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Workforce Issues & Employee Benefits

Friday, July 29, 2016

Why Does the United States Lack a Comprehensive Social Insurance System?

William J. Arnone, National Academy of Social Insurance

Thoughtful commentary on how we got from there to here

In a recent issue of the Boston Review, Elizabeth Anderson, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, wrote a provocative analysis ("Common Property: How Social Insurance Became Confused with Socialism", 7-25-16) of the origins and evolution of social insurance worldwide and in the United States. Her article includes key points that are critical to an understanding of the positioning of social insurance in our economic and political system, and in our culture. She poses a fundamental question: Why does the U.S. lack a comprehensive, universal social insurance system?

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Aspects of Inequality: Entrepreneurship, Paid Family Leave, and the Racial Wealth Gap

Rebecca Armendariz, 2016 National Academy of Social Insurance Intern, University of Maryland

As part of the Academy’s continued focus on income and wealth inequality, expert panelists convened at the National Press Club on June 21st for Advancing Equity and Inclusion through Social Insurance, three discussions that explored how public policies can bolster American family stability in an evolving economy. Recognizing how economic opportunity and mobility are affected by entrepreneurship, paid time away from work for caregivers, and the entrenched wealth divide between whites and people of color, panelists affirmed that social insurance programs provide a critical safety net for risk-taking, retirement planning, and family caregiving.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

25 Million Reasons to Give Thanks for Social Insurance

Elisa Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance

Did you know that this Thanksgiving, there are more than 25 million reasons to give thanks for social insurance? According to Census Bureau data released this fall, more than 45 million people in the U.S., or 14.5% of the nation, lived in poverty in 2013.[1] The good news? Three vitally important social insurance programs – Social Security, unemployment insurance (UI), and workers’ compensation – and a related program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), kept the poverty rate from being much higher. Together, these four programs kept more than 25 million people out of poverty.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Denying Unemployment Insurance to Millionaires

Stephen Wandner, Urban Institute and W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

“Unemployment compensation should permit such a worker, who becomes unemployed, to draw a cash benefit for a limited period during which there is expectation that he will soon be reemployed. This should be a contractual right not dependent on any means test.”

Report to the President of the Committee on Economic Security, January 1, 1935, p. 14.[1]

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thought for Thanksgiving: Thanks for Social Insurance

Jasmine V. Tucker, National Academy of Social Insurance

In September, the Census Bureau released the official poverty figures for 2012, which showed that 46.4 million Americans (15%) lived in poverty last year. Three vitally important social insurance programs, Social Security, unemployment insurance (UI), and workers' compensation, and a related program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), kept the poverty rate from being much higher. Last year, these four programs worked together to keep nearly 26 million Americans above the federal poverty level, which was roughly $12,000 for a non-elderly adult living alone and $23,300 for two non-elderly adults and two children.

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