The High Cost of Good Intentions

The High Cost of Good Intentions

A History of U.S. Federal Entitlement Programs

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Federal entitlement programs are strewn throughout the pages of U.S. history, springing from the noble purpose of assisting people who are destitute through no fault of their own. Yet as federal entitlement programs have grown, so too have their inefficiency and their cost. Neither tax revenues nor revenues generated by the national economy have been able to keep pace with their rising growth, bringing the national debt to a record peacetime level.

The High Cost of Good Intentions is the first comprehensive history of these federal entitlement programs. Combining economics, history, political science, and law, John F. Cogan reveals how the creation of entitlements brings forth a steady march of liberalizing forces that cause entitlement programs to expand. This process--as visible in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as in the present day--is repeated until benefits are extended to nearly all who could be considered eligible, and in turn establishes a new base for future expansions. His work provides a unifying explanation for the evolutionary path that nearly all federal entitlement programs have followed over the past two hundred years, tracing both their shared past and the financial risks they pose for future generations.

Publisher: Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, [2017]
ISBN: 9781503603547
Branch Call Number: 361.6097 COGAN
Characteristics: xii, 500 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 19, 2018

The writer barely mentions taxes required to pay for the programs, except to say that there are not enough. He conveniently ignores the tax policy that gives far more to the wealthy and less to the rest, when he says that future taxes will not cover the cost of the programs. He also ignores the additional costs incurred without having the programs in place to help those who need help. The fact that the programs actually pay for themselves several times over by saving on the costs of incarceration, drug treatment, emergency room visits, child neglect, domestic abuse, etc. is apparently of no concern.

Oct 05, 2017

That's one hell of a rant their StarGladiator particularly since this book has not yet been released.

Sep 22, 2017

Yet another false narrative book, expecting any gullible reader to ignore the concrete facts that America has the highest number of billionaires, specifically because the laws [and most assuredly the tax laws] are fully tilted in their behalf, and against the 90 percent.
They have the control, they have the puppet strings of their political minions. During the 2008 presidential campaign, when Obama, [Hillary] Clinton and McCain were running for the presidency, the campaigns were managed by people from the same PR multinational based in London, WPP. When the campaigns of the R-wing of the Bankster Party, and the D-wing of the Bankster Party, are managed by the same firm, even the slowest American voter should begin to awaken!
[The next time you hear or read of a Deferred Prosecution {DPA, or Deferred Prosecution Agreement} accorded to yet another corrupt and criminal corporation, pay attention to when it expires, as they all do.]


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Sno-Isle Libraries

To Top