The History Of Social Security Research Paper Samples
Throughout this paper, we will discuss the history of Social Security and how it has affected millions of Americans. But, it did not begin with the American people. In fact, the Social Security program has a significant history beginning as early as the ancient Greek times where this civilization used Olive oil as a form of their own economic security. Many individuals, past and present has dealt with the uncertain moments which was brought on by losing their employment, succumbing to an illness, becoming disabled, aging, and worse, death. These sorts of life’s events could be tragic and create a type of economic dependence on the government system to cover daily expenses, healthcare costs, and other unknown liabilities. In these politically unstable times, individuals are depending more on the Social Security System for financial support. We will also discuss the New Deal, the status of the program in today’s modern time, and the future of Social Security.
Introduction- How it began
The need for economic security has existed since the Greek times. As previously mentioned, the Greeks utilized Olive oil. While in Europe, the feudal system was its own type of economic security. The feudal lord was responsible for the economic survival of the serfs (lower class) working on the estates. The feudal lord had economic security as long as there were a steady number of serfs to work the estate, and the serfs had economic security as long as they were in healthy condition to work. In the Middle Ages, the idea of charity as a formal economic arrangement had surfaced for the first time. Family members have felt some sense of responsibility to one another which was another form of social security. Not to mention, the land and farms which were owned. But societies grew and the need for more formal economic systems came into play. The first of these sorts of formal organizations were guilds and it was formed during the Middle Ages by merchants. Individuals who had a common trade or some sort of business united together into societies, or guilds. The guilds helped to control production and employment which provided benefits to their members including financial help in times of poverty or illness and death (Ssa.gov).
English Poor Law 1601
“In 1601, England was experiencing a severe economic depression, with great quantities of unemployment and famine. Queen Elizabeth established a set of laws which was designed to maintain order and contribution to the overall goodness of the kingdom which became the English Poor Law. These poor laws gave the government at the local levels the power to raise taxes as needed and use the money to provide indoor relief for the aged, handicapped and the tools or materials required to put the unemployed population to work. The American colonies and state governments modeled this public assistance strategy and this is how Social Security began to emerge” (Social Welfare History Project). Social Security did not technically arrive in the United States until 1935. “The Social Security program which was adopted in late 1935 is known for its core principles on the concept of "social insurance." Social insurance was a respectable and serious intellectual tradition that began in Europe in the 19th century and was an expression of a European social welfare tradition. It was adopted in Germany in 1889 at the urging of the famous Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. Social insurance emphasized government-sponsored efforts for the economic security of its citizens. Social insurance coverage is provided for a number of different types of insured conditions, disability, old age, unemployment, and death” (Ssa.gov).
The New Deal
“The Social Security Act which was drafted under FDR's first term, passed Congress as part of the New Deal, and was signed on August 14, 1935. The Act was responsible and responded to the individuals who suffered from all sorts’ setbacks including old age, poverty, unemployment, and dependent widows and fatherless children by providing benefits to retirees, unemployed, lump-sum payments at the time of death. However, this new deal was controversial at the time; many Americans argued that this sort of payout would kill jobs and place the American people back into the Great Depression. It also excluded many women and minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, Jews, among other ethnic groups from receiving benefits. The Act has been changed throughout the years to adapt to a more evolving society, and it is now one of the most used government programs in America beside the Welfare system. It improved the lives of millions of disabled and oppressed Americans. For instance, in 2009, 51 million Americans received $500 billion in Social Security benefits. But sadly, it has become controversial once again in the year 2015 since lawmakers are now focusing on the deficit. President Obama Fiscal Commission may have the program in place for potential cuts, and some Americans worry that Social Security benefits may be eliminated altogether to save money. Congress is potentially considering a reduction in benefits and an increase in the retirement age” (Nextnewdeal.net).
The Future of Social Security
In conclusion, “Social Security and justice are linked. Society’s capacity for justice makes our Social Security system possible. Some experts say it is society’s capacity for injustice that makes Social Security necessary. Over 50 years, Social Security has been a vital element in America’s social and economic well-being. It has provided economic security to generations of workers and their families, and it promises the same security to future generations. Yet, many of today’s workers wonder if the Government can, or will keep that promise. Young people are concerned about the future of Social Security. Many question whether a system that requires them to pay ever-increasing taxes will still be in place when it comes time to meet their needs” (Hardy). “The stability of the system is reflected in its trust fund operations. Social Security faces another financial hiatus around the year 2040. This projection is exclusively based on a 6 percent unemployment rate, 4 percent per year inflation rate, and a fertility rate of two children per women. In short, significant changes in those figures could dramatically alter the financial stability of the trust funds and a crisis could come even earlier due to poor government spending and mishandling of funding for federal programs” (Hardy).
Hardy, Dorcas. The Future of Social Security. 1st ed. Connecticut: Commissioner of Social Security, 2011. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Nextnewdeal.net,. 'Social Security Act'. N.p., 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Social Welfare History Project,. 'English Poor Laws - Social Welfare History Project'. N.p., 2011. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Ssa.gov,. 'Social Security History'. N.p., 2015. Web. 8 Mar. 2015.