For Michael B. Katz, the term "welfare state" describes the intricate web of government programs, employer-provided benefits, and semiprivate organizations intended to promote economic security and to guarantee the basic necessities of life for all citizens: food, shelter, medical care, protection in childhood, and support in old age. In this updated edition of his seminal work The Price of Citizenship, Katz traces the evolution of the welfare state from colonial relief programs through the war on poverty and into our own age, marked by the "end of welfare as we know it."
Katz argues that in the last decades, three great forces—a ferocious war on dependence, which has singled out the most vulnerable; the devolution of authority within both government and the private sector; and the application of market models to social policy—have permeated all aspects of the social contract. The Price of Citizenship shows how these changes have propelled America toward a future of increased inequality and decreased security as individuals compete for success in an open market with ever fewer protections against misfortune, power, and greed. A new chapter, written for this edition, explains how these trends continue in the post-9/11 era and how the response to Hurricane Katrina exposed the weaknesses of America's social safety net.
Offering grounds for modest optimism, the new chapter also points to countervailing trends that may modify and even partially reverse the effects of recent welfare history.
Prologue: The Invention of Welfare
1. The American Welfare State
2. Poverty and Inequality in the New American City
3. The Family Support Act and the Illusion of Welfare Reform
4. Governors as Welfare Reformers
5. Urban Social Welfare in an Age of Austerity
6. The Independent Sector, the Market, and the State
7. The Private Welfare State and the End of Paternalism
8. Increased Risks for the Injured, Disabled, and Unemployed
9. New Models for Social Security
10. The Assimilation of Health Care to the Market
11. Fighting Poverty 1990s Style
12. The End of Welfare
13. Work, Democracy, and Citizenship
Postscript: The Post-9/11 American Welfare State
"Arguably the leading historian of American social welfare, Katz has written a defining history of post-Nixon transformations of America's welfare state. . . . This is a masterpiece of contemporary history."—Publishers Weekly
"The Price of Citizenship is a rich chronicle of the hostile climate facing U.S. social policy. It is a timely reminder that, for all the current talk of 'privatization,' the United States already relies heavily on private social welfare benefits. It is certain to be a valuable resource for social scientists and historians, who usually have to wait decades for a history of this quality to be written."—Jacob S. Hacker, Journal of Social History