Welfare as We Knew It: A Political History of the American Welfare State

By Charles Noble | Go to book overview

ONE
The Problem

In capitalist societies, welfare states exist to protect the public from the impact of unregulated market forces. That is their rationale and, to a significant extent, their principal effect. The poor receive cash and in-kind assistance, the elderly receive tax-subsidized pensions, and the jobless receive unemployment benefits because society has decided that individuals, families, and communities should not be asked to bear the brunt of economic change alone. But societies also vary in the degree to which they use government to counteract free market forces, and these differences matter enormously in people's lives.

The United States stands at one extreme: compared with most other rich capitalist societies, the American welfare state is more market conforming. America has a welfare state, of course; federal, state, and local government spending on social-welfare programs accounts for approximately one-fifth of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). 1 Many of the things that other welfare states do are done here as well. But according to statistics collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the GDP share devoted to "social protection" in the United States is two-thirds of the average GDP share spent on similar purposes by members of the European Community and the lowest of any Western industrial society. 2 When the American government does act to shelter individuals and families from economic hardship, it is more likely to do so in ways that conform to market principles, that is, to the idea that an individual's life chances should be determined not by political decisions about where and how firms invest, or how income and wealth are distributed, but by that individual's ability to work, save, and invest, and to compete in labor, commodity, and capital markets. 3

America's failure to provide government-guaranteed health care or universal family allowances is particularly striking. Unlike every other industrialized nation in the world, the United States guarantees neither medical services nor health insurance as a right of citizenship. Government-financed health care targets three narrowly

-7-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Welfare as We Knew It: A Political History of the American Welfare State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • Introduction 3
  • One the Problem 7
  • Two - An Unusually Inhospitable Environment for Reform 19
  • Three - Progressives 36
  • Four - The New Deal 54
  • Five - The Great Society 79
  • Six - Backlash 105
  • Seven the Future of Reform 135
  • Conclusion 151
  • Notes 159
  • Index 201
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 218

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.