Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Applied Economics, M.A.


Economics and Finance Department


Dr. Frederick Floss

First Reader

Dr. Frederick Floss

Second Reader

Dr. Theodore Byrley

Third Reader

Dr. Bruce Fisher


For several decades, there has been an ongoing debate regarding reforms for the United States Social Security Program. Social Security is a program that was created in 1935 under Franklin Roosevelt. The Social Security Program was originally intended to be a pay-as-you-go system. Current employees would be taxed to pay for the retired individuals. Social Security has built up a reserve called the Trust Fund. The Social Security Trust Fund currently has about $2.8 trillion in reserves. A decrease in the growth rates of the United States population creates a problem. Analysts project within the next five years that the expenses will be greater than the revenue, leading to a decrease in the reserves.

The need for Social Security in the United States is often debated. Some individuals believe that reforms are needed to restore balance in the program, while others believe in privatization. Their reasoning is that it would eliminate unnecessary cost associated with the program, as well as individuals receiving potentially higher returns. These individuals forget the initial purpose for creating Social Security. It was to protect the elderly from poverty. Has Social Security been effective?