Social Security Works!

Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All

A myth-busting look at a critical component of the American social contract and a much-needed antidote to those who would tear it down

Social Security Works! puts expanding Social Security front and center on the national agenda, where it belongs. Everyone who has a stake in the debate should read this important book.” —Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

A growing chorus of prominent voices in Congress and elsewhere are calling for the expansion of our Social Security system—people who know that Social Security will not “go broke” and does not add a penny to the national debt. Social Security Works! will amplify these voices and offers a powerful antidote to the three-decade-long, billionaire-funded campaign to make us believe that this vital institution is destined to collapse. It isn’t.

From the Silent Generation to baby boomers, from Generation X to millennials and Generation Z, we all have a stake in understanding the real story about Social Security. Critical to addressing the looming retirement crisis that will affect two-thirds of today’s workers, Social Security is a powerful program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.

All Americans deserve to have dignified retirement years as well as an umbrella to protect them and their families in the event of disability or premature death. Sure to be a game-changer, Social Security Works! cogently presents the issues and sets forth both an agenda and a political strategy that will benefit us all. At stake are our values and the kind of country we want for ourselves and for those who follow.


Social Security Works! explains how and why expanding Social Security is the solution to our nation’s retirement income crisis.”
—Richard L. Trumka, president, AFL-CIO
“Altman and Kingson cut through the fog of calculated confusion and outright lies abut Social Security.”
—David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author
“It is about time that facts, not propaganda, influence public debate about Social Security. . . . Millennials as well as aging baby boomers have a crucial stake in preserving the one source of universal financial security. Altman and Kingson provide a public service in explaining why.”
—Fernando Torres-Gil, director, UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary on Aging
“[A] spirited defense of our Social Security system. Although they write with commitment and passion, [Altman and Kingson] take the time to look at the data in a rigorous manner. The result is a useful work of policy analysis with which all participants in the Social Security debate will need to reckon.”
—Edward D. Berkowitz, professor of history and public policy, George Washington University, and author of Mr. Social Security: The Life of Wilbur J. Cohen
Social Security Works! shows why expanding Social Security is a top priority for’s millions of members.”
—Anna Galland, executive director, Civic Action
“A must-read for everyone who cares about economic justice for women.”
—Terry O’Neill, president, National Organization for Women
Social Security Works! is the most important book that any policy maker, voter, or simply concerned citizen can read in preparation for November 2016. . . . Social Security does, indeed, work. There is no reason to cut benefits—for anyone. Moreover, as these brilliant authors prove beyond any reasonable doubt, Social Security will work even better if it is substantially expanded.”
—Max J. Skidmore, professor of political science, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and author of Securing America’s Future: A Bold Plan to Preserve and Expand Social Security
“In Social Security Works!, two of our nation’s leading policy experts explain in a clear and concise fashion how Social Security benefits are calculated, why Social Security is so important to all Americans, and what can be done to ensure that it is there for future generations.”
—Jill Quadagno, Mildred and Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar in Social Gerontology, Florida State University, and author of One Nation, Uninsured

News and Reviews

The New York Review of Books

In its discussion on social security, The New York Review of Books calls Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson's Social Security Works! "responsibly calculated but optimistic."