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Lessons from the Snowy Slope: Vision and Politics in American Social Insurance


  • Kate McGovern MPA, PhD


The enactment of social insurance, a fundamental departure from means-tested welfare programs, was born out of the crisis of the Great Depression. Policy options to strengthen Social Security are mathematically simple, but ideologically contentious. Arguments against the program, remarkably consistent since its inception, have been gaining traction in the current political climate. As the debate proceeds, it is useful to examine the history of opposition and review the case for universal social insurance.