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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
The Welfare State Nobody Knows: Debunking Myths about U.S. Social Policy
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on August 23, 2013
Please don't put a large sticker on the front cover of the book. If you need to sticker it up, choose the inside front cover or somewhere else that is more discreet.
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VINE VOICEon February 26, 2013
“The Welfare State Nobody Knows” provides a behind the scenes look at the vast embrace of the American welfare network. Author Christopher Howard lays out an extensive study of the breadth and nature of the U. S. system and how it compares to those of other countries. He makes the point that the American system is larger and more strongly supported than is commonly believed. He explains how it includes, not only aid to the poor, but many benefits to the middle class and even the wealthy. Medicare, home mortgage and health insurance deductions, FHA and VA insured and guaranteed mortgages, Social Security, workers’ compensation and tort law are just a few of the examples of the many facets of social support provided and supported by the American people. In many cases the American system differs more in form than in amount from foreign systems. In the end he thinks that it among the larger but less effective welfare schemes in the world. Throughout this work he explores the political support for the varying programs across population groups.

I found “The Welfare State Nobody Knows” to be an eye-opening expose of a scheme that we take for granted. Unless our attention is drawn to them, some portions are not recognized as welfare. At times the statistical analysis gets a bit boring for the general reader but the book is short enough that you maintain interest while skimming over those details. I opened it because one chapter was cited in papers for a seminar in which I am to participate. I read it through and I am glad that I did. Whatever your enthusiasm for welfare, this book puts the issue into a different perspective and helps the reader appreciate the big picture. For that it is a worthwhile read.
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on December 12, 2007
Professor Howard's book is definitly a good introduction to the welfare state in America. As mentioned previously it includes a wide range of programs and provokes many unique questions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone potentially interested in social policy. (Also if you happen to be a W&M student I highly recommend you take one of Prof. Howard's classes!)
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