SOCIAL SECURITY is a controversial and dynamic topic with many aspects: philosophical, theoretical, and humanitarian; financial, administrative, social, economic, and political; statistical, actuarial, medical, and legal. Frequent changes in Federal or state legislation and administrative practices have made it difficult, if not impossible, for the average person to keep up with current developments. In the thirteen years which have passed since the Social Security Act was enacted by the Congress, numerous articles, research studies, speeches, and voluminous legislative hearings have been published. Unfortunately, there is not available at the present time a comprehensive book on either the old age and survivors' insurance or our unemployment insurance programs, nor is there available a good, up-to-date general treatment of the entire field, summarizing and coordinating the whole area.
This book of selected readings is aimed, therefore, at meeting the pressing need that exists for many students, teachers, and legislators, hundreds of personnel officers, comptrollers, and other management and union officials, and the 100,000 persons engaged in the administration of social security for material on the basic background and philosophy of social security, the controversial issues, and current developments. The pioneering volumes of Rubinow, Epstein, Armstrong, Douglas, Burns, and Stewart are still valuable but are not up-to-date. The monumental National Resources Planning Board Report on Security, Work and Relief Policies, among other things, contains no detailed discussion of health insurance. Various labor economics textbooks such as those by Millis, Lester, Daughterty, Taft, and Peterson are necessarily brief on social security or do not discuss many of the recent controversial and complicated questions, some of which are not solely within the field of economics or labor. Likewise, textbooks used in sociology or social work do not cover such specialized matters as "experience rating" in unemployment insurance, actuarial estimates in social insurance, and similar matters.
This compilation of readings is not intended as a substitute for a definitive text on social security or specialized textbooks for different courses. It is intended, however, to fill the gap for that