What Government Can Do
Dealing with Poverty and Inequality
Publication Date: October 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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"What Government Can Do" argues, on the contrary, that federal, state, and local governments can and should do a great deal. Benjamin I. Page and James R. Simmons detail what programs have worked and how they can be improved, while introducing the general reader to the fundamentals of social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicaid, tax structures, minimum wage laws, educational programs, and the concept of "basic needs." Through their discussions of high-profile campaign plans, proposals, successes, and failures, they have written a readable, optimistic, and clear-headed book on government and poverty. And they find that, contrary to popular belief, government policies already do, in fact, help alleviate poverty and economic inequality. Often these policies work far more effectively and efficiently than people realize, and in ways that enhance freedom rather than infringe on it. At the same time, Page and Simmons show how even more could be-and should be-accomplished.
The authors advocate many sweeping policy changes while acknowledging political obstacles (such as the power of money and organized interests in Americanpolitics) that may stand in the way. Yet even those who disagree with their recommendations will come away with a deepened understanding of how social and economic policies actually work. Exploring ideas often ignored in Beltway political discourse, "What Government Can Do" challenges all Americans to raise the level of public debate and improve our public policies.