HAZARDS TO BE RECOGNIZED
In earlier chapters the evolution of relief and social security has been briefly traced. It will be recalled that in the early days all persons in need were largely included together regardless of the cause of their need, the care they required, and the possibilities of restoration. The treatment of all was, from the stand- point of present day scientific knowledge, unenlightened and often harsh. Because of the attitudes of administrators, legislators, and the public at large, progress was made by isolating from the mass special categories members of which were to receive special care and special treatment. Public opinion could be changed with respect to a category, whereas it could not be changed with respect to the undifferentiated mass. To make a categorical system work under these circumstances, it was necessary to set up conditions of eligibility for the special category, because members of it were to receive what was in fact preferred and more advantageous treatment in view of their condition. As previously noted, to get the category freed from old prejudices and old standards of administration, the common practice was to have the new categorical systems administered by agencies other than those operating under the poor laws.
When the idea took hold that some of the concepts of private voluntary insurance should be applied in the solution of problems resulting from need, legislators commonly proceeded by categories. Independent systems were developed for selected categories. Thus today we have in the United States experiments in providing some of the concepts of insurance to old-age protection for most but not all of the salaried and wage workers and to partial unemployment protection for most of these same workers. Need resulting from other hazards is in the main cared for, if it is cared for at all, through other and older devices.