This book is very frustrating to read. It is not well organized, edited or written. It is also somewhat out of date (c.1999). It contains some interesting background regarding the history of the Social Security Act, but jumps around from topic to topic without any coherent thread or explanation. Moreover, it often states what happened at different points in time (e.g., "Between 1950 and the end of the 1960s, inflation-adjusted benefits climbed steadily..."), but provides no explanation as to what was responsible for that (i.e., did either Congress or the Social Security Administration change the benefit calculation formula, which was not theretofore tied to inflation?). I cannot recommend this book.
I was surprised by the detailed information in this book. Finally I own a single-volume play-by-play historical account of how vote-hungry politicians in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's transformed the Social Security program from a good idea into the pathetic ponzi scheme that it is today.
Read "The Real Deal: The History and Future of Social Security" if you really want to understand the issues surrounding Social Security and what is at stake for our country. The media and political establishment nowhere present the "Real Deal" about what is wrong with Social Security. Only by learning its history (did you know that Social Security initially was intended by FDR to be a funded system?) can one really understand how we got to where we are now. Be informed - read "The Real Deal: The History and Future of Social Security" by Schieber and Shoven.
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