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Overview of Social Security

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Essay title: Overview of Social Security

Overview of Social Security

When we hear the words “Social Security”, we usually think of growing old and saving money for retirement, but the truth is that Social Security has been around for about seventy years and has played a very important role in our government. Today, Social Security is part of almost everyone’s life; it protects more than 150 million workers and pays benefits to more than 45 million people. The purpose of this paper is to give a better view of Social Security from many different standpoints. In the first section of this paper I will explain what Social Security is and how it works. In the second section of this paper I will explain President Bush’s plans for reforming Social Security. In the third section of this paper I will explain Krugman’s views on privatizing the Social Security program and if there is a crisis or not from Krugman’s standpoint. In the last section of this paper I will explain Chile’s system of privatization and how it has functioned.

In this first section of the paper I will explain how Social Security was created, explain its purposes, explain how it is financed and funded, and to finally explain some benefits that Social Security has to offer. The creation of Social Security dates back to the era of the Civil War when the first full pension system was developed, even though it was not actually official until 1935. There were forms of Social Security created following the Civil War because of the widowers and orphans that were left without husbands and fathers due to the casualties of the war. The widows and orphans could receive pensions in an amount equal to what would have been payable to their deceased soldier if he had been disabled. Then in 1890 the program was changed so that any disabled veteran could receive benefits. Sixteen years later, in 1906, old-age now qualified the veterans for benefits and made it possible for over 90% of the veterans to receive benefits in 1910.

Now that I have gone back to the ancestry of how Social Security was created, I will inform you with a history of how it officially became started in the U.S. during 1934. Before the Industrial Revolution most people lived or worked on farms and were provided with economic security by their extended family. Once America had a taste of the Industrial Revolution, economic security provided by the extended family became less common. Years after the revolution, America experienced something more severe than a revolution, and that unfortunately happened to be the Great Depression. The depression caused a great deal of unemployment, and high inflation rates which caused a problem in the nation’s economic life and a fall in prices. The proposal to provide a program for Social Security was introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 8th, 1934. President Roosevelt proposed this to Congress along with a committee on economic security composed of five people. The committee was based on executive order and included the following people: Frances Perkins, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Henry A. Wallace, Homer S. Cummings, and Harry L. Hopkins. The committee was designed to study all the detail and problems with economic insecurity. On January 17th 1935, the president introduced the report to both houses of Congress, it was passed by both, and the Social Security Act was signed into law on August 14th, 1935. The new act established a program that provided retired workers who were sixty-five or older with a continuous income after they retired. Soon after, a Social Security board was created by the president that included John G. Winant, Arthur J. Altmeyer; and Vincent M. Miles. The main purpose of the board was to give information to the public on how earnings should be reported, how benefits were provided and which ones were available to them. The first payments of Social Security began in 1942 and retirees were paid by one lump sum refund payment. Ernest Ackerman was the first recorded retiree who retired one day after the Social Security act went into affect and received a lump sum payment of seventeen cents. The first two amendments that were added to the program were payments to the spouse and children of a retired worker and benefits paid to the family in the event of a death of a worker. Since then, Social Security has been tweaked and more amendments have been added to the program but I would be here a long time if I tried to list them all. Now that we have some back round information on Social Security, I will explain the purpose and benefits of Social Security.

The main purpose of Social Security is to save money so that we can have an income once we retire. Social Security has some other critical purposes that some of us may not know about. Social Security is dedicated to ensuring that our earnings are figured correctly, ensuring an accurate

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