Cover: The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality, from Harvard University PressCover: The Public Option in HARDCOVER

The Public Option

How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality

  • Introduction
  • I. Understanding the Public Option
    • 1. The Limits of Private Action
    • 2. Why Public Options?
    • 3. The Theory of the Public Option
    • 4. Caveats and Counterarguments
  • II. The History of the Public Option
    • 5. Public Libraries, Social Security, and Other Successes
    • 6. Mixed Results in Education and Housing
  • III. The Public Option and Public Policy
    • 7. Retirement
    • 8. Higher Education
    • 9. Banking
    • 10. Child Care
    • 11. Health Care
    • 12. And More
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.