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

ISBN-10: 0195335341
ISBN-13: 9780195335347
Edition: 2008 (Revised)
Authors: Jacob S. Hacker
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/17/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

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.

Jacob Hacker is professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley, where he heads the Center on Health and Economic Security at the Boalt Law School. A frequent media commentator and author of numerous scholarly and popular articles, he is the author of four books, most recently The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream.Contributors: Jacob Hacker: "Health Insecurity and the Middle Class"; Elizabeth McGlynn and David Meltzer: "Health Quality"; Brandon McKelvey and Jill Quadagno: "The Transformation of American Health Insurance"; Katherine Swartz: "The Uninsured and Underinsured"; Elizabeth Warren: "Medical Bankruptcy"

Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction: On the Edge
The New Economic Insecurity
Risking it All
Risky Jobs
Risky Families
Risky Retirement
Risky Health Care
Conclusion: Securing the Future
Acknowledgements
Notes
Index

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