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Oxford University Press Inc
15 February 2021
The American dream of equal opportunity is in peril. America's economic inequality is shocking, poverty threatens to become a heritable condition, and our healthcare system is crumbling despite ever increasing costs. In this thought-provoking book, Edward D. Kleinbard demonstrates how the failure to acknowledge the force of brute luck in our material lives exacerbates these crises DL leading to warped policy choices that impede genuine equality of opportunity for many Americans. What's Luck Got to Do with It? combines insights from economics, philosophy, and social psychology to argue for government's proper role in addressing the inequity of brute luck. Kleinbard shows how well-designed public investment can blunt the worst effects of existential bad luck that private insurance cannot reach and mitigate inequality by sharing the costs across the entire risk pool, which is to say, all of us. The benefits, as Kleinbard shares in a wealth of data, are economic as well as social DL a more inclusive economy, higher national income, and greater life satisfaction for millions of Americans. Like it or not, our lives and opportunities are determined largely by luck. Kleinbard shows that while we can't undo every instance of misfortune, we can offer a path to not just a fairer America, but greater economic growth, more broadly shared.
By:   Edward D. Kleinbard (Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law University of Southern California)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   564g
ISBN:   9780190943578
ISBN 10:   0190943572
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   15 February 2021
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction: Bad Luck Changes Everything PART 1: AN OVERVIEW OF MY ARGUMENT 1. Buffeted by the Winds of Fortune 2 The Denial of Luck PART 2: EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY BETRAYED 3. Born on Third Base DL Or Out on the Street? 4. It's Better to Be Lucky Than Smart 5. Education Is the Engine of Opportunity PART 3: INSURANCE TO THE RESCUE 6. Insurance as Product 7. Insurance as Metaphor 8. The Social Mortgage PART 4: OPPORTUNITY RESTORED 9. From Insurance Theory to Political Reality 10. Healthcare and Medicare for All 11. Epilogue: Progressive Policies, Progressive Paradigms Notes Index

Edward D. Kleinbard sadly succumbed to cancer shortly after submitting the final manuscript for this book. Until his passing, he was the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law at the USC's Gould School of Law, and a Fellow at The Century Foundation. Prior to those appointments, Professor Kleinbard served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, the non-partisan tax resource to Congress, and for more than thirty years in private practice as a renowned international tax expert.

Reviews for What's Luck Got to Do with It?: How Smarter Government Can Rescue the American Dream

What's Luck Got to Do with It? intelligently and accessibly argues for the government's proper role in addressing the effects of brute luck as an obstacle to equality of opportunity. Combining insights from economics, philosophy, religion, and psychology, this book brilliantly creates a path to a fairer America. -- Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation Is what we earn the just desserts of hard work and deferred gratification? Or is it, in large part, the result of existential luck DL where, when, and to whom we are born? In this insightful and carefully-crafted book, Kleinbard argues that existential luck is enormously important for explaining the inequities of our society as well as the ideal policy response to such inequities. Policymakers would be wise to heed Kleinbard's clarion call for greater public investments in health care, education, and child care, and to acknowledge the essential importance of insuring Americans against systemic misfortune. -- Lily Batchelder, NYU School of Law, U.S. Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy With a relentless commitment to rigor and clarity, Edward Kleinbard has brought to light the unfairness of the U.S. economy and the unjustified risks that many Americans must bear. This provocative and entertaining book is a fresh look at how to complete America's social contract. Featuring Ed's legendary wit and ability to explain fiscal policy in plain English, this is a must read for anyone interested in greater economic justice. -- Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, co-authors of The Triumph of Injustice Edward Kleinbard brilliantly analyzes how luck, good and bad, affect our economic circumstances. He notes that society accepts growing inequality because we too often discount the role of good luck in a person's economic success. Kleinbard applies social insurance principles in developing sweeping policy responses to correct for bad luck. He matches an original assessment of our economic challenges with proven solutions to economic inequality. -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member

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