Poverty Policy Paper

Topics: Social Security, Medicare, Retirement Pages: 11 (2464 words) Published: March 11, 2015
Introduction and Background
Social Security is the system of policies conducted by the state and federal government organizations, which aim to maintain adequate living conditions and provide security for the nation’s citizens. The origins of present day American policy can be traced back to when the English colonists arrived in North America. They brought along “Poor Laws,” which emphasized taxation to support the impoverished. The Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression greatly influenced the creation of the Social Security Act. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, America was an agricultural nation; Americans relied on family farming, marriages and relatives for financial means and security.

The Great Depression generated nationwide misery. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 signaled the beginning of the Great Depression. Bank failures soon followed and the unemployment and poverty rate reached an all time high. Between 1933 and 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the necessity of government assistance during tough times. He created the First and the Second New Deals in response to this economic disaster in order to battle poverty. These efforts sought to save the economy and alleviate those impacted by the worst of the Great Depression.

Roosevelt appointed a Committee on Economic Security to assess the damages and construct a plan to help those most in need. The Social Security Act, part of Roosevelt’s’ Second New Deal, was officially signed into law on August 14th, 1935. Social Security includes the “Old Age and Survivors Insurance” and the “Disability Insurance” programs. The Supplementary Income program offers benefits for elderly, blind, and disabled persons, disregarding prior employment; it is not financed by Social Security taxes. Intention

Social Security is the foundation of economic security for countless Americans. Initially, the Social Security Act was created in order to provide relief and security (ultimately a safety net) for the citizens suffering from the Great Depression (Weaver & Martin, 2005). It is an intergenerational contract whereby current workers contribute money to the system through their taxes, which directly pays for the services for those who no longer work and may be indigent.

Old age, disability, and unemployment insurance are included in the Social Security program (Weaver & Martin, 2005). Specifically, the federal program was designed to provide assistance for anyone who is unemployed and over 65 years of age, dependent children and anyone in need. Furthermore, this act intended to protect Americans from financial trouble during retirement, and help Americans living with an illness, disability, and those living in poverty.

Modifications have been made over time to better protect and provide continuing benefits for those who experience a loss of earnings due to retirement, disability, illness, or death (D’Amond, 2009). In 1939, revisions were made which expanded benefits to dependent children, the blind, pregnant women, wives and children of retired workers, and children and dependent parents of deceased workers (Weaver & Martin, 2005). Benefits continue to increase over time in order to improve the system and further help those in need.

The governments’ overall intent was and is to provide help and protection for the population through social welfare and social security. It is the government’s duty to help society run smoothly by creating ways in which people can succeed and better their situations. Decreasing poverty rates is a main way the government can help society; poverty is a prevailing concern that must be dealt with to ameliorate the lack of services experienced by those in poverty. The funding Structure and Cost to Implement the Policy

The Social Security law established a board, which consisted of three members whom were chosen by the president: John Winant, Arthur Altmeyer, and Vincent Miles. They were to announce to the...

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