Social Security Risk Machine

Social Security Risk Machine explains the mechanics of this “social machine”: how it works, why it was created, where the money comes from, and where it goes. Most importantly, the poster shows the many adjustments that can be made to keep the machine running. 

Social Security Risk Machine is the publication that led to CUP’s development of the Making Policy Public program. Through this project, we realized that the fold-out poster could be a useful, portable format for advocates working to explain complex policy issues to their communities. We then developed the current program, which brings the skills of CUP staff and talented designers to the pressing needs of advocacy and organizing groups working on tough issues from the juvenile justice system to farm labor.

Get your copy of the project that started it all here.

Resources & Links

The U.S. Social Security Administration oversees the Social Security.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

This project was supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council.

Special Thanks

Sara Reisman, Bernard Wasow, Rosten Woo, and the Library of the Social Security Administration


  • CUP
  • Damon Rich
    • Sam Stark
    • Research & Writing
    • O-R-G inc.
    • Designer
    • David Reinfurt