How a Long Beach Doctor Created Social Security

The Angry Retiree Wrote the Letter That Helped Establish the Great Depression's Most Enduring Program

Long Beach, California, is known today for its terrific aquarium, for the Queen Mary, and for being the hometown of Snoop Dogg. But its greatest contribution to the United States may be something else entirely: Social Security.

This month, we marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the most enduring policy success of the Great Depression, the program that reduced poverty for millions of older Americans.

But all that came two years after a retired doctor in Long Beach looked out his window one morning in 1933.

Since leaving the …

My Modest Retirement Is Not Bankrupting America

Retired State Employees Like Me Aren’t Living It Up, But We’re Getting By—Which Is More Than You Can Say for the Next Generation

I’m a Boomer or close enough, born in December 1945. My parents, who grew up during the Great Depression, told me that financial security, especially in retirement, was the most …

No Woman Retires Elegantly

We Are All Helen Gurley Brown, Minus the Money

The concept of “retirement” is as foreign to me as size zero. I’m a young boomer who came of age in the midst of the Women’s Movement. Real women, I …

Don’t Hate Jerry Brown For Making You Save

Dignified Retirement Shouldn't Just Be For the Rich

More than 6 million private sector workers in California may be about to enroll in a retirement plan—whether they like it or not.

Legislation signed last fall by Governor Jerry Brown …

It’s Retirement Security, Not Social Security

Beyond the Narrow Budget Debate Over Entitlements, Two Different Ideas on How to Save Retirement Programs

In Washington, President Obama is expected to present his plans for changes in entitlements, including Social Security. Congress is taking up the debate. But when Social Security is discussed these …