Social Security in the 21st Century / Edition 1

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Social security has proven to be one of the most successful programs in the United States. No other program has done more to transform old age or to protect family incomes against economic risks arising from the disability or death of a working family member. Polls consistently show strong support for Social Security, but these same polls also show that the public, especially the young, is skeptical about whether Social Security will be able to meet its obligations. The program's harshest opponents call it a "Ponzi scheme." Arguing that the young will be left "holding the bag," they call for a shift towards greater personal savings or means-testing. Experts agree that the aging of the baby boom, longer life expectancies, and a changing economy will impose new challenges. But seeing no impending disaster, they point to reforms that leave intact basic Social Security commitments and structure. Not surprisingly, the public is confused and has many unanswered questions.
Social Security in the 21st Century offers an introduction to the basic economic, demographic, and political aspects of social security, and addresses the questions most often asked regarding this subject. Featuring nationally recognized experts, the book presents clear, authoritative, and balanced discussions of contemporary Social Security issues, offering the historical background, concepts, statistics, and options necessary to make informed judgments about the program. These issues include the program's financial viability, its effects on the economy and the federal deficit, its consonance with American values, the adequacy of benefits for today's and tomorrow's old, its fairness to women and the young, disability reform and generational equity. It explains both the social insurance principles and political history related to the development of Social Security in the United States. The book avoids using technical jargon, making it ideal for a wide ranging audience including policymakers, teachers, journalists, students, and the general public. Special attention is given to the future and how Social Security can be changed to respond to the needs of generations to come.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195104257
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/26/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter Diamond
I: An Overview of Social Security
1. The Social Insurance Approach and Social Security, Lawrence H. Thompson and Melinda M. Upp
2. The Historical Development of Social Insurance in the United States, Edward D. Berkowitz
II: Social Security Issues
3. Should Social Security Be Means-Tested?, Eric R. Kingson & James H. Schulz
4. Are Social Security Benefits Too High or Too Low?, Marilyn Moon
5. Are Returns on Payroll Taxes Fair?, Yung-Ping Chen and Stephen C. Goss
6. Social Security and the Economic Security of Women: Is It Fair?, Karen C. Holden
7. Disability: Why Does the Search for Good Programs Continue?, Jerry L. Mashaw
8. Does Social Security Discourage Work?, Jill Quadagno and Joseph Quinn
9. How Does Social Security Affect the Economy?, Edward M. Gramlich
10. What Economic Role for the Trust Funds?, Barry Bosworth
11. Strong Support But Low Confidence: What Explains the Contradiction?, Virginia P. Reno & Robert B. Friedland
12. Social Security and the Conflict Between Generations: Are We Asking the Right Questions?, Theodore R. Marmor, Fay Lomax Cook & Stephen Scher
13. Will Social Security Be There for Me?, Robert J. Myers
III: Additional Views on the Issues
14. Adequacy and Equity Issues: Another View, Michael D. Hurd
15. Financing and Work Issues: Another View, Dwight K. Bartlett
16. Institutional and Administrative Issues, Stanford G. Ross
17. Social Security in the 21st Century: The Need for Change, C. Eugene Steuerle
18. Bridging the Centuries: The Case for Traditional Social Security, Robert M. Ball with Thomas N. Bethell

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