Jacob S. Hacker – USA

Linked with the Social Science Research Council SSRC, and with Economic risk has shifted … .

He is Professor of Political Science and Resident Fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies. He is also a Fellow at the New America Foundation and a former Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows … Currently, he is heading a Social Science Research Council project on the “privatization of risk,” co-chairing the National Academy of Social Insurance’s 2007 conference. (full text).

He says: ” … No matter how well educated and hard working, many Americans fear that bankruptcy could be just one unexpected lay off or health crisis away. In The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement And How You Can Fight Back, New America Fellow Jacob S. Hacker lays bare the new economic realities facing American families”.

Listen to his conference-video on Google, The Great Risk Shift, duration 1 hr 26 min 57 sec., registered on Oct 31, 2006, by The New America Foundation.

Jacob S- Hacker - USA.jpg

Jacob S. Hacker – USA


He says also: ‘(Hacker is the progressive Dems academic guru on health care. At the conference, we asked him – why not single payer? – ) … “I am someone who is quite appreciative of single payer,” Hacker said. “But countervailing that political story, which is certainly a true story, are the political risks of displacing the private insurance of highly paid workers and the fiscal costs of creating the system in one fell swoop.

The seventy House Democrats who support single payer are a powerful force for major reform,” Hacker says. “They should keep pressing for bold action. They only should be willing to talk about compromise at a point in which they think something could really happen and be valuable. My role as a policy analyst is to try and craft something that could be that compromise, something that could be Medicare for many. Keep in mind, nearly 60 percent of all Americans would be in this Health Care for America plan. And projections show at least ten more percent within a decade. So, we are talking about 70 percent of Americans.” Hacker says that insurers and employers will initially resist anything that reduces their role entirely. “But once you get the system in place, both actors will see incentives to work with it instead of against it,” Hacker said. “With insurers, it’s a little more iffy.” So, the political reality of health care in America can be summed up as a tale of Two Big Cons:

  • - Big Con One – the conservatives offering prosperity for all and delivering cronyism and favoritism for the rich.
  • - And Big Con Two – the progressive Democrats, promising universal health care, and then joining with corporate Democrats and corporate America to snuff out single payer’. (full text May 8, 2007, scroll down to the end).

And he says: ”I would guess that Anne Kim, Adam Solomon, and Jim Kessler (hereafter “KSK”) will accuse me of peddling a “message of misery.” My defense is the same one offered by Elizabeth Warren and John Halpin: I think political candidates and leaders should offer a message of truth. And the truth is that, after a generation in which more and more economic risks have been shifted onto the shoulders of hardworking middle-class Americans, the middle class is perilously insecure and palpably in need of a real agenda for economic change” …
and: “In truth, criticizing the economic program of the Democrats is like criticizing the plot of Cats–there’s no there there. In typically incoherent fashion, the Party has oscillated between defense of existing programs, which are increasingly threadbare, and embrace of fiscal probity über ales, which, whatever its economic merits, is a losing political strategy. Sometimes we hear about inequality, a problem that, frankly, resonates deeply with few middle-class voters. Sometimes we hear about Wal-Mart and the minimum wage, which aren’t bad subjects for a larger conversation but hardly substitute for an economic program. Amid all the hand-wringing and strategizing about messages and narratives, the fundamental problem consistently gets missed: Democrats need to articulate an underlying economic philosophy that not only motivates and clarifies what they say, but drives what they do in office. You can’t build a frame without a foundation”. (full long text).

His bio on pantheon.yale.edu: … as a Fellow at the New America Foundation, Dr. Hacker is continuing his work on social policy and economic insecurity in the United States. He is the author of The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement — And How We Can Fight Back (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (Yale University Press, 2005), written with Paul Pierson. He is also the author of The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton’s Plan for Health Security (Princeton University Press, 1997), and The Divided Welfare State: The Battle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2002). Dr. Hacker’s articles and opinion pieces have appeared in numerous popular and scholarly publications, including the American Political Science Review, The American Prospect, The Boston Globe, Perspectives on Politics, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. Dr. Hacker’s personal website can be accessed at pantheon.yale.edu … (full text).

His publications:

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