People and Process in Social Security

By Karl De Schweinitz; American Council on Education Committee on Education and Social Security | Go to book overview

7. COMMON AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE

We must and do assume that the bulk of mankind who are able to work are willing to work, and that they will strive for something more than a doghouse subsistence on a dole. Discipline that is enforced by deprivation of the elementary necessities of life, the discipline of cold, hunger, illness, should not be permitted to operate below the level of a minimum standard of security, certainly not in a land of plenty where there is enough to go around. Above that level, it is not fear but hope that moves men to greater expenditures of effort, to ingenuity and emulation, to sharp struggle for the values they seek in life--hope set in a framework of justice, liberty, fair play and a fair share of the gains of civilization.

--Security, Work, and Relief Policies1

THE ADMINISTRATION of social security not only utilizes the varieties of skill described in the preceding chapters, but also involves a common fund of knowledge to which all the different categories of skill contribute and upon which they draw. With' this knowledge anyone who is responsibly engaged in the administration of social insurance or public assistance should be familiar. It falls into four general categories.

The first of these areas of subject matter may be called "income maintenance." The years since 1935 have seen the development of extensive and increasingly accurate information about the incidence of accident, sickness, death, old age,

____________________
1
Security, Work, and Relief Policies, Report of the Committee on Long- Range Work and Relief Policies to the National Resources Planning Board (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1942), p. 1.

-94-

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