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Workforce Issues & Employee Benefits

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, 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, 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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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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