Cornell University

Book Information

The Future of the Safety Net
Social Insurance and Employee Benefits
Sheldon Friedman (Editor); David Jacobs (Editor)


Paper, 2001 ISBN: 978-0-913447-81-9
$ 34.50   £26.50

Social insurance and employee benefits are key elements of society's safety net for workers. Social Security, although popular and successful, is under attack by critics who advocate privatization and benefit cuts. In health care, the United States has charted a course unique in the industrial world: 110 years after the debut of national health insurance in Europe, the US still lacks comprehensive coverage, spends a higher proportion of its gross domestic product on medical care than any other nation, and fails to insure 44 million people. The U.S. safety net relies heavily on job-related coverage, which has imposed a major burden on collective bargaining. With competitive pressures causing many employers to cut benefits and shift costs and risks to workers, private employee benefits have been weakened just when the public safety net is being challenged. What, then, does the future hold for social insurance and employee benefits? In The Future of the Safety Net, leading experts address key aspects of this crucial question. Contributors Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research Peter Diamond, M.I.T. Sheldon Friedman, AFL-CIO Teresa Ghilarducci, University of Notre Dame David Jacobs, American University Helene Jorgensen, Center for Economic and Policy Research Robert McGarrah, AFL-CIO M. Edith Rasell, Economic Policy Institute Valerie Rawlston, National Urban League Dallas Salisbury, Employee Benefit Research Institute Nancy Sedmak, Bureau of National Affairs William Spriggs, National Urban League Christian Weller, Economic Policy Institute

About the Author
Sheldon Friedman is a senior economist with the AFL-CIO and past president of the Industrial Relations Research Association. David Jacobs is Associate Professor of Labor, Business, and Society at the Kogod School of Business, American University.

Subject Areas
American Studies
Industrial and Labor Relations
Political Science / U.S. & Canada
Health Care Professions & Policy