History of Social Security

Topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, Social Security Pages: 4 (1721 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The History of Social Security
Since the beginning of time there has been a longstanding tradition of the workers supporting the elderly. This was practiced during biblical times, with the children supporting their parents, and has continued to the present day. As times changed and humans developed more as a society, it became apparent that everyone should be required to support those who cannot work. The goal in mind is to provide everyone with economic security. These principles helped bring about the creation of Social Security. The first act in which a government stepped in to provide for the needy was The English Poor Law of 1601. With this the English government recognized that the poor had to be taken care of. The law was supported through taxation, with relief given to those in need. Buildings, called almshouses, were even built in order to provide shelter for those without it. This law laid the foundations of modern day economic security. The ideology of the workers supporting the needy was brought over to America with the immigrants. Many of the new communities developed laws very similar to the English Poor Law of 1601. One of the major drawbacks to the English Poor Law of 1601 and the new laws made by Americans is that the laws discriminated against the poor. By this I mean that there was no set criteria for being poor. All the decisions on whether or not you were considered to be poor enough to receive money was made on an individual basis. Because of this many needy people did not receive the benefits they were entitled. If the individual making the decision was racist or didn't like the person seeking money, they denied the person of the money. This attitude toward the poor continued for centuries. Poverty doesn't discriminate between races, gender, or age. People of all types can be poor. Most people however, don't feel as compassionate towards middle-aged poor people, the common feeling is that if they didn't want to be...
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