What's going to happen when the Social Security Administration runs out of numbers?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Julian Reville, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Remember the great Y2K computer scare? A lot of us who were using PCs for work & business had to buy new hardware & software to ensure we could keep operating, just because some bozos couldn't concieve of the date changing.

    That's nothing compared to the goat-f**k that's going to happen when the government runs out of social security numbers. Current 9 digit SSN structure allows 999,999,999 numbers, but only up to 765-XX-XXXX have been allocated.

    The US population in 1934 was about 120,000,000. Now it's close to 300,000,000 and increasing about 2,500,000 a year.
    Assuming normal population growth, I guestimate we'll run out of 9 digit numbers in 70-80 years.
     
  2. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    They'll use barcodes by then.
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    By which time the SSA will be bankrupt, there will have been a revolution, and [oh yes] looking at the latest UN population estimates -- the death rate will exceed the birth rate by a factor of 2. [​IMG]

    By the way, the first three digits of an SSN are geographical designator codes, based on place of birth. It's NOT a pure serial number; lots of places haven't used up their allotments, and never will [e.g. Frenchman Flat. Nevada] so these will still be available to spread around, even if it means editing peoples' birth certificates. [​IMG]
     
  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    If they can use letters, that increases the pool enough to last a long time...
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Can't they just start over? I'm sure the ones at 000000001-000001000 are probably deceased... [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    They'll just start using your phone number when you sign up for any SPRINT PCS wireless plan.All of your unused minutes will go into a big pot " Hey I get free long distance and security when I'm Older"


    "CAN YOU PAY ME NOW....................GOOOOOOOOD"
     
  7. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Actually the decision to only use two digits for the year was largely due to the cost of processing two additional digits. It’s nice that we now may store 8GB (over 64 billion bits) on a small compact flash card but computers in the 50’s & sixties used vacuum tubes.

    One computer that I know of used vacuum tube flip-flop circuits that cost $250.00 per bit, or $2,000.00 per byte!
     
  8. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Sub-dermal implants [​IMG]
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Rob, at birth, of course. If we all get tatoos, they'll be on the backs of our necks.

    Seriously though, I'm waiting for the day when someone gets busted for using the SSN of someone that is dead, but that was his legal number.

    Glenn
     
  10. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    I thought your number went back into circulation 10 years after you passed away?
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Since the first three digits are geographically related, they could use three alpha characters to create "overlays" on the most highly-populated geo. areas.
     
  12. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    That scenario would "blow goats" indeed. [​IMG]
     
  13. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    They could add a few zeros at the end. For example, let's say my SSN is 123-45-6789. After the change, it would be 123-45-6789-0000.
     
  14. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I'd be willing to bet that by 2070 the only place to find a social security number will be in a history book. By then we'll tracked by eye scans or DNA profiles.
     
  15. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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  16. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    Yeah I found out earlier I was wrong
     
  17. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ditto here. It might make for a fun movie, though. Have an 'old' number accidentally get reassigned the next month.

    I can see a kid getting mail from the AARP, and offers for credit with his SSN number.

    Glenn
     
  18. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    The day I put my dad's SS number in the computer and it came up blank was the day my strange search started. Twice I went to the Baltimore office and they assured me they would resolve it..without a word.
    I am fairly sure my dad was working for the company.....a spy so to say. His death was badly faked (they should have dug a hole when they said they were going to bury him....that's a give away!).
    But his SS files come up blank .....he was wiped out of the federal paperwork BUT I STILL STILL GOT HIS PAYOUTS UNTIL I WAS 21!!!!
    Pretty strange.
    I once bugged a federal investigator about it and he basically said "You're Dad was on our side and we can do things like that....unofficially that is"
     
  19. DaveB

    DaveB Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm expecting something more along the lines of a nano/bio-mechanical solution. The little devices in your bloodstream will act as a SS#, credit card, and spyware virus.
     

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