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Dismantling solidarity : capitalist politics and American pensions since the New Deal

Author: Michael A McCarthy
Publisher: Ithaca ; London : ILR Press, An imprint of Cornell University Press, 2017. ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Why has old-age security become less solidaristic and increasingly tied to risky capitalist markets? Drawing on rich archival data that covers more than fifty years of American history, Michael A. McCarthy argues that the critical driver was policymakers' reactions to capitalist crises and their political imperative to promote capitalist growth. Pension development has followed three paths of marketization in  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
McCarthy, Michael A., 1979-
Dismantling solidarity.
Ithaca ; London : ILR Press, An imprint of Cornell University Press, 2017
(DLC) 2016047583
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael A McCarthy
ISBN: 9780801454226 0801454220 9781501713170 1501713175 1501708198 9781501708190 1501708201 9781501708206
OCLC Number: 960762236
Awards: Winner of Paul Sweezy Marxist Sociology Book Award 2018 (United States)
Short-listed for Section on Labor and Labor Movements Distinguished Scholarly Book Award 2018 (United States)
Description: xiv, 221 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: The retirement puzzle --
Capitalist crisis and pension insecurity --
Reconversion and the origin of bargained plans --
Turning labor into finance capital --
Toward the 401(k) ownership society --
Conclusions.
Responsibility: Michael A. McCarthy.

Abstract:

Why has old-age security become less solidaristic and increasingly tied to risky capitalist markets? Drawing on rich archival data that covers more than fifty years of American history, Michael A.  Read more...

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"Offers not only an excellent and comprehensive overview but also a critical discussion of how the retirement security system has developed in the United States since World War II. With [McCarthy's] Read more...

 
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McCarthy<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:bookFormat<\/a> bgn:PrintBook<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:copyrightYear<\/a> \"2017<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:datePublished<\/a> \"2017<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:description<\/a> \"The retirement puzzle -- Capitalist crisis and pension insecurity -- Reconversion and the origin of bargained plans -- Turning labor into finance capital -- Toward the 401(k) ownership society -- Conclusions.<\/span>\"@en<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:description<\/a> \"Why has old-age security become less solidaristic and increasingly tied to risky capitalist markets? Drawing on rich archival data that covers more than fifty years of American history, Michael A. McCarthy argues that the critical driver was policymakers\' reactions to capitalist crises and their political imperative to promote capitalist growth. Pension development has followed three paths of marketization in America since the New Deal, each distinct but converging: occupational pension plans were adopted as an alternative to real increases in Social Security benefits after World War II, private pension assets were then financialized and invested into the stock market, and, since the 1970s, traditional pension plans have come to be replaced with riskier 401(k) retirement plans. Comparing each episode of change, Dismantling Solidarity mounts a forceful challenge to common understandings of America\'s private pension system and offers an alternative political economy of the welfare state. McCarthy weaves together a theoretical framework that helps to explain pension marketization with structural mechanisms that push policymakers to intervene to promote capitalist growth and avoid capitalist crises and contingent historical factors that both drive them to intervene in the particular ways they do and shape how their interventions bear on welfare change. By emphasizing the capitalist context in which policymaking occurs, McCarthy turns our attention to the structural factors that drive policy change. Dismantling Solidarity is both theoretically and historically detailed and superbly argued, urging the reader to reconsider how capitalism itself constrains policymaking. 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