A FREE ECONOMY, by its nature, entails a certain amount of fluctuation and risk. As a matter of fact, much of its strength and its very freedoms are directly related to its risks. But one cannot enjoy the freedoms of such a society without a minimum of economic security. Therefore the risks must be spread sufficiently to guarantee that all members of society are protected against the final economic disaster of going without the bare necessities of life. This is the function of the social insurances.
We have too often been led to regard the social insurances as the opposite rather than the supplement of our enterprise system. We have been presented with them as alternatives. Do you want security or initiative? Do you want protection or adventure? This is a factitious issue. We need both. Indeed we cannot have one without the other. We cannot have security in terms of an advancing standard of living without enterprise. We cannot have the initiative and energy we need for an expanding economy without preserving and increasing the vigor of our human resources.
Our present Social Security Laws are inadequate for this purpose. The proposed Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill contains some of the essentials of an inclusive Social Security Program: Namely, a unified system of social insurances, including old- age benefits, federal unemployment insurance, a strengthened federal employment agency, disability insurance, maternity benefits, social insurance for members of the armed forces, agricultural workers and the self-employed, and medical care for all. But unfortunately it is in many respects poorly conceived and perpetuates the inequities of the present law. Taxes still fall most heavily upon the lowest paid workers, while bene-