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The transformation of American liberalism

Author: George Klosko
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2017.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 ushered in a new era of social welfare policy that was intended to counteract the devastating effects of the Great Depression. While political philosophers generally agree that the values of equality and human dignity are the foundations of the welfare state, America's politicians, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, argued for it on different grounds. From the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: George Klosko
ISBN: 9780199973415 0199973415
OCLC Number: 971513800
Description: xiii, 286 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: The American welfare state --
Old and new liberalism --
Individualism and progressivism: conceptual underpinnings --
The British welfare state --
FDR's original sin --
Social insurance and welfare --
Medicare and Medicaid --
Universal health insurance --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: George Klosko.

Abstract:

In The Transformation of American Liberalism, George Klosko explores how American political leaders have justified social welfare programs since the 1930s, ultimately showing how their arguments have  Read more...

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Klosko should be applauded for being so forthright about the misleading arguments upon which the new American state has been built. He observes very early on that its founders were following the Read more...

 
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   schema:description "The passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 ushered in a new era of social welfare policy that was intended to counteract the devastating effects of the Great Depression. While political philosophers generally agree that the values of equality and human dignity are the foundations of the welfare state, America's politicians, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, argued for it on different grounds. From the beginning, Roosevelt based his defense of the welfare state on the individualist, or Lockean, premises inherent in America's political culture. As a result, he not only reinforced the United States' commitment to individualism, but also the stigmatization of welfare recipients, which has long been distinctively harsh among advanced democracies. In The Transformation of American Liberalism, George Klosko explores how American political leaders have justified social welfare programs since the 1960s, ultimately showing how their arguments have contributed to notably ungenerous programs. To be sure, there has been an evolution of liberal political theory from its origins to current theoretical justifications of the welfare state's policies and ultimate values. But the transformation of liberalism in American political culture is incomplete. Individualist values and beliefs continue to exert a hold on America's leaders, constraining their justificatory arguments. Paradoxically, the result has been decades of attempts to justify new social programs without acknowledging incompatibility between the arguments necessary to do so and American culture's individualist assumptions. Klosko deftly shows that the striking absence of strong and widely shared arguments on behalf of social welfare programs in American political culture has a primary cause: its political leaders have not provided them. -- from dust jacket."@en ;
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