The Great Risk Shift

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

3.78 (176 ratings by Goodreads)
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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 157 x 236 x 18mm | 398g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised edition
  • 7 line illustrations
  • 0195335341
  • 9780195335347
  • 619,971

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
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Review quote

Hacker has already written one debate-defining tract, The Great Risk Shift which described how individuals were getting stuck with health care and retirement risks long borne by institutions. * Justin Fox, The Harvard Business Review * A brilliant diagnosis of how the American dream has dissolved, and what might be done to resurrect it. With cool intelligence but also great compassion, Jacob Hacker shows how both corporate and governmental safety nets have been systematically dismantled, leaving average Americans at the mercy of an increasingly risky global economy. * Charles Ferguson, Director of Inside Job * [This] book deserves the widest possible audience, for having nailed the most powerful and underappreciated economic trend of our era, thereby inviting a discussion of the political opportunities. * Robert Kuttner, American Prospect * Provides a fresh diagnosis of a familiar complex of problems from structural unemployment to the erosion of retirement plans you can retire on. * The Atlantic * Hacker offers up a new foundation for economic security. This is an important book. * Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor * "Provocative and worth reading."-New York Times The essential policy book of the year. * Washington Post * As Jacob Hacker argues persuasively in The Great Risk Shift, America's middle class finds itself living with far more risk and income volatility than it did a generation ago. * Chris Hayes, The Nation *
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About Jacob S. Hacker

Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a frequent commentator on American politics and social policy. He is also the coauthor, with Paul Pierson, of Winner-Take-All Politics (Simon & Schuster), American Amnesia (Simon & Schuster) and Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (Yale University Press).
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Rating details

176 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 26% (45)
4 38% (66)
3 30% (53)
2 4% (7)
1 3% (5)
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