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The Real Deal: The History and Future of Social Security
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0300081499, Paperback)This comprehensive overview of Social Security's past and future places an enormous amount of technical information into a format ordinary readers can understand. Although a few parts are tough going, an abundance of tables and figures are a big help. The authors chronicle the development of Social Security from its origins as an FDR project in the 1930s to its current position as an enormously popular program in deep trouble. Indeed, without significant reform, say the authors, Social Security won't be around for the baby boom generation. Politicians are partly to blame, and the public has been duped: "The myth that people are only getting what they paid for has stuck in the public mind; the practical arithmetic proving that they have gotten enormous unwarranted benefits to the tune of $11.4 trillion has been easily brushed aside." The authors show, for example, that Ida May Fuller, the first retiree ever to receive Social Security benefits, paid a grand total of $24.75 into the system. Her first monthly check, however, was for $22.54, and she collected nearly $30,000 in benefits during her retirement. The problem today, of course, is that fewer workers are supporting more retirees--a pay-as-you-go system that Schieber and Shoven argue is unsustainable. They review a series of current reform proposals and then advance their own: mandatory private savings accounts for workers. These could be invested in the stock market or elsewhere, but couldn't be touched until retirement. --John J. Miller
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:57 -0400)
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2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.
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