Social Security Essay

Social Security Essay

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Social Security

"On a daily basis senior citizens face a choice between buying food, paying the rent, or buying medicine. Senior citizens slice pills into halves because they can't afford
their full prescriptions." (Federal News Service Sept. 2002)



Social Security is what keeps many elderly and disabled Americans from being stricken by poverty. Without Social Security in our society 15.3 million elderly would have incomes below the poverty line, however after Social Security was added to the equation only 3.8 million elderly have incomes below poverty. Three-fourths of those elderly people who would have been poor without Social Security were removed from below the poverty line by Social Security. Nearly 90 percent of America's elderly are lifted from poverty by Social Security. Currently nearly 44 million Americans receive benefits under Social Security, making it one of the nation's largest anti-poverty programs existing today.

Although many Americans are also not helped by Social Security and linger at the fringes of society because the money is not enough to live in America today, even with Social Security adjusting to inflation. Today, the average Social Security benefit is less than $10,000 a year, and for women the average benefit is closer to $9,000. For most seniors, especially those who live in high-cost areas such as my home state of New Jersey, that's barely enough to maintain even a basic standard of living. Unfortunately 11.9% of Americans who receive Social Security are still below poverty level. It's shocking that over ten-percent of a country of 281 million people can have that much of its citizens in poverty. (http://www.cbpp.org/4-8-99socsec.htm)

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The biggest part of privatization is letting the person decide how to invest their Social Security since it is given to them to be invested, rather than put in a private account after being taken from the person's paycheck as is the current government policy. Americans could then invest in stocks, corporate bonds, government bonds, money market funds, and annuities. The Republican Party then goes further to say there is less risk and makes many more Americans feel "safer". Although there are risks in everything we do.

Bibliography

· http://www.cbpp.org/4-8-99socsec.htm

· Socialsecuritychoice.org

· The New York Times Company, October 10, 2002; New York
Section: Section A, Page 30, Column 1

· U.S. Newswire Inc., October 8, 2002
Section: National Desk

· Federal News Service Inc., September 24, 2002
Section: Press Conference or Speech

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