How We Live: An Economic Perspective on Americans from Birth to Death (Loeb Classical Library)

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9780674412262: How We Live: An Economic Perspective on Americans from Birth to Death (Loeb Classical Library)
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Victor Fuchs, author of Who Shall Live?, cuts through the hand wringing and the “pop” panaceas for America's current social crises in a brilliant analysis of the way we live. The facts are familiar. A doubled rate of divorce. A birth rate cut nearly in half while the percentage of illegitimate births nearly tripled. The young face dismal job prospects, and many of the old are totally dependent on the federal government.

Fuchs's economic approach shows us that the societal upheaval of American life is not created by fiat but rather emerges as millions of men and women make seemingly small choices that are constrained by their circumstances: “Should I go back to school?” “How many children should we have?” “When should I retire?” In a masterly synthesis, he shows the interrelatedness of our choices regarding family, work, health, and education throughout the life cycle. He uses the latest facts of American life to explore three major themes―the fading family, the impact of simple demographics on individual destiny, and the effect of weighing present and future costs and benefits on individual choice.

Fuchs concludes by offering innovative solutions to many contemporary problems: social security, health insurance, child care, youth unemployment, and illegitimate births. Moving beyond the outworn orthodoxies of liberalism and conservatism, he offers a clearer view of our circumstances so that readers from all walks of life can make better private choices, and contribute to more effective public policies.

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This is a book about choices--the choices we make for ourselves, those that are made for us, and those that we make for others. It examines the choices we make in our private lives and also the ones we make collectively as citizens and voters. Through these choices--especially those concerning family, work, health, and education--we are constantly defining and redefining American society, that is, we are determining 'how we live.'

Review:

“Chock-full of fascinating facts and educated conjectures...there is much insightful research. And Mr. Fuchs’s compact style makes the book a pleasure to read.”Peter Passell, New York Times Book Review

How We Live is a veritable handbook for reformers. Those concerned with policies affecting the family and the labor market especially cannot afford to ignore the information Fuchs assembles.”Dennis Wrong, The New Republic

“Victor Fuchs has performed an astonishing job of synthesis and exposition of the vast literature on the progress of Americans through their life cycle.”Kenneth J. Arrow

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9780674412255: How We Live: An Economic Perspective on Americans from Birth to Death

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ISBN 10:  0674412257 ISBN 13:  9780674412255
Publisher: Harvard University Press, 1983
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