Social Security Works for Everyone!

Protecting and Expanding the Insurance Americans Love and Count On

Social Security expansion is back on the agenda, at a time when Americans need it more than ever—here’s what it should look like (and why it matters to everyday people all over the country)

“Altman and Kingson cut through the fog of calculated confusion and outright lies about Social Security.” —David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author

The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled the curtain back on America’s looming retirement income crisis, a fraying of the national community, and ever-worsening income inequality. Never before have so many people’s livelihoods and futures been thrown into flux. Now more than ever, expanding Social Security is essential to addressing these challenges. Social Security Works for Everyone! , an evolution of the argument Nancy J. Altman and Eric R. Kingson made in their acclaimed first book, Social Security Works! , presents the case for expanding Social Security, explaining why monthly benefits need to be increased; why Americans need national paid family leave, sick leave, and long-term care protections; and how we can pay for it all. Don’t believe the nearly four-decade, billionaire-funded campaign to convince us that the program is destined to collapse. It isn’t.

At a time when growing numbers of Americans are seeing beyond the false choice between financial security for working people and financial security for the federal government, this book eloquently makes the case that universal programs that benefit all Americans (yes, even the rich) make our country stronger and our lives more secure. Social Security works because it embodies the best of American values—the ones that will allow Americans to obtain financial security and weather the next crisis.


Social Security Works for Everyone! explains why it’s well past time to expand Social Security. It is a solution to the nation’s looming retirement income crisis. America’s workers deserve no less.”
—Richard L. Trumka, president, AFL-CIO
“In this essential book, two of the nation’s leading experts make the progressive case for expanding Social Security in a clear and well-reasoned manner. Altman and Kingson set the standard for policy debate on a vital subject.”
—Edward D. Berkowitz, professor emeritus of history and public policy, George Washington University, and author of Mr. Social Security: The Life of Wilbur J. Cohen
“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
“Everyone should read this informative and thoughtful book. My grandfather would have had it on his night stand along with some notes from Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.”
—James Roosevelt Jr., grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and counsel, Verrill Dana LLP
“Our Social Security system is a vehicle for racial, gender, and economic justice. Social Security Works for Everyone! shows how it can be even more so. I recommend this book to everyone, including members of Congress.”
—Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, founder, president, and CEO, Global Policy Solutions LLC

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."

Goodreads Reviews