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Shared Responsibility, Shared RiskGovernment, Markets and Social Policy in the Twenty-First Century$
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Jacob Hacker and Ann O'Leary

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199781911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199781911.001.0001

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America’s Next Social Contract

America’s Next Social Contract

Lessons from the Past, Prospects for the Future

Chapter:
(p.260) Conclusion America’s Next Social Contract
Source:
Shared Responsibility, Shared Risk
Author(s):
Jacob S. Hacker

Ann O’Leary

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199781911.003.0014

This chapter discusses lessons from the past and prospects for the future with regards to sharing economic risks, with particular reference to the so-called Great Risk Shift and the government's role as risk managers. It highlights the political nature of economic security as well as public opinion with regards to government and its role in the economy. It also looks at the history of risk management and trends in risk management in the United States before discussing the need to rethink the way economic risk is managed. More specifically, it envisions a new kind of social contract between employers and the government to protect workers against certain risks, particularly those involving retirement, long-term care, and home ownership. Furthermore, the chapter argues that the government needs to reconsider its agreements with workers and families about how they use existing programs and incentives, such as those relating to taxes and social insurance. Finally, it examines U.S. fiscal policy and assesses future prospects for economic security.

Keywords:   economic risk, Great Risk Shift, economic security, risk management, retirement, long-term care, home ownership, taxes, social insurance, fiscal policy

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