Social Security Works for America

Nancy Altman

In the heat of a Presidential election season and in light of a media that earns ratings by focusing on our divisions, we can forget that we are the United States of America. Although we may disagree among ourselves on many matters, some important concerns unite us. One of those unifying subjects is our Social Security system.

Across all ages, political parties, demographic groups, and income levels,Americans strongly value Social Security. Together, we overwhelmingly support expanding the program’s modest benefits and are adamantly opposed to benefit cuts.

There’s a very good reason for Social Security’s widespread popularity. Social Security is a solution to a serious risk facing virtually all of us. In one way or another, just about every American depends on income from work to meet the basic necessities of life. Consequently, we all need insurance against the loss of those wages. Social Security replaces wages lost as the result of disability, death, or retirement. Moreover, the wage insurance Social Security provides is first-rate, far better than private sector insurance. Social Security is much more efficient, universal, secure, and fair than any counterpart private sector arrangement is or could be.

The civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the disability rights movement, and the LGBT movement all successfully fought for important actions by our federal government that have increased our civil and human rights. It is important to continue along that path, developing federal laws, court rulings and administrative policies that achieve greater economic and social justice for groups that have been, and continue to be, discriminated against. We must work for new changes, and we must expand the protections we have already built.

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