Social Insurance

  • Browse by Topic:
  • Search Within Topic:
All Social Insurance Commentary

Yes, Ebola Is Scary. But the System Is Working.

TCF fellow Harold Pollack writes in Politico that while Ebola is a disaster in Africa, but a pretty containable threat here in the United States that "requires a calm, methodical response."

The words “calm and methodical” don’t quite match what we’re seeing. If you’re just tuning in, you might believe that America has lost its mind. Consider:

Cable TV and social media repeatedly fuel collective stupidity and fear.

Read the full article at Politico.

How Laissez-Faire Economics Led to Inequality and Recession

TCF fellow, Jeff Madrick has written an op-en for Huffington Post about the underlying causes of the Great Recession.

Remember in 2009 when everyone was dodging blame for the financial crisis? Depending on who you asked, it was the bankers, the federal regulators, Fannie Mae, fraudster mortgage companies, the ratings agencies and the sub-prime borrowers themselves. The favorite claim of excuse makers was that no single group was to blame -- it was a cluster-f*** as one journalist friend put it.

If everyone did it, no one could be held accountable. But it wasn't true. Bankers and regulators were the major creators of the crisis, for their neglect and single-minded self-aggrandizement that often involved bending the rules.

But let me single out one group that avoided blame and deserved plenty of it: mainstream economists. The deeply held ideas of the nation's most elite economists from the Right and the Left were direct causes of the crisis, justifying perverse behavior on Wall Street and in Washington, and careless and ignorant behavior at the Federal Open Market Committee of the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve.

Read the full article.

Tags: unemployment rate, public spending, jeff madrick, inequality, great recession, economists, economics & inequality, economic policy, economic inequality

The last civil right

October 14, 2014 BY: Harold Pollack TOPICS: Social Insurance

TCF fellow, Harold Pollack has been mentioned in article about assisted suicide on The News Tribune.

On Nov. 1, barring the medically unexpected or a change of heart, a young woman named Brittany Maynard will ingest a lethal prescription and die by suicide.

Maynard is 29, recently married and is suffering from terminal brain cancer. After deciding against hospice care - fearing, she wrote in a CNN op-ed, a combination of pain, personality changes, and the loss of basic mental and physical functions - she and her husband moved from California to Oregon, one of five states that permit physician-assisted suicide. In the time remaining to her, she has become a public advocate for that practice’s expansion, recording testimonials on behalf of the right of the terminally ill to make their quietus.

Read the full article.

Tags: home care workers, healthcare, assisted suicide

Tax Expert Says Everyone’s Too Obsessed With Taxes

Bloomberg Businessweek has published a piece about TCF fellow, Edward D. Kleinbard's latest book, We Are Better Than This.

Edward Kleinbard knows as much about taxation in America as anyone alive. He was a tax partner at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, then chief of staff of U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, and is now a professor at the University of Southern California’s law school. But when he set out to write a book about how to fix the American tax system, it made him realize that the problem wasn’t the tax system; it’s everyone’s fixation on the tax system.

Republican obsession with taxes is the more explicit: They want simply to cut them. Kleinbard is a staunch Democrat, and his new book, We Are Better Than This, has little patience with the economic and philosophical tenets of modern American conservativism. But Democrats have their own tax obsession, as he sees it: They want to aim taxes at the wealthy, to make them pay a greater share of the take. They rail against companies that figure out ways to minimize their corporate taxes. That focus, Kleinbard argues, is misguided.

Read the full article, and purchase We Are Better Than This.

Tags: we are better than this, taxation, tax system, tax reform, kleinbard, ed kleinbard, corporate taxes, corporate tax

Don’t Soak the Rich

TCF fellow, Edward D. Kleinbard has written an op-ed for The New York Times about tax reform.

In response to the growing income disparity between the wealthy and the merely well off — not to mention the middle class and working class — an increasing number of economists and politicians have called for higher tax rates on top incomes. That would collect more revenues, and make our tax system more progressive, by collecting a disproportionate share of those new revenues from the highest income taxpayers, a fact that appeals to many people’s sense of fairness.

But even taking into account regressive state and local taxes, the American tax system already is the most progressive in the developed world. And the scars left by the 2013 fight over the “fiscal cliff” tax deal imply that trying to raise top marginal income tax rates to the levels suggested by some academics would be, well, a wholly academic exercise.

Read the full article.

Tags: taxes, taxation, social insurance, inequality, income inequality

Home Care in Crisis

TCF fellow, Moshe Marvit has been quoted in an article about home care on In These Times.

In most industries, it’s not catastrophic when an employee doesn’t show up to work. But last December, a few weeks before Christmas, my mother’s long-time home health aide announced that she had to go on indefinite leave, which left my family reeling. That’s becoming an all-too-common story thanks to a growing shortage of home care workers, a problem that raises thorny issues of who’s able to unionize and which jobs—and which workers—we value.

I was 7 when my mother, a high school English teacher in upstate New York, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Over the next several decades, MS progressively robbed her of many of the things she loved. First her stamina and ability to tolerate hot summers; later her balance and her pride, as strangers assumed her staggering walk meant she was drunk. When I was in middle school, MS forced my mom out of her teaching career, and by the time I graduated from college, it had relegated her to a wheelchair.

Read the full article.

Tags: home care workers, healthcare system, healthcare policy, healthcare

 

Social Insurance

Social Insurance

Compared to other advanced nations, America’s retirement security and health care systems offer weaker protections against risks we all face. The Century Foundation’s work focuses on ideas for strengthening Social Security, pensions, and health care – including steps for building on the Affordable Care Act.

Browse by Topic

Stay Informed

Sign up for our mailing list and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at The Century Foundation

Sign up Today

Contact Us

Send us an email or get directions to The Century Foundation’s offices.

Contact Us

TCF Bookstore

The TCF Bookstore is a curated collection of books and magazines that backup the mission of our organization.

Visit Our Bookstore

Upcoming Events

View All Upcoming Events

Contact:

New York City Office:
One Whitehall St., Fifteenth Floor
NY, NY 10004
DC Office:
1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Social:
  • Our RSS Feed
  • Find us on Twitter
  • Find us on Facebook

All Content Copyright © 2014 The Century Foundation