The concept of Social Security in Europe started as early as 1795, when a revolutionary War writer Thomas Paine advocated for a 15 pounds remuneration to every citizen on realization of 21 years as a start in life. In the United States, it began in 1929 during the Great Depression ending in the wake of the Second World War. These mostly affected the elderly who could not depend on the more than 50% unemployed or underemployed workers. In this right, the then president of America, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) envisaged a program to award the elderly with security measures while beefing up America’s financial system.
Social Security in America, as meant by President Roosevelt would pay workers aged 65 years and above an after-retirement income to cater for life after work. This paper intends to discuss the origin of the social security system and its intentions by President Franklin Roosevelt, its acceptability within the next 20 to 30 years and finally in the light of its viability, any recommendations that if incorporated in the system would increase its viability for the next generation. In particular, this recommendation will be detailed based on the political environment surrounding the social security issue in terms of factors such as recommendations implementations, communication, education, and support among others.
In his argument, Schroder (2005) states that when the former president of America Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security into a law on 14 August, 1935, during the Great Depression his idea was to have it act an economic incentive by providing funds to the retirees to enable them spend it and have the cash circulation needed to kindle the financial system. The public was then convinced that this was a plan to help the elderly and in fact it did at that time. In addition, the social security system was meant as an income supplement and not a full-fledged government subsidized retreat program. Additional scope of the Social Security included the medical care coverage expenses, benefits to windows, orphans and the disabled among others and so was the addition of the recipients (Schroder 2005).
At inception in 1935, it was estimated that for every one employed person there were about 30 to 40 dependencies yet the pay then was very minimal resulting to a living below the poverty level (Schroder 2005). Since then, there has been a witnessed surge in birth rates or the baby booming generation (1945 - 1965), after which inflation and changing social issues lead to the increase in the living standards hence increased demands for money. In that regard, most families resulted to one or no child which dramatically decreased the birth rate and consequently, the population meant for the work force to support the pay as you go system (Schroder 2005).
The original intention of the social security system was to eliminate poverty and dependency among the American citizens and according to Martocchio (2011) president Roosevelt envisioned the program as accommodating the federal government and the states, with tax funding the program. Roosevelt’s social security system was one among the many proposals dealing with the economic hardships but defeated all others. There have been several amendments to the original social security Act of 1935. Some of the modifications included benefits to partner or minor kids of retiree, survivor’s gain in case of death, family-based cure, and finally one that allowed retirement remuneration, disability, untimely death and medical expenses (Martochio 2011).
With these changes, the benefits paid to individuals per month increased and in the course of the first month after departure an individual receives a worthwhile check in benefits for a lifetime. In the wake of the deficiency of the social security payments in 1979, the tax rates increased while the benefits reduced a move that threatened to invalidate the Social Security program. In February 2005, President Bush recognized the need to implement significant changes to avoid failure of the system. In March the same year, social security funds trustees predicted a decline in the program and by the year 2018, the government would be paying more than it collects from taxes with a deficiency of $300 billion by 2033 when the system would be bankrupt (Martochio 2011). It is also believed that with these changes implemented, many people expect the social Security will be an important part of their departure benefits.
The social security issue is surrounded by financial crisis that will be caused by the increasing population of the aging both for the social security system and the federal budget. To make the social security system viable for the next generation, I suggest that the government embark on a policy that will pull in sponsors from both the private and the public sector since too much increase in the tax collected from citizens will result to failure of the system incase the future workers fail to have a willingness to pay those taxes for the thought of political schemes. Another threat is the decrease in the working people which means the government has to spend more on importing skilled labor from outside a move that maybe ineffective in if divided by political takes. This leaves little money for the budget allocated to the elderly. I suggest that children are allowed to marry at the right age and at least have one child whom they provide with the right education and training to contribute to America’s labor force.
Martocchio, J. J. (2011). Strategic Compensation: A Human Resource Management Approach (6th Ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Schroder J. (2005). Social Security: Now What are we supposed to do. Retrieved on 01-04-2011 from http://www.ascot-advisory.com/Social_Security.htm last updated on 14-10-2005.
Siemers D. J. (2009). Presidents and Political Thought. University of Missouri Press. Columbia: USA.