Social Democratic America

Social Democratic America

by Lane Kenworthy


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America is the one of the wealthiest nations on earth. So why do so many Americans struggle to make ends meet? Why is it so difficult for those who start at the bottom to reach the middle class? And why, if a rising economic tide lifts all boats, have middle-class incomes been growing so slowly?

Social Democratic America explains how this has happened and how we can do better. Lane Kenworthy convincingly argues that we can improve economic security, expand opportunity, and ensure rising living standards for all by moving toward social democracy. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of social policy in America and other affluent countries, he proposes a set of public social programs, including universal early education, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, wage insurance, the government as employer of last resort, and many others. Kenworthy looks at common objections to social democracy, such as the oft-repeated claim that Americans don't want big government, which he readily debunks. Indeed, we already have in place a host of effective and popular social programs, from Social Security to Medicare to public schooling. Moreover, the available evidence suggests that rich nations can generate the tax revenues needed to pay for generous social programs while maintaining an innovative and growing economy, and without restricting liberty.

Can it happen? Kenworthy describes how the US has been progressing slowly but steadily toward a genuine social democracy for nearly a century. Controversial and powerful, Social Democratic America shows that the good society doesn't require a radical break from our past; we just need to continue in the direction we are already heading.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190230951
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lane Kenworthy is Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Arizona. He is author of Progress for the Poor, Jobs with Equality, and Egalitarian Capitalism. His writings have appeared in the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and on his blog, Consider the Evidence.

Table of Contents

1. Toward the Good Society: An American Path
2. What's the Problem?
3. How Can We Fix It?
4. Objections and Alternatives
5. Can It Happen?
6. America's Social Democratic Future

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Social Democratic America 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for promoting socialism! This book makes a compelling argument for social government, higher taxes, bigger government involment and overall government control. Profesor Kenworthy completely agrees that bigger government with more control is the way to go and that the USA needs to move toward a European model to live by. He neglects to mention how these social policies have ruined numorous European countries and condemed their citizens to a life of struggle because social government is about redistibuting the wealth of the worker in order to support the the lazy and the unwilling people who rather life of of someone else's labor. The professor neglects to realize how every democratic administration since the Wilson administration distroyed American freedoms and liberties while advancing the social cause. Roosevelt created the biggist social programs that set the American economy into a tail spin. Johnson with his war on poverty, created the wealfare state and government dependencey while discouraging people from working and supporting their own lives. Government controlling people's lives and destinies is not what America was founded on. The USA was founded as a Republic with freedoms and rights granted to every American. Seems as though professor Kenworthy needs to decide if American freedom or governemnt control is the better way to go.