The U.S. welfare state has been under attack from both sides of the aisle since the mid-1970s. Using the lens of history, the following pages will argue that neither the rise of the welfare state in the 1930s nor the current attack were merely accidental. Instead, each was a response to a particular crisis of profitability because the institutional arrangements that had created the conditions for profit-making in the prior fifty years had deteriorated. The policies no longer worked for the powers-that-be and had to be “reformed.”



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