A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $9.95
  • Save: $0.99 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: EXCELLENT CONDITION / crisp and clean / ***SHIPPED OUT BY AMAZON - eligible for FREE Supersaver Shipping and PRIME***
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic Paperback – October 19, 2012

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$5.45 $2.49

Frequently Bought Together

A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic + Why Government Is the Problem (Essays in Public Policy) + "Trickle Down Theory" and "Tax Cuts for the Rich"
Price for all three: $18.21

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together


Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Templeton Press; 1st edition (October 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599474352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599474359
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist and a demographer by training, holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at American Enterprise Institute. He is also a senior adviser to the National Board of Asian Research, a member of the visiting committee at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the Global Leadership Council at the World Economic Forum. He researches and writes extensively on economic development, foreign aid, global health, demographics, and poverty.
William A. Galston is a political theorist. He holds the Zilkha Chair in Governance at the Brookings Institution. In addition he is College Park Professor at the University of Maryland. He was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on domestic policy.

Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, founding editor of National Affairs magazine, and a senior editor of EPPC's journal The New Atlantis. His areas of specialty include health care, entitlement reform, economic and domestic policy, science and technology policy, political philosophy, and bioethics. Mr. Levin served on the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush focusing on health care as well as bioethics and culture-of-life issues. Mr. Levin previously served as Executive Director of the President's Council on Bioethics, and as a congressional staffer.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The question is whether we Will do anything about it.
brant b geisler
His arguments are backed up by useful figures and graphs that make his points with clarity.
The book is well written, brief, easy to understand and important.
Frederick P. Bartlett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Within a lifetime, the nature of government and societies' expectations of it have fundamentally changed. Once the realm of local communities, responsibility for the care of those in need has been transferred to distant government. This rapid, radical change is unprecedented in human history and has resulted in a range of pathologies that undermine the foundation of our society. Things that can't go on forever stop. The question is how we avoid the catastrophic kind.

The book I wanted would have discussed this problem, its implications and potential solutions. This was not that book, though it came tantalizingly close at points before frustratingly veering away.

Instead, the short collection (144 pages) is a long data-heavy essay by American Enterprise Institute economist/demographer Nicholas Eberstadt followed by counter-points from each of Brookings Institute professor William Galston and former George W Bush White House adviser Yuval Levin. A final wrap up by Dr. Eberstadt closes the effort. It is a debate waged with compliments and much mutual admiration.

Dr. Eberstadt understands the problem, but couldn't seem to escape the cold certainty of his data. This data is clear that government has fundamentally changed so that entitlement spending dwarfs all other roles, continues to grow in proportion and is already beyond the ability of our society to sustain. This point is made again and again and seems unassailable against the most determined critic.

Indeed, serving as critic, Dr. Galston simply concedes the point and is reduced to arguing that the clear and fundamental shift in government has not had a corresponding impact on communities and social mores and that some way should be found to make the system sustainable.
Read more ›
19 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jim R. on May 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a review pretty much of politics in the mid 1970's to the late 1980's and how this author sees the country becoming more dependant on Government.

I am a free market believer and not one who desires more Government and less self-sufficiency. So this book made sense to me. However at the same time, it was very much a retrospective of the news from a 15-year period that tries to explain how we are where we are today, but I don't think 15-years is the whole picture. I think it runs deeper than that.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By B Hector on July 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I want to be free. I don't want to labor for the state. I want to take care of my children. Social Security is the most successful social welfare program for a reason. People are basically paying for themselves. Medicare is a problem because people are not paying for themselves. When we force people to do things for themselves, shockingly they tend to try harder. When we allow our children to sit at home and do nothing they tend to do less. Again...not a surprise.

I will now state the obvious.

If people cannot truly provide for themselves we, as citizens, understand we have a certain responsibility to them. This responsibility does not extend to a point where we are bringing down all of society to care for these people. That's just stupid because if we think this through, we see that, as we bring society down, our ability to care for the sick and disabled shrinks. Since it's an absolute economic law that taking money from an activity that produces something and handing it to something that does not produce makes us all that much poorer it is absolutely certain that these actions MUST be limited to the absolute minimum.
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MrCaffeineX on July 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every day that the stock market closes up higher I keep wondering when people will realize that it is all being propped up by inflationary monetary policy at the Federal Reserve. I also wonder when people will realize that the ever-expanding cost of Medicare and Social Security are a serious threat to the economic stability of the country. This is not to say that either program needs to be eliminated, but serious changes need to be made if we are going to overcome the fiscal challenges ahead. Eberstadt does an outstanding job of illustrating just how much money we spend on various entitlement programs, especially healthcare, with data, charts, and insightful analysis. The back-and-forth commentary at the end of the book is a great debate about what we can do, and more importantly, if we can do anything, to prevent us from going over the real fiscal cliff that keeps getting pushed down the road a bit further with each inept congress that we get stuck with. Hopefully more people will pay attention to just how much of our economy is tied up in the various entitlement programs before it is too late to effectively change them for the better.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hill Country Bob on August 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an attempt to present the information about the financial problems that the US has due to the welfare state and all of the entitlement programs that we have, or we have let the politicians create that we cannot afford.

As Chris Christie has told some of the taxpayers in New Jersey regarding promises made by politicians in the past: "They lied to you". This argument applies to the poor folks in Detroit regarding their pensions, and many other programs like them in this country. Putting the best face on the programs, when they were established, the politicians believed that they could be funded. Since many programs were established, the benefits have been made more generous and extended to additional persons in most cases, and the finances have not kept up. Most of the programs were designed like Social Security where the money paid in today is immediately paid out to recipients, and it does not go into a savings account with that persons name on the account. If business does what governments do regarding entitlement programs, people would be put into jail for extended periods.

Essentially the entitlement programs are like Ponzi schemes where the current payees go to support the current retirees.

The western world has this problem in general. Sweden and Germany have addressed the issue for their countries to some extent.

The US as a country needs to face up to the issue and decide what we should do before we are all Detroit, and literally bankrupt. There are no easy solutions as we are trillions of dollars in debt.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews