This integrated, thematic exposition comes to grips with the meaning of modern interventionist governments, particularly the United States government. It focuses sharply and explicitly on distributional issues (wealth, income, taxation, justice, and health), on giant corporations, and on how government intervention affects the distribution of costs and benefits among social classes. The author looks at 20th-century reform in a historical perspective, and sees it motivated not by grassroots demands, but by the needs of corporate capitalism.
Emphasizing the close interplay between theoretical issues and empirical examination, the book assesses the essential function or functions of the modern positive state. It then attempts to determine the relationship between the positive state and the larger society and economy within which it operates.
This concise, closely-argued essay is valuable to readers at all levels of political science training. It is particularly relevant to those interested in business enterprise, social change, and public or government policy.