It was the year of 1934. America was fighting to come out from the worst economic crisis that the world would ever witness. It was also the year of high crime rate, low Gross Domestic Product and the lowest unemployment rate America had experienced. The Depression had paralyzed American labor forces, but there was a hope still alive in every American including J.D. Rockefeller when he said, “These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again” (Rockefeller). At that time, the next president named Franklin D. Roosevelt, famous as FDR, brought Americans back to work through his confident efforts and new series of programs called ‘the New Deal’. From his list of programs, some programs were dismissed soon after and some were kept for a long time, leaving their long lasting effects. Among such program, the social Security Act of 1935 was ever lasting and most successful. It came to life on August 14, 1935, and ever since then the social security system has been a huge success the way it has worked.
There is no doubt that the Social Security provides billions of dollars in benefits to an unemployed Americans, senior and retired citizens for over seventy years. Nobody thought, including FDR himself that his plan was going to be this successful when it was introduced and debated in the committee of Economic Security the very first time. When it was introduced in to Congress the first time on January 17 of 1935, the bill didn’t pass both house and senate approval and thus, the bill was killed (Epstine 8). Even though there was failure the first time, committee was confident about this program that was going to secure Americans’ future. Roosevelt had seen Americans homeless and jobless during the great depression; therefore, he wanted to create safe and financially secure future of every senior, and provide compensation to worker’s family after he or she is deceased (4). By looking at the ratio of young to elder citizens at that time, idea of providing benefits to retirees from young employees’ taxes was logical. Only thing that Roosevelt was unaware of was the period of “baby boom” that was going to create trouble in the future with providing benefits. With the retirement of “baby boomers” in around 2018, real crisis will start for Social Security Administration with providing higher amount of benefits from lower amount of incomes.
Controversies and the system
Roosevelt and his Economic Crisis Committee, in 1935, came up with the simple idea of providing benefits to the generation of retired workers from tax money of currently working generation. Roosevelt put this straightforward idea into the system to make it work, and it surprisingly has worked out well so far. When the bill became a law in 1935, there were many people who were affected by the Great Depression and sought financial aid. Unlike the bank money that goes...