American Government-Economics

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 1996

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

Most of the problems of the United states are related

to the economy. One of the major issues facing the country

today is social security.

The United States was one of the last major

industrialized nations to establish a social security

system. In 1911, Wisconsin passed the first state workers

compensation law to be held constitutional. At that time,

most Americans believed the government should not have to

care for the aged, disabled or needy. But such attitudes

changed during the Great Depression in the 1930's.

In 1935, Congress passed the Social Security Act. This

law became the basis of the U.S. social insurance system.

It provided cash benefits to only retired workers in

commerce or industry. In 1939, Congress amended the act to

benefit and dependent children of retired workers and widows

and children of deceased workers . In 1950, the

act began to cover many farm and domestic workers, non

professional self employed workers, and many state and

municipal employees.

Coverage became nearly universal in

1956, when lawyers and other professional workers came under

the system.

Social security is a government program that helps workers and retired workers and their families achieve a degree of economic security. Social security also called social insurance (Robertson p. 33), provides cash payments to help replace income lost as a result of retirement, unemployment, disability, or death. The program also helps pay the cost of medical care for people age 65 or older and for some disabled workers. About one-sixth of the people in the United States receive social security benefits.

People become eligible to receive benefits by working in a certain period in a job covered by social security.

Employers and workers finance the program through payroll taxes. Participation in the social security system is required for about 95 percent of...