Over 75 years after its creation, Social Security remains a linchpin of the American government’s commitment to protecting its citizens’ economic welfare and stability, yet many young people have no true understanding of what it is and doubt its continued feasibility. EPI’s new publication, A Young Person’s Guide to Social Security, by Kathryn Anne Edwards, Anna Turner, and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, seeks to give young readers the necessary resources to contribute to the conversation about the program’s future. Released today, the guide is written by young authors for young people and explains why Social Security is not in grave danger as oft-reported. The guide also explains what must be done to ensure that Social Security, the nation’s most successful anti-poverty program, remains a fundamental pillar of the American economy.
A Young Person’s Guide to Social Security creates a historical narrative of the program while addressing criticisms of it. The paper details how Social Security, or Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI), is essentially an insurance program in the event that a person is no longer able to work due to old age or disability, events that can affect anyone at any time. The paper explains the nuances of Social Security and is designed for use in high school and college classrooms.
“As a whole, young people know very little about Social Security and don’t think it will be available when they retire,” said Edwards. “This textbook seeks to allay their skepticism and show young people why Social Security has been so effective and to invigorate them to fight for the program’s future.”