I have somewhat abandoned any attempt to edumicate people on the history and future of Social Security because it has been so thoroughly covered by bloggers and refereed by Media Matters. But one area that could use a little more light is the personal profiles of survivor benefit recipients. These stories are touching, compelling accounts of American opportunity which endured, thanks to a stable safety net, despite tragic circumstances.
Josh Marshall, who's made the most exceptional, effective effort to preserve Social Security from privatization notes:
Keep in mind that nothing that got said last night touched on the very big issues of disability and survivor benefits, which make up a substantial part of Social Security. That is money that in most cases, by definition, gets paid to individuals or on behalf of individuals who didn't have a lifetime of work to build up a private account. Where does that money come from?
Good point. This is one area immune from "I can manage my money better than the govment" set's rebuttals. My goal is to find at least one compelling personal story in the "survivor" category and share it in this space by the end of the month. Then maybe I get my merit badge?