Readings in Social Security

By William Haber; Wilbur J. Cohen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THEORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
SOCIAL SECURITY

"Social assistance is a progression from poor relief in the direction of social insurance, while social insurance is a progression from private insurance in the direction of social assistance.... If present-day developments have been correctly read, social assistance and social insurance are moving ever closer to one another. As the culmination of a long evolution they may even meet and combine; until, as in New Zealand and Denmark, we can no longer say whether social assistance or social insurance predominate, but only that they possess a national system of social security."

APPROACHES TO SOCIAL SECURITY: AN INTERNATIONAL SURVEY, Inter-
national Labour office,
Montreal, 1942, pp. 82-83.

"There should be neither conflict nor confusion between social security, properly defined, and that type of security which comes from the exercise of personal industry and thrift. While the one represents the basic protection which can safely be provided through Government programs set up by society at large, the other gives the individual the right and the opportunity to raise himself and his family to such level of security as his industry and thrift dictate. They complement each other rather than conflict with each other."

SOCIAL SECURITY, A Statement by the Social Security Committees
of the American Life Convention
, Life Insurance Association of
America
, the National Association of Life Underwriters, 1945, p. 1.


INTRODUCTION

THERE is NO universally accepted definition of social security. Different definitions of the term stress different elements. Some definitions are very broad; other are narrow. The term "social security" is broader than "social insurance" and has been used to cover a wide range of governmental and even private voluntary arrangements. Although the term has been used in such a variety of ways and so broadly as sometimes to lose any value as a term of precise meaning, it does have the ad

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