Many years ago, I gave my first talk on the welfare state. The talk was just okay, but when I was finished, my then-colleague Alex Epstein told me that the best part was my discussion of America before the welfare state, and how, contrary to what we’ve been taught, Americans by and large flourished during that era. “Add more of the history,” he recommended, “and your case against the welfare state will be far more effective.”


The trouble was I didn’t know much more of the history, and finding out more wasn’t easy. Try as I might, I couldn’t locate a resource that told the full story of America before and after the welfare state. Ultimately, I concluded that I would have to write it.


Well, I’m happy to announce that my book, RooseveltCare: How Social Security Is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance, is finally available for purchase at Amazon.com. (The Kindle version is available here.)


From the back cover:

Today we are at a crossroads. America’s entitlement state is threatening to bankrupt us, and new schemes such as ObamaCare are hastening the collapse. What should we do? In this provocative look at America before and after Social Security, Don Watkins argues that the answer is as simple as it is controversial: Abolish the entitlement state, starting with the retirement program that created it. This is not another book for policy wonks about the financial trouble the entitlement state is in. This is the story of the role that Social Security has played in eroding the eagerness, energy and optimism that once defined America. And it is a guide for fighting back.

And here’s one more bit of good news. This book is aimed primarily at young people, who will be the biggest victims of the welfare state. But the problem with targeting a book at young people is that they have no money, and so I’ve decided to make the entire manuscript available for free as a PDF. You can download it here.


If you enjoy the book I hope you will help me get it into the hands of as many people as possible. Here are four very simple steps you can take:


1. After you finish the book, write a review and post it to Goodreads or anywhere else you can think of.

2. Post the link to this blog post on social media.

3. Send the PDF of the book to anyone you think might be interested (but please avoid spamming people!).

4. Help fund ARI’s End the Debt Draft campaign.