Social Security Essay

1375 words - 6 pages

- -Social Security, also known as the 'Old-Age Trust Fund', is the largest social program in th e United States. It's main fuction is to meet the needs of workers who are retired or disabled. On August 14, 1935 the Social Security Act became a law. There were a lot of problems and revisions in the process, but the program was finally put into effect. The country was in dire need of something, anything to get the U.S. back on it's feet economically and socially. It was a very accepted program because by the time it became a law, the citizens were willing to try anything.There have been quite a few changes since 1935 and there are sure to be a few more in the nexst decade because of problems not taken into account by the 'founding fathers', such as the baby boom generation and the strain it has put on all stages of society.Prior to 1935, there had been the Great Stock Market Crash, which caused the failure of a great number of banks and the bankruptcy of many people and industries. the employment rate was critically high for a nation. All the aged were working until they physically could no longer do so because they needed the money to live. In that time, when a person retired, he lived with his children and grandchildren because he had no money to support himself. If a son or grandson lost his job, the three generations of a family would become dependent on one man. It was not possibloe to support that many people with one paycheck so the grandparent would stay on the job as long as possible. this led to high unemployment, especially of the young generation of working-age boys. With the unemployment and the bank problem, there was no money circulaiton in the economy, which made it all the harder to support a family. Another reason why the elderly people could not retire is because not all of them had families to take care them and none of them had saved enough money to afford their retirement themselves. 'Hardly more than one out of twenty in 1928 drew a pension from private industry, while masses of state and municipal employees knew no such security as that furnished to federal workers.'1 America was sick of 'sending the old folks over the hill to the poorhouse.'2The original concept of the Social Security system was to develop a way to give financial aid to the aged by having them contribute part of their paychecks to this program, which would be partially funded by the federal government. This was the alternative to having the people of the United States pay taxes to finance their retirements, which would have been impossible, as they were too poor at the time to give up any more money in taxes.Under the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, the New Deal legislation tried to stabilize the economy and bring it back on it's feet. This brought the U.S. to the welfare stage that was long-awaited, yet many other countries, such as England, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand, already had programs in effect to help their dependant and aged. A few...

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