Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Chris Brune

Second Advisor

Dr. Marshall J. Horton

Third Advisor

Dr. Raymond Franklin

Abstract

The United States Social Security program is in a state of disarray, desperately needing a significant change of course in order to meet the future needs of the American people (Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs). With Social Security actuaries pointing to the year 2034 as the date of OASDI Trust Fund depletion, the clock is ticking on lawmakers to find a solution (Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs). Consider this quote from the annual trustee's report in 2006:

Under current law, the cost of Social Security will soon begin to increase faster than the program's income, because of the aging of the baby-boom generation, expected continuing low fertility, and increasing life expectancy (Board of Trustees 2006, 16).

Nations around the globe are already implementing Social Insurance reform including Chile, Australia and the Faroe Islands (Social Security Programs Throughout the World). This thesis will analyze the Faroe Islands (Denmark) and its adoption of Nordic social insurance ideals, as well as examine in detail the current laws and regulations that govern the operation of the United States Social Security Administration. In order to gain insight into how the United States might be able to enact its own reform, the United States and the Faroe Islands will be compared side by side.

The Social Security Administration now has decades of social reform precedent from around the world as well as decades of research, statistics, forecasting, and actuarial analysis of the entire U.S. Social Security system (Statistics & Data Files by Release Date, 2019). To conclude, this thesis will cover the main policy areas that lawmakers have focused on in the past, as well as touch on some promising comprehensive strategies that have been introduced recently by prominent lawmakers.

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