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The most explosive economic and political force of the last decade of the twentieth century has been the growth of personal investment. About half of all Americans now own stocks and bonds through IRAs, 401(k)s, and other financial devices.

Polls show that personal investment in corporations changes one’s view of the economy, world events, and public policy toward taxes, government spending, regulation, and protectionism. Much of the growth of personal investing has been facilitated by innovations in the financial services and information technology arena—such as mutual funds and online trading—as well as accidental public policies creating tax-deferred employee benefits and personal investment vehicles.

This book represents an attempt to sketch out, across a host of public policy topics, a realistic strategy for shrinking the welfare state. To gain a clear understanding of the investor politics of the twenty-first century, the book looks backward to human history and even to prehistory to examine the origins of capital formation. As the facts demonstrate, politics has always been intimately linked with investment, understood in the broadest sense of the word.

“Over the next few decades, Americans must stop looking to Washington as a source of the money they need to take care of themselves—there is no alternative. They will need instead to look to investment and wealth creation on Wall Street and Main Street as the guarantors of their retirement security, their health security, their job security, and their children’s futures.” —from the introduction

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Requesting an Exam Copy

Exam copies are sent to professors who would like to review the book before deciding whether to use it in a class. To request an exam copy, you must fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

In our efforts to stay green, reduce expenses, and maintain scholarly accessibility, we are sending examination copies as electronic downloads in the Adobe Digital Edition format for a 90-day review period. If you have any trouble accessing the book in this format, please contact us and we will send a traditional copy of the book instead.

If you chose to review the electronic version of the book and adopt the book for one of your courses, upon notification by you or your bookstore, a traditional bound book will be sent to you free of charge.

Requesting a Desk Copy

Desk copies are complimentary books sent to professors who have already adopted the book for a course. To request a desk copy, please fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

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Introduction / 1

1. A Short History of Saving and Investment / 10

2. American Political Realignment and the Origins of Welfare / 35

3. Wall Street and the Second Economic Revolution / 54

4. Depression and the New Deal / 86

5. The Great Social Security Debate / 110

6. The New Health-Care Imperative / 142

7. Houses, Highways, and Physical Capital

8. Education, Training, and Human Capital / 217

9. The Savings Strategy for Shrinking the Welfare State / 258

Conclusion / 277

Notes / 285

Index / 303

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