This book examines the political relationship between government social programs, such as Social Security, and private social benefits, such as workplace health insurance. The book's core argument is that the extensive development of private benefits particularly in the health field helps explain why American public social programs are more limited than those abroad, because private benefits have fostered constituencies and institutions just as powerful and entrenched as those created by government programs.
the divided welfare state
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This book deals with the quest for a divided welfare state in Sweden. The prime example is the rapid rise of private health insurance, which now constitutes a parallel system characterized by state subsidies for some and not for others. This functions as a kind of reverse means-testing, whereby primarily the upper classes get state support for new types of welfare consumption. Innovatively, Lapidus explains how such a parallel system requires not only direct and statutory state support but also indirect support, for example, from infrastructure built for the public health system. He goes on to examine how semi-private welfare funding is dependent on private provision and how the so-called 'hidden welfare state' gradually erodes the visible and former universal welfare state model, in direct contrast to its own stated goals. Who benefits from privatized welfare? How are the privatization of delivery and the privatization of funding linked? How does this impact public willingness to pay tax? All of these questions and more are discussed in this accessible volume.
This book offers a careful examination of the politics of social policy in an era of austerity and conservative governance. Focusing on the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Pierson provides a compelling explanation for the welfare state's durability and for the few occasions where each government was able to achieve significant cutbacks. The programmes of the modern welfare state - the 'policy legacies' of previous governments - generally proved resistant to reform. Hemmed in by the political supports that have developed around mature social programmes, conservative opponents of the welfare state were successful only when they were able to divide the supporters of social programmes, compensate those negatively affected, or hide what they were doing from potential critics. The book will appeal to those interested in the politics of neo-conservatism as well as those concerned about the development of the modern welfare state. It will attract readers in the fields of comparative politics, public policy, and political economy.
The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State is the authoritative and definitive guide to the contemporary welfare state. In a volume consisting of nearly fifty newly-written chapters, a broad range of the world's leading scholars offer a comprehensive account of everything one needs to know about the modern welfare state. The book is divided into eight sections. It opens with three chapters that evaluate the philosophical case for (and against) the welfare state. Surveys of the welfare state’s history and of the approaches taken to its study are followed by four extended sections, running to some thirty-five chapters in all, which offer a comprehensive and in-depth survey of our current state of knowledge across the whole range of issues that the welfare state embraces. The first of these sections looks at inputs and actors (including the roles of parties, unions, and employers), the impact of gender and religion, patterns of migration and a changing public opinion, the role of international organisations and the impact of globalisation. The next two sections cover policy inputs (in areas such as pensions, health care, disability, care of the elderly, unemployment, and labour market activation) and their outcomes (in terms of inequality and poverty, macroeconomic performance, and retrenchment). The seventh section consists of seven chapters which survey welfare state experience around the globe (and not just within the OECD). Two final chapters consider questions about the global future of the welfare state. The individual chapters of the Handbook are written in an informed but accessible way by leading researchers in their respective fields giving the reader an excellent and truly up-to-date knowledge of the area under discussion. Taken together, they constitute a comprehensive compendium of all that is best in contemporary welfare state research and a unique guide to what is happening now in this most crucial and contested area of social and political development.
Despite costing hundreds of billions of dollars and subsidizing everything from homeownership and child care to health insurance, tax expenditures (commonly known as tax loopholes) have received little attention from those who study American government. This oversight has contributed to an incomplete and misleading portrait of U.S. social policy. Here Christopher Howard analyzes the "hidden" welfare state created by such programs as tax deductions for home mortgage interest and employer-provided retirement pensions, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit. Basing his work on the histories of these four tax expenditures, Howard highlights the distinctive characteristics of all such policies. Tax expenditures are created more routinely and quietly than traditional social programs, for instance, and over time generate unusual coalitions of support. They expand and contract without deliberate changes to individual programs. Howard helps the reader to appreciate the historic links between the hidden welfare state and U.S. tax policy, which accentuate the importance of Congress and political parties. He also focuses on the reasons why individuals, businesses, and public officials support tax expenditures. The Hidden Welfare State will appeal to anyone interested in the origins, development, and structure of the American welfare state. Students of public finance will gain new insights into the politics of taxation. And as policymakers increasingly promote tax expenditures to address social problems, the book offers some sobering lessons about how such programs work.
