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America’s Broken Social Contract

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From traditional society to modern
society, America has managed to end up with a part employer-based and part
government-based system. What does this mean? It simply means that American
employers provide healthcare and pension plans to most workers, and the government
provides Social Security, which is public pension, and Medicaid and Medicare, which is
health care for the poor and elderly (Haltstead and Lind 66). This might seem like a good
idea, but in fact it has lead to many problems that must be resolved quickly.

America’s Broken Social Contract

The current United States social contract has created many problems for the
American citizens. It is possible to see many of the problems when examining the
employer-based part and government-based part of the contract.

The employer-based part of the social contract is in fact a “historical accident.” It
is a historical accident because during World War II employers could not raise wages; so,
the employers gave employees health insurance to receive tax breaks (Halstead and Lind
66). This created the basis for the current United States employer-based health care
system. In turn this system has lead to many problems. These problems include: 1.
constant change in insurance companies, 2. increases number of unemployed Americans,
3. increased use of temporary workers, 4. depletes the opportunity for genetic testing for
employers and insurers. Due to job mobility and a decrease of life time employment with
a single company, Americans are under a constant change in insurance companies
(Halstead and Lind 67-72). This leads to a poor relationship with the workers and
physicians, because workers are being bounced to different physicians every time they
accept a new job. Next, there is an increasing number of uninsured Americans. According
to the Census Bureau, there are 46.6 million uninsured Americans ( 2006).
This is an outrageous number that continues to increase. There is also an increasing trend
of hiring temporary workers instead of full- time workers. Temporary workers are hired
because the employers do not have to provide health insurance or pension plans for these
types of employees (Halstead and Lind 70). The last problem discussed is the depletion
of the opportunity for genetic testing for employers and insurers. The study of genetics...

... middle of paper ...

... is the lowest in the sample at
14.8%. This shows that America is not a generous welfare state, and the implementation
of Halstead and Lind’s citizen-based social contract, with two-tier models for healthcare
and pension, would be a good plan and improvement.

Works Cited

CIA World Factbook. “United States, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Japan, Sweden

United Kingdom: Fact Pages.” (14 June 2006). 23 April 2007.

From, Al. "44,000,000 & 98,000-- A Tale of Two Numbers." Blueprint Magazine

(1 April 2000).

Halstead, Ted and Michael Lind. The Radical Center: The Future of

American Politics. New York: Random House Inc., 2001.

OECD. “Quality of Life.” OECD Factbook 2007: Economic, Environmental, and Social

Statistics. 18 April 2007.

Steinberg, Karen K. “Risks Associated with Genetic Testing: Health Insurance

Discrimination or Simply Business as Usual?” Center for Disease Control

And Prevention. (11 January 2007). 23 April 2007.

Census Bureau, “The Number Is Uninsured Americans Is At An All-Time High.” Census

Bureau. (29 August 2007). 23 April 2007.

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