Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type



Business, Accounting & Economics

First Advisor

Charles Ericksen

Second Advisor

Eugene Franks

Third Advisor

David Barnhill


This thesis briefly covers the topic of Social Security's financial problems and alternative methods of reform. It is a subject that most working Americans and beneficiaries hold near and dear to their hearts and wallets. For all of the working years the employed have to contribute to Social Security, the least one would expect is financial security assistance from the system, when and if the need arises. Unfortunately, this may not be the case because Social Security may become insolvent in the near future. It may be headed toward financial ruin if drastic measures are not undertaken to resolve this dilemma. Social Security insolvency is not inevitable, but politicians must be willing to confront the monumental task of overhauling the United States Social Security system. Politicians have had a "hands off" approach to Social Security reform since the mere mention of reform has meant political suicide. Unfortunately, because of the aforementioned, a solution to the Social Security problem may be a long way off. Consider the various aspects of the Social Security system. Many questions about the Social Security system can be addressed. What are the history, structure and purpose of Social Security? What are some of Social Security's ailments and their causes? What are some Social Security reform options and their strengths and weaknesses? This thesis will attempt to answer some of these questions. The American public can no longer afford to think of Social Security as a sacred cow. Reforms are the system's only hope.