Robert Ball And The Politics Of Social Security

Paperback | July 19, 2005

byEdward D. Berkowitz

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    In the second half of the twentieth century, no one exerted more influence over Social Security than Robert Ball, who in 1947 wrote what became the key statement defining why social insurance, not welfare, should be America’s primary income maintenance program. This policy-oriented biography surveys the history of Social Security from 1950 to the present through the eyes of the public servant most crucial to its development. Drawing on exclusive access to Robert Ball’s papers and Ball’s own extensive oral memoir created for this project, Edward D. Berkowitz explains how Social Security came to be America’s most important social welfare program. Ball’s role in expanding coverage to more workers during the period between 1950 and 1972, as well as in supporting the indexing of benefits to the rate of inflation, directly affected the lives of senior citizens and the overall U. S. economy.
    Berkowitz demonstrates how Robert Ball used the conservative means of social insurance toward the liberal end of expanding the welfare state. He considers octagenarian Robert Ball’s legacy in the face of the George W. Bush administration’s goal of replacing Social Security with private accounts.

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    In the second half of the twentieth century, no one exerted more influence over Social Security than Robert Ball, who in 1947 wrote what became the key statement defining why social insurance, not welfare, should be America’s primary income maintenance program. This policy-oriented biography surveys the history of Social Security f...

Edward D. Berkowitz is professor of history and director of the Program in History and Public Policy at George Washington University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:476 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:July 19, 2005Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299189546

ISBN - 13:9780299189549

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"Robert Ball has shaped the program as no one else, and it remains the enduring legacy of New Deal politics. . . . Bureaucrats of Bob Ball’s stripe are the unsung heroes of American governance."—Jerry Mashaw, Yale Law School