The Future of Social Insurance: Incremental Action or Fundamental Reform?

Brookings Institution Press
Free sample

In this new conference volume from the National Academy of Social Insurance, experts offer differing views on what changes will, and must, occur to ensure the continuing viability of Social Security, retirement benefits, unemployment insurance, Medicare, and health security programs. The book opens with a general overview of how economic and political forces will shape the future of social insurance. In the chapters that follow, contributors discuss and debate a full range of related topics, including future Social Security investment returns, the changing face of private retirement plans, insuring longevity risk in pensions and Social Security, issues in unemployment insurance, long-term financing, governance, and markets for Medicare, and health care for the underserved and uninsured. Contributors include William C. Dudley (Goldman Sachs), Richard Berner (Morgan Stanley Dean Witter), Kilolo Kijakazi (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), Fay Lomax Cook (Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University), Lawrence Jacobs (University of Minnesota), Jack VanDerhei (Fox School of Business Management, Temple University) Craig Copeland (Employee Benefit Research Institute), Jeffery R. Brown (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard), Janet Norwood (1993-96 Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation), Marilyn Moon (Urban Institute), Sheila Burke (Smithsonian Institution and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard), Mark Schlesinger (Yale), Gerard Anderson (Johns Hopkins University), Lauren LeRoy (Grantmakers in Health), Ruth Riedel (Alliance Healthcare Foundation of San Diego), and Henrie M. Treadwell (W. K. Kellog Foundation¡¯s Community Voices).
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About the author

Peter Edelman is professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Dallas L. Salisbury is president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Pamela J. Larson is executive vice president of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2001
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780815798477
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Health Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Security
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Awarded “Special Recognition” by the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Book & Journalism Awards

Finalist for the American Bar Association’s 2018 Silver Gavel Book Award

Named one of the “10 books to read after you've read Evicted” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“A powerful investigation into the ways the United States has addressed poverty. . . . Lucid and troubling.”
—Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, in The Chronicle of Higher Education

A nationally known expert on poverty shows how not having money has been criminalized and shines a light on lawyers, activists, and policy makers working for a more humane approach
In addition to exposing racially biased policing, the Justice Department’s Ferguson Report exposed to the world a system of fines and fees levied for minor crimes in Ferguson, Missouri, that, when they proved too expensive for Ferguson’s largely poor, African American population, resulted in jail sentences for thousands of people.

As former staffer to Robert F. Kennedy and current Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman explains in Not a Crime to Be Poor, Ferguson is everywhere in America today. Through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, in one of the richest countries on Earth we have effectively made it a crime to be poor.

Edelman, who famously resigned from the administration of Bill Clinton over welfare "reform," connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.
New in Paperback. While everyone agrees that Social Security is a vital and necessary government program, there have been widely divergent plans for reforming it. Peter A. Diamond and Peter R. Orszag, two of the nation's foremost economists, propose a reform plan that would rescue the program both from its projected financial problems and from those who would destroy the program in order to save it. Since the publication of the first edition of this book in 2004, the Social Security debate has moved to the center of the domestic policy agenda. In this updated edition of Saving Social Security, the authors analyze the Bush Administration's proposal for individual accounts and discuss the so-called "price indexing" proposal to restore long-term solvency through changing how initial benefits would be calculated. Soc ial Security is essis essential reading for policymakers involved in reform, analysts, students, and all those interested in the fate of this safeguard of American lives. "An honest, transparent and comprehensive approach to making the much needed reforms to the Social Security program."—Journal of Pensions, Economics, and Finance

"Very accessible presentation of facts, analysis of underlying problems, comparison of opinions, and argument for proposed reforms."—Future Survey Exhaustively researched and deeply entrenched in practical issues and mathematical calculations... a highly recommended ray of hope against a looming national crisis." —Wisconsin Bookwatch "Diamond and Orszag bring some welcome realism and decency to the debate."—Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nobel Laureate in Economics

Peter Edelman has worked as an aide to Robert F. Kennedy, a lawyer, a children's advocate, and a policymaker. He has devoted his life to the cause of justice and to ending inequality. But in 1996, while serving in the Clinton administration as an expert on welfare policy and children, he found himself in an untenable position. The president signed a new welfare bill that ended a sixty-year federal commitment to poor children, and as justification invoked the words of RFK. For Edelman, Clinton's twisting of Kennedy's vision was deeply cynical, so in a rare gesture that sparked front-page coverage in the New York Times and the Washington Post, he resigned from the administration. The nation, he believed, had been harmed.
Drawing on Edelman's vast personal experience with the issues and many of the key figures, SEARCHING FOR AMERICA'S HEART shows that in an age of unprecedented prosperity, Americans have in many respects forsaken their fellow citizens. While we daily break economic records, we have largely given up our vision of social and economic justice, leaving behind a devastatingly large number of poor and near-poor, many of them children. Edelman shines a bright light on these forgotten Americans. Also, based in part on a firsthand look at community efforts across the country, he proposes a bold and practical program for addressing the difficult issues of entrenched poverty. Edelman focuses on novel ways of braiding together national and local civic activism, reinvigorating our commitment to children, and building hope in our most shattered communities.
Surveying the American landscape at the beginning a new presidency and a new Congress, SEARCHING FOR AMERICA'S HEART lays the foundation for a newly conceived politics, a vision true to the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy.
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