reveals, the result has been quite different: a harsh new world of economic insecurity, in which far too many Americans are free to lose.

The book documents how two great pillars of economic security--the family and the workplace--guarantee far less financial stability than they once did. The final leg of economic support--the public and private benefits that workers and families get when economic disaster strikes--has dangerously eroded as political leaders and corporations increasingly cut back protections of our health care, our income security, and our retirement pensions.

Blending powerful human stories, big-picture analysis, and compelling ideas for reform, this remarkable volume will hit a nerve, serving as a rallying point in the vital struggle for economic security in an increasingly uncertain world.

Synopsis:

America's leaders say the economy is strong and getting stronger. But the safety net that once protected us is fast unraveling. With retirement plans in growing jeopardy while health coverage erodes, more and more economic risk is shifting from government and business onto the fragile shoulders of the American family.

In The Great Risk Shift, Jacob S. Hacker lays bare this unsettling new economic climate, showing how it has come about, what it is doing to our families, and how we can fight back. Behind this shift, he contends, is the Personal Responsibility Crusade, eagerly embraced by corporate leaders and Republican politicians who speak of a nirvana of economic empowerment, an "ownership society" in which Americans are free to choose. But as Hacker reveals, the result has been quite different: a harsh new world of economic insecurity, in which far too many Americans are free to lose.

The book documents how two great pillars of economic security--the family and the workplace--guarantee far less financial stability than they once did. The final leg of economic support--the public and private benefits that workers and families get when economic disaster strikes--has dangerously eroded as political leaders and corporations increasingly cut back protections of our health care, our income security, and our retirement pensions.

Blending powerful human stories, big-picture analysis, and compelling ideas for reform, this remarkable volume will hit a nerve, serving as a rallying point in the vital struggle for economic security in an increasingly uncertain world.

About the Author

Jacob S. Hacker is Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is author of The Divided Welfare State and The Road to Nowhere and, and most recently, co-author of Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. A frequent commentator on NPR, PBS, and CNN, Hacker has written for The New Republic, The Nation, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition

Preface to the First Edition

Introduction: On the Edge

1. The New Economic Insecurity

2. Risking it All

3. Risky Jobs

4. Risky Families

5. Risky Retirement

6. Risky Health Care

Conclusion: Securing the Future

Acknowledgements

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195335347
Author:
Hacker, Jacob S.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Campbell, Andrea Louise
Author:
ll
Author:
Andrea Louise Campbe
Author:
null, Jacob S.
Subject:
Health Care Issues
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Politics | American Politics
Subject:
Social Policy
Subject:
Economic security
Subject:
United States Social policy.
Subject:
United States Economic conditions.
Subject:
Politics | American Politics | Public Policy
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Services & Welfare
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Chicago Studies in American Politics
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 figures, 1 table
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 200 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195335347 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Campbelland#8217;s book revolves around the experiences of her brotherand#8217;s family when his pregnant wife suffered a horrific accidentand#151;leaving Marcella a quadriplegicand#151;without health insurance. Yet the accident was more than a physical and emotional tragedy. It was an economic tragedy that hurtled Marcella and Dave out of what passes today as the middle class into the world of means-tested social assistance programs. A world where, like tens of millions of other Americans, they find themselves trapped in the and#147;safety netand#8221; of public programs for the poor. As a social policy expert who has taught at Harvard and at MIT, Campbell thought she knew a lot about these programs. This eye-opening and disturbing book tells us what she learned. Passionate, but clear-eyed, it compellingly traces her brotherand#8217;s familyand#8217;s Dickensian odyssey through Americaand#8217;s health insurance and other social insurance programs. Using her brotherand#8217;s family and her own situation as examples, she reveals the many shortcomings and inequities of America social policy that leave people exposed to tremendous risk. Nowhere else among advanced industrialized democracies can a single accident render a person bankrupt, or forever impoverished. Nowhere else can oneand#8217;s economic fate differ so much from one state to another within the same country. And, far from being too generous and breeding dependency, many of our means-tested programs are perversely structured not to give people a hand up, but to keep them trapped in poverty. Behind the statisticsand#150;beyond the ideological battles over social assistance programsand#150;are human beings whose lives are molded, distorted, and diminished by the very policies purported to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in theSafety Net offers a way to change it.
"Synopsis" by , America's leaders say the economy is strong and getting stronger. But the safety net that once protected us is fast unraveling. With retirement plans in growing jeopardy while health coverage erodes, more and more economic risk is shifting from government and business onto the fragile shoulders of the American family.

In The Great Risk Shift, Jacob S. Hacker lays bare this unsettling new economic climate, showing how it has come about, what it is doing to our families, and how we can fight back. Behind this shift, he contends, is the Personal Responsibility Crusade, eagerly embraced by corporate leaders and Republican politicians who speak of a nirvana of economic empowerment, an "ownership society" in which Americans are free to choose. But as Hacker reveals, the result has been quite different: a harsh new world of economic insecurity, in which far too many Americans are free to lose.

The book documents how two great pillars of economic security--the family and the workplace--guarantee far less financial stability than they once did. The final leg of economic support--the public and private benefits that workers and families get when economic disaster strikes--has dangerously eroded as political leaders and corporations increasingly cut back protections of our health care, our income security, and our retirement pensions.

Blending powerful human stories, big-picture analysis, and compelling ideas for reform, this remarkable volume will hit a nerve, serving as a rallying point in the vital struggle for economic security in an increasingly uncertain world.

"Synopsis" by , America's leaders say the economy is strong and getting stronger. But the safety net that once protected us is fast unraveling. With retirement plans in growing jeopardy while health coverage erodes, more and more economic risk is shifting from government and business onto the fragile shoulders of the American family.

In The Great Risk Shift, Jacob S. Hacker lays bare this unsettling new economic climate, showing how it has come about, what it is doing to our families, and how we can fight back. Behind this shift, he contends, is the Personal Responsibility Crusade, eagerly embraced by corporate leaders and Republican politicians who speak of a nirvana of economic empowerment, an "ownership society" in which Americans are free to choose. But as Hacker reveals, the result has been quite different: a harsh new world of economic insecurity, in which far too many Americans are free to lose.

The book documents how two great pillars of economic security--the family and the workplace--guarantee far less financial stability than they once did. The final leg of economic support--the public and private benefits that workers and families get when economic disaster strikes--has dangerously eroded as political leaders and corporations increasingly cut back protections of our health care, our income security, and our retirement pensions.

Blending powerful human stories, big-picture analysis, and compelling ideas for reform, this remarkable volume will hit a nerve, serving as a rallying point in the vital struggle for economic security in an increasingly uncertain world.

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