People and Process in Social Security

By Karl De Schweinitz; American Council on Education Committee on Education and Social Security | Go to book overview
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11. PEOPLE AND PROCESS

In their social actions men are indeed curious, blundering, and at times malevolent children. With one side of their nature they build up a flourishing material civilization embellished by beauty and by culture. With another side they seek to tear down and to befoul all that is fine. Perhaps there never was a time when the creative aspects of life were more widely menaced by these darker forces than now. Upon our generation is laid the heavy task of mastering these baser elements and of building a more secure and a more gracious life, not only for the few, but for the multitude as well.

-- PAUL H. DOUGLAS1

IN PART I of this book we have attempted to indicate the nature of the knowledge involved in the administration of social security and the process that eventuates in benefits to people. The avenues to this knowledge and skill are in-service training in federal, state, and local government, and undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in college and university. In Part II we have pointed to some of the considerations that would seem to be involved in the use of these highways to competence.

The requisite equipment of the careerist includes an ability to act through organization in a public service to individuals and the capacity to relate the experience thus gained to other facts and to ideas in the development and application of programs and policies affecting the general welfare. This equipment must be acquired in a situation where change is constant. The body of knowledge and skill in social security is dynamic. Its content is continually growing. Whether in

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1
Paul H. Douglas, Social Security in the United States ( New York: Whittlesey House, 1939), p. x.

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