Social Cohesion in the Age of Neo-Liberism - The essay aims to investigate the reasons and meanings of the transition from a redistribution to a neo-liberal model of social cohesion. After the Great Society project against poverty and social exclusion, promoted by President Lyndon Johnson, some scholars started to remark that poverty, unemployment, marginality and crime are products of the Welfare State. Supported by the development of neoliberal economics, such criticism focuses on the fact that public morality is the key to strengthen social cohesion and to control social deviance. They argued that social programs generated massive inefficiencies, and that financing them required incentive-sapping levels of taxation and inflationary budget deficits. In this sense, these authors viewed retrenchment not as a necessary deficiency but as something to promote. The consequence on Welfare State has been the increase in poverty and the development of an excessive prison policy against some ethnic minorities, above all the Afro-Americans and the Latin-Americans, thus increasing social differences within the American society. The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate today, with one in 32 adults currently or previously behind bars. Keywords: social cohesion; neo-liberalism; distributive justice; welfare state.