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2019 Discussion Archive

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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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

In Memoriam: Alice Rivlin

William Arnone, Chief Executive Officer, National Academy of Social Insurance

 

(Alice Rivlin receives the 2013 Ball Award with then Board Chair, Lisa Mensah) 

With deep sadness, we learned of the passing of Alice Rivlin, a Founding Member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and recipient of the 2013 Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance.

 

(Alice Rivlin with her family at the 2013 Ball Award) 

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Posted on May 15, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Taxes, Contributions, and Social Insurance

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

 

With most Americans focused on taxes this month, it’s a good time to take a look at the relationship between federal income taxes and social insurance contributions.

Overview of Federal Taxes and Distributional Effects

The latest report by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Overview of the Federal Tax System As In Effect for 2019, provides a comprehensive starting point. This report breaks out the current federal tax system into four elements:

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Key Takeaways from the Regenerating Social Insurance for Millennials and the Millennium Conference

Bethany Cole, Research Assistant, National Academy of Social Insurance

Griffin Murphy, Research Assistant, National Academy of Social Insurance

Posted on February 22, 2019  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
Saturday, February 16, 2019

Regenerating Social Insurance for Millennials and the Millennium: Lessons Learned

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

The Academy’s 31st annual policy conference – Regenerating Social Insurance for Millennials and the Millennium – was by all measures a success. It represented a different approach to one of the Academy’s signature events in both style and substance.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Assured Income as a Mechanism to Promote Economic Security

H. Luke Shaefer, Associate Professor, School of Social Work and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Director, Poverty Solutions, University of Michigan

“Universal basic income” (UBI) has only recently come into popular usage, but the idea of assuring a base level of income to all is not new. Social insurance programs have been performing a similar function for much of the last century. Social Security and Unemployment Insurance both provide a base level of income given one’s eligibility for receiving benefits. The latter part of the statement is, of course, a defining characteristic of traditional social insurance—eligibility is contingent on one’s paying in.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Social Security Across the Lifespan: Addressing Misconceptions among Young People

Jeff Cruz, Senior analyst for Social Security and senior advisor for Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the Senate Budget Committee

Kathleen Romig, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Posted on January 24, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Achieving Access to Health Care Coverage and Services to Promote Economic Security and Ability to Participate in Work

Renée M. Landers, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School and Faculty Director, Health and Biomedical Law Concentration

“The first wealth is health.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson offered this observation in The Conduct of Life published in 1860, and the statement remains centrally true to the human condition today. The simple sentence belies the range of factors that have an impact on the health of individuals and populations, including the social insurance and other public policies that affect the ability to maintain health insurance and to obtain access to necessary health care services on a consistent basis throughout the lifespan. Good health is essential to the ability of people to participate effectively in education, productive work, recreation, and civic and community life. The current political and economic environment presents several threats as well as opportunities for ensuring access to health care across the generations.

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Posted on January 19, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Friday, January 18, 2019

Universal Family Care to Support Workers and Families

Josie Kalipeni, Director of Policy and Federal Affairs, Caring Across Generations

At some point in our lives, almost everyone faces the challenge of either needing to receive care or provide care to others. This could be due to the birth or adoption of child, caring for a family member, affording early childhood care and education, stopping work due to your own serious health condition, or either you or a loved one needing long-term services and supports. For many individuals and families, these caregiving responsibilities and expenses can be a tremendous financial burden.

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Posted on January 18, 2019  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Friday, January 18, 2019

Furloughed Federal Workers and Unemployment Insurance

William Arnone, CEO National Academy of Social Insurance

Stephen Wandner, PhD, Research Fellow, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance

 

Among the many headlines in coverage of the government shutdown: “The government shutdown spotlights a bigger issue: 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck.”

For the roughly 800,000 furloughed federal workers, the partial shutdown began on December 22, 2018. These federal workers missed their first biweekly paycheck on January 11, 2019. If the shutdown continues, they will miss a second paycheck on January 25 and possibly future paychecks until the shutdown ends. Until January 16, when legislation was enacted guaranteeing that federal workers would receive back-pay upon the government’s reopening, these workers also faced over three weeks of uncertainty as to whether they would ever be paid for the shutdown period.

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Posted on January 18, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

One of the Top Challenges Facing the Academy

William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

For all of us who are dedicated to the Academy’s mission – “increasing public understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security” – 2019 has the makings of a challenging year.

One of the top challenges facing us as we begin a new year is to develop and refine a common language that connects with the public at large. When distraction, detraction, and discord seem so prevalent in the nation’s political discourse, we need new ways to refocus the conversation on unifying issues that matter most to many. When it comes to providing greater economic security and reducing inequality in our nation, we need to reframe how we discuss social insurance, so that its enduring value as shared protection will be communicated more effectively.

If we were to measure the American people’s current understanding of social insurance, what might we find?

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Life Interrupted: The Struggles and Triumphs of Millennial Family Caregivers

Jean Accius, Vice President, Long-Term Services & Supports and Livable Communities Group, AARP Public Policy Institute

We know the clichés for Millennials. And, for that matter, younger adults of any generation.

Or maybe they’re more assumptions, images we conjure in our heads: a younger person getting out of school, hopefully entering the workforce, and enjoying a nice social life of friends and possibly dating, pastimes (exercise, ballgames, music, etc.), maybe even some trips to exciting destinations.

Life is simple as a young adult. Life is mostly about “me.”

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Posted on January 9, 2019  |  Write the first comment
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Friday, January 4, 2019

How Work is Changing—and What it Means for Workers and Social Insurance

Ramsey Alwin, Director of Thought Leadership, Financial Resilience, Office of Policy, Research, and International Affairs, AARP

Ramsey L. Alwin is the Director of Thought Leadership for Financial Resilience in the Office of Policy, Research, and International Affairs at AARP. Alwin’s work focuses on longevity trends and economic security issues, especially as they relate to older adults. 

 

 

 

 

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