The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement--And How You Can Fight Back by Jacob S. Hacker (2006)

A bit on the fearmongering side, sprinkled with lots of personal examples how things can go wrong with ordinary Americans, this book still points out a to be feared aspect of change in the US wage earning system, the volatility of year-to-year income continues to increase, together with the ever widening gap between the rich and poor (and the disappering "middle class"). It is not only expensive to raise kids (basically with no help from the side of the society, unless you happen to be on welfare), but it also increases the risk of declaring bankruptcy. The social safety net is also being dismantled, while Americans still do not quite understand, how self managed retirement savings work ("you are not supposed to withdraw and spend it all at the first opportunity"), so the "ownership society" is more of a pipedream ... Healtcare is also in a dire shape costwise, delivering good to excellent quality of care with ever rising costs (in particular for "risky" patients). While some personal and policy measures are proposed by the author, they do not seem to close these ever opening gaps. If of interest, you might also want to watch this lecture on the topic by Elizabeth Warren.

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