The Social Security Act in Operation: A Practical Guide to the Federal and Federal-State Social Security Programs

The Social Security Act in Operation: A Practical Guide to the Federal and Federal-State Social Security Programs

The Social Security Act in Operation: A Practical Guide to the Federal and Federal-State Social Security Programs

The Social Security Act in Operation: A Practical Guide to the Federal and Federal-State Social Security Programs

Excerpt

The Social Security Act is perhaps the most significant and, in principle, the least debatable Federal statute of recent years. The elimination of poverty has long been a part of the creed of both politicians and socially- minded citizens. This Act makes systematic Nation-wide provision for important financial steps toward that ideal and for activities designed to lessen physical suffering. It is admittedly incomplete and inadequate, but future improvements may be expected only to extend and perfect what is already accepted as basically correct.

This legislation carries with it some immediate sacrifice, its benefits are somewhat remote, its basic theory is not easily understood by the "average man," and it is impeded by social concepts and political controversies. It represents change to many to whom innovations are abhorrent. So its path has not been smooth, and its terms bear evidence of compromise.

The administration of the project embodied in the Act is the task of the Social Security Board. They have had to develop a vast working organization with little of precedent to guide them. They have encountered the difficulties inherent in the necessity of creating this organization in a few months, and of implementing the law by adopting procedures without time for testing them adequately in practice. In view of these difficulties, the results so far achieved are most praiseworthy.

The Act and its administration affect directly a large share of the population, and indirectly the entire population of the country. It is important that knowledge of what the Act is and how it works be spread as widely as possible in order that those who are affected by it . . .

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