It takes Paradis quite some time to get to the Social Security System per se, and by then he's proved through fictionalized case histories that poverty is both debilitating and, for most, unavoidable; chronicled the obsolescence of private charity in the face of modem, industrial unemployment; and buried the War on Poverty. Eventually Paradis does get around to explaining that Social Security is a redistributive tax rather than an insurance policy, that projected inflation could boost average contributions to over $15,000 a year by 2030; and, most disturbing, that with a lower rate of population growth, fewer and fewer workers will be paying into a system with more and more old age beneficiaries. . . and that the prospects for an affordable comprehensive health care system are also gloomy. This is, however, just a quick overview of the economics of social insurance well cushioned with historical background and reasons why the government has assumed this responsibility at least in theory. As such it will serve the need of some social studies classes, but for anyone who wants to undertake an in-depth study, this is barely a beginning.