The present chapter and the two which follow are to be concerned primarily with the problem of the co-ordination of social security and relief. It may be well to start the chapter by repeating the significant sentence which Sir William Beveridge used to describe the conditions prevailing in Britain after years of experience in dealing with social security and relief.. . . Social insurance and the allied services, as they exist today, are conducted by a complex of disconnected administrative organs, proceeding on different principles, doing invaluable service but at a cost in money and trouble and anomalous treatment of identical problems for which there is no justification. . . .1
The complexity of the British system and the anomalies in treatment are as nothing compared with the situation that prevails in the United States under our federal form of government. The salient facts regarding administration which have been set forth in detail in Part I of this book are here briefly reviewed.
1. The national government finances and administers without any state participation whatever (a) the system of old-age and survivors insurance, (b) the railroad retirement system, (c) the railroad unemployment insurance system, (d) benefits for veterans. The states may also give benefits to veterans.
2. Each state administers its own unemployment compensation system, under the persuasive force of a federal tax act, which requires the states to meet certain standards prescribed in that act. The national government is currently contributing nothing for the unemployment insurance benefits, but it does contribute to the costs of administration.
3. Each state administers its own system of old-age assistance in harmony with a grant-in-aid act passed by the national
The Beveridge Report, p. 6.


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Relief and Social Security
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