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Friday, August 16, 2019

Expertise and Engagement

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

As we strive to enhance our Academy’s effectiveness in fulfilling our mission – increase public understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security and advance solutions to challenges facing the nation – one of my major concerns in today’s polarized environment is the distrust of expertise among segments of the U.S. population.

Some of this distrust is due to deliberate efforts to undermine evidence-based research. My January 2017 message to Academy Members, “What does a “post-truth” era mean for the Academy?” addressed this. There are, however, other factors in such distrust.

Nervous States

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Posted on August 16, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Monday, August 5, 2019

In Memoriam: Merton Bernstein

William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

 

Merton C. Bernstein 

1923 - 2019

Merton Clay Bernstein, Walter D. Coles Professor of Law Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis died at home in Brewster, MA on August 3, 2019.  

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Posted on August 5, 2019  |  Write the first comment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Addressing Social Security's Long-Range Financial Stability

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

Significant proposals to enhance Social Security’s long-range financial stability are emerging from a variety of sources. Although there was only one mention of Social Security during the first round of Democratic Presidential debates in June, it is likely to get much more attention from candidates in the coming months.

Recently, I attended the annual Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Summit in DC. (The Peterson Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the Academy’s work.)

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Posted on July 16, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Strengthening Social Insurance: The Role of Policy Innovation Challenges

Elaine Weiss, Lead Policy Analyst - Income Security

The National Academy of Social Insurance and AARP will soon be announcing the winners of the 2019 Social Security Policy Innovations Challenge: Ensuring Adequacy for Workers. Through this Challenge, we will identify 3-5 feasible policy proposals that specifically address the income adequacy needs of older workers, who must claim Social Security retirement benefits before their full retirement age due to ill health, an inability to continue to perform physically demanding jobs, or other factors. (This 2019 Challenge in some ways builds on past crowdsourcing efforts the Academy has led over the past decade. As discussed further below, the Academy’s Challenges have produced a range of feasible ideas and policy proposals for strengthening Social Security.)

 

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Posted on June 14, 2019  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Socialism or Social Insurance?

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

The political air is charged these days with claims that various policy ideas, like Medicare-For-All and the Green New Deal, are “socialistic.” Such charges have been made in American history since the late 19th century, often in response to bold new policy concepts put forward to address gaps in income and health care security. This leads us to revisit a fundamental question – what differentiates Socialism from Social Insurance?

Social Insurance as Collective Action

In the words of Robert M. Ball, Founding Chair of our Academy: “Social insurance derives its unique strength from the principle that the best form of self-protection is mutual aid on a universal scale; when everyone contributes, everyone can be protected.” Academy Member and historian Edward D. Berkowitz also quotes Bob Ball:

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