Issue #2, Fall 2006

Families Valued

Creating a twenty-first-century social insurance system for today’s “juggler families.”

Of course, reforming social insurance cannot be a substitute for continuing the effort to reform employment laws. All workers in the United States should be able to return to their jobs after caring for a new child or a sick relative, take a few days of sick leave, and have the ability to negotiate a flexible schedule. But, after all, Franklin Roosevelt did not choose between giving the industrial family new labor protections and providing them the ability to share risks. He did both. In a new century, today’s families deserve no less.


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Issue #2, Fall 2006
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Simpler method:

I liked reading your article on social security changes - but thought you were too timid. Why not break the link entirely with income and make social security a fixed payment for all citizens - the same for everybody. Make the payment taxable income (or means tested) and adjust the size of the payment to make sure that living on the payment is sufficient to avoid poverty. This makes social security very simple and easy to understand - and very targeted on the problem it is trying to solve - preventing serious poverty among the elderly.

Dec 11, 2006, 6:19 PM

Appreciate all of the "we need" and "it would be great to have" ideas but every one of these social welfare schemes seem to omit a very basic but necessary factor. How do we pay for this grandoise wish list? At some point, there needs to be a time out for a reality check.

Progressive ideas are great things.

Step one, of necessity, must always be to question how much more productivity can we get out of the system and when do we ever go back and purge the inefficiencies from the current system. Somehow or another, we always seem to skip this step. Over time, our ability to function as a society continues to degrade to the extent that we are becoming almost not able to function at all.

Aug 20, 2008, 10:48 AM
Paying for such a program:

Karen Kornbluth,

It strikes me that setting aside money for such a program as Social Security or the program you have advocated here could be enhanced if we helped fund it by putting in money gotten from the Capital Gains Tax.

The basic assumption underlying the Capital Gains Tax is that much of what we earn from our investments is not a product of our labor or our cleverness; rather, it is the result of being in an economy where all boats rise when things are going as they should. The one boat that doesn't rise is Social Security. Therefore, there seems a natural link between the two.

The benefit in tying these together is that we do not lose sight of the purpose of Social Security and the Capital Gains Tax. We see how both operate on the teeter-totter of inflation and how giving from one to the other balances out that teeter-totter effect. In this way, those who benefit from our common economy are held accountable for those more likely to suffer. That seems only fair.

I am curious to know your response to this idea.

Best regards,

Gregg Heacock

Aug 23, 2008, 9:50 AM

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