Evaluating the Welfare State: Social and Political Perspectives together with its companion Social Policy Evaluation: An Economic Perspective is the outgrowth of an international and interdisciplinary conference on policy evaluation held at Tel Aviv University in December 1980. The conference brought together scholars from the fields of economics, sociology, political science, social work, and administration. The papers presented at this conference approached the welfare state and social policy evaluation from a number of different theoretical and methodological perspectives. A selection of these papers has been included in this volume. The book is divided into five parts. Part I is devoted to the political antecedents and consequences of the welfare state and to the social and psychological processes that affect the development of social policies and reactions to them. Part II analyzes the discontinuity between policies that are the subject of public debate, and the programs that affect the well-being of populations and the distribution of resources. The chapters in Parts III and IV present current developments in the practice of evaluation and explore the frontiers of this field. Part V focuses on the relationship of evaluation to policymaking. This involves examinations of the culture of political debates, the nature of choices facing policymakers, and the impact of research on policy.
The Welfare State Nobody Knows challenges a number of myths and half-truths about U.S. social policy. The American welfare state is supposed to be a pale imitation of "true" welfare states in Europe and Canada. Christopher Howard argues that the American welfare state is in fact larger, more popular, and more dynamic than commonly believed. Nevertheless, poverty and inequality remain high, and this book helps explain why so much effort accomplishes so little. One important reason is that the United States is adept at creating social programs that benefit the middle and upper-middle classes, but less successful in creating programs for those who need the most help. This book is unusually broad in scope, analyzing the politics of social programs that are well known (such as Social Security and welfare) and less well known but still important (such as workers' compensation, home mortgage interest deduction, and the Americans with Disabilities Act). Although it emphasizes developments in recent decades, the book ranges across the entire twentieth century to identify patterns of policymaking. Methodologically, it weaves together quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to answer fundamental questions about the politics of U.S. social policy. Ambitious and timely, The Welfare State Nobody Knows asks us to rethink the influence of political parties, interest groups, public opinion, federalism, policy design, and race on the American welfare state.
Compared to other rich Western democracies, the U.S. does less to help its citizens adapt to the uncertainties of life in a market economy. In Welfare As We Knew It, Charles Noble offers a groundbreaking explanation of why America is so different. Drawing on research in comparative politics, history, and sociology, he demonstrates that deeply-rooted political factors, not public opinion, have limited what reformers have been able to accomplish. Rich historical analysis covering the Wilson administration to the present is followed by a provocative look at future U. S. social policy. Reformers who want government to do more, Noble argues, must refocus their activities on political and institutional change, such as campaign finance and labor-law reform, if they hope to succeed. Taut, comprehensive, and accessible, with a much-needed international perspective, this book will change the way we look at U. S. social policy.
This is a sharp analysis of the unique Nordic welfare system with urgent lessons for governments and societies across the globe. Welfare programs and institutions tend to be analyzed as instrumental arrangements, overlooking the fact that welfare programs are essentially expressions of moral conceptions and values. This book recognises this distinction and offers analyses, perspectives and interpretations of the normative foundation of the 'Nordic welfare state model'. These authors examine the main normative principles in this model, exploring their origins and the relationship between them. Paying particular attention to the principles of 'universalism', 'public responsibility for welfare', and 'work for all', they consider their significance for current welfare policy and question whether external economic and ideological pressures are threatening these principles. The book is divided into three clear parts: *Part I considers the historical trajectories behind the Nordic welfare model *Part II looks more specifically on normative tensions and dilemmas in current welfare policies with a focus on women friendly welfare, attitudes to basic income and alcohol and drug misuse *Part III focuses on the possible change in the normative foundation of the Nordic welfare states This book will be essential reading for researchers and students of the welfare state and also to those in the fields of social policy, comparative politics and political economy.
This book explores the role of the welfare state in the overall wealth and wellbeing of nations and in particular looks at the American welfare state in comparison with other developed nations in Europe and elsewhere. It is widely believed that the welfare state undermines productivity and economic growth, that the United States has an unusually small welfare state, and that it is, and always has been, a welfare state laggard. This book shows that all rich nations, including the United States, have large welfare states because the socialized programs that comprise the welfare state-public education and health and social insurance—enhance the productivity of capitalism. In public education, the most productive part of the welfare state, for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, the United States was a leader. Though few would argue that public education is not part of the welfare state, most previous cross national analyses of welfare states have omitted education. Including education has profound consequences, undergirding the case for the productivity of welfare state programs and the explanation for why all rich nations have large welfare states, and identifying US welfare state leadership. From 1968 through 2006, the United States swung right politically and lost its lead in education and opportunity, failed to adopt universal health insurance and experienced the most rapid explosion of health care costs and economic inequality in the rich world. The American welfare state faces large challenges. Restoring its historical lead in education is the most important but requires investing large sums in education, beginning with universal pre-school and in complementary programs that aid children's development. The American health insurance system is by far the most costly in the rich world, yet fails to insure one sixth of its population, produces below average results, crowds out useful investments in children, and is the least equitably financed. Achieving universal coverage will increase costs. Only complete government financing is likely to restrain long term costs. In memory of Robert J. Lampman Colleague, Co-author, Friend and Mentor