NEW YORK — The Ford Foundation launched a major three-year study Thursday to seek ways to cope with the rising costs of Social Security, medical care and welfare programs in the United States.
"The growth in social spending over the past two decades has produced what many analysts are calling the crisis of the welfare state," Franklin A. Thomas, the foundation's president, said in announcing the program. "The problem is not unique to the United States; nearly all the industrialized democracies are straining to pay for the social protection and welfare needs of their people.
"Our aim is to stimulate a wide-ranging inquiry into alternative approaches to providing essential social insurance and welfare services, taking into account changes in the economy, in the family and work, and in the nation's age profile."
An executive panel of businessmen, lawyers, foundation executives and union leaders, headed by Irving S. Shapiro, former chief executive of E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co., will oversee the project and make recommendations on new social policies to protect future generations.