True Security: Rethinking American Social Insurance
Social insurance in the United States – including the Social Security Act of 1935 and the Medicare, Medicaid, and disability insurance programs that were added later – may be the greatest triumph of American domestic policy. But true security has not been achieved. As Michael J. Graetz and Jerry L. Mashaw show in this pathbreaking book, the nation's system of social insurance is riddled with gaps, inefficiencies, and inequities. Even the most popular and successful programs, Medicare and Social Security, face serious financial challenges from the coming retirement of the baby boom generation and the aging of the population.
This book challenges the notion that American social insurance must remain inadequate, unaffordable, or both. In sharp contrast to policymakers and analysts who debate only one income security program at a time, Graetz and Mashaw examine social insurance whole to assess its crucial role in providing economic security in a dynamic market economy. They recognize that, notwithstanding a proper emphasis on individual freedom and responsibility, Americans share a common fate that binds them together in a common enterprise. The authors offer us a new vision of the social insurance contract and concrete proposals to make the nation's families more secure without increasing costs.
Law | Law and Politics | Political Science
Yale University Press
New Haven, CT
“Graetz and Mashaw paint a compelling picture of our social insurance programs and the need for comprehensive reform. A must read for those interested in one of the great domestic policy challenges we face as we enter the twenty-first century.”
—Bob Kerrey, U.S. Senator and Chair, Bipartisan Commission on Entitlements
"There is concern that we might not be able to afford existing levels of Social Security and Medicare benefits in the future. But if we have the will, Graetz and Mashaw describe the way.
"—Daniel Halperin, Harvard Law School
“The strength of True Security lies in the attempt to integrate often-heterogeneous programs into a coherent whole.... By laying out in broad strokes how different social insurance policies might look, True Security provides much fodder for classroom discussion and debate.”
—Deborah M. Figart, Journal of Economic Issues
"This book is an important addition to the very small collection of writings that fundamentally illuminate the status, philosophy, and future path of American social insurance."
—Jacob S. Hacker, The Brookings Institution
“This book ought to be read by policy makers and pundits alike, especially as Social Security and Medicare continue to be political footballs.... Important.”
—Greg Anrig, American Prospect
“[Graetz and Mashaw] present an excellent history and summary of US social insurance programs along with an analysis of some of its inadequacies.... Recommended for public, academic, and research library collections.”
“As [Graetz and Mashaw] show in this groundbreaking book, the nation’s system of social insurance is riddled with gaps, inefficiencies, and inequities. This book challenges the notion that American social insurance must remain inadequate, unaffordable, or both. The authors offer us a new vision of the social insurance contract and concrete proposals to make the nation’s families more secure without increasing costs.”
Graetz, Michael J. and Mashaw, Jerry L., "True Security: Rethinking American Social Insurance" (1999). Faculty Books. 105.