"This well-written, comprehensive but short book would be an ideal reading for a college class on American government, or on the modern welfare state…a great guided tour through many well-known and lesser-known ways in which government in the US helps people during hard times. Great for individual learning and ideal for classroom teaching."
“This may be the best one-volume introduction to the American welfare state ever written. The authors bring their unparalleled expertise to bear with a lively style and clear writing, never losing sight of the human dimension of social insurance. Both welfare state neophytes and policy experts will learn much from this volume.”
“Amidst overblown fears of 'runaway' government spending, we seem to have forgotten what America's welfare state is for. Carefully researched and incisively argued, this book reminds us of the purpose and promise of America's core social policies. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and aid to poor families are not government handouts or a threat to free enterprise. Rather, as this book forcefully demonstrates, these programs are bedrock institutions of a fair and vibrant market society-and urgently need to be strengthened, not slashed.”
“Much of our public policy debate focuses either on abstract questions about the role of government or detailed descriptions and analysis of particular programs. Ted Marmor, Jerry Mashaw, and John Pakutka are able to combine these two perspectives in way that makes sense of our fragmented set of social programs. The book explains how ideological and political commitments lead to the current fragmented social insurance programs we have now while analyzing how well these programs protect Americans from economic insecurity.”
“An important new book focusing on U.S. national social policy. Methodogically sound, the text is livened with rich anecdotal material that brings to life the specifics of food assistance, health care, taxes, welfare and poverty.”
“These distinguished authors have written a remarkably informative and penetrating book on the development, current condition, and future of social policy in the US. Written in lively prose, yet packed with facts and figures, it explains how a diverse collection of social insurance programs protect people from serious threats to their financial wellbeing. The authors also point out where those programs go awry or fall short of the need. Most important, they show why some of the leading reform proposals, instead of putting the programs on a sound footing, would undermine their basic purposes. Social Insurance is the rare sort of book that is not only ideal for students but also essential reading for informed citizens and policymakers."