SOCIAL SERVICE AND SOCIAL SECURITY
The essence of social security and relief is that the government exercises its sovereign power to tax and distributes the proceeds as it deems best to promote the general welfare. With respect to the manner of distribution, two extremes of thought may be recognized. One holds that social security payments should be made as of right with no governmental effort to use the payments as a means of influencing or controlling the behavior or actions of the beneficiary. The beneficiary, according to this point of view, should have practically as great freedom in using the proceeds of his grant as he would have in using his own earnings or the proceeds of a private voluntary insurance policy, the premiums for which he has paid by his own efforts.
At the other extreme are persons who regard as the ideal, support of one's self and one's dependents through one's own efforts without dependence upon the state. If it becomes necessary for the state to contribute by taxing others, it is incumbent on the state to do what it can toward re-establishing the economic independence of the beneficiary and those dependent upon him, and it is incumbent on the beneficiary and his dependents to co-operate with the representatives of the state in return for the public funds spent in their behalf.
At the very outset of this discussion, we should distinguish between activities of the state undertaken for all members of a general class and activities undertaken with respect to a particular individual or family. Two illustrations may help make the distinction clear: (1) the state operates a first-class public school system which is open to all. A boy comes from a family so constituted that he is not getting the advantages of the opportunities the state has made available to all normal boys of his age. The truant officer can and does compel attendance, but far more intensive work with the boy and his family is re-