EM 5: Why Do We Have a Social Security Law? (1946)

Why Do We Have a Social Security Law?By Merle Colby
Director of Information, War Manpower Commission
(Published February 1946)

What’s Behind the Search for Social Security?

  • The second big question—“security”
  • “Let’s leave it to the individual!”
  • “Let’s leave it to the employer!”
  • “Let’s leave it to the government!”
  • Everybody’s business

What Is Our Social Security Program Now?

  • How social insurance works
  • The Social Security Act
  • Public assistance—what it does
  • Public assistance—what it doesn’t do
  • Old-age and survivors insurance—what it does
  • Old-age and survivors insurance—what it doesn’t do
  • Unemployment insurance—what it does
  • Unemployment insurance—what it doesn’t do

Do Veterans Get Any of these Benefits?

  • Protection for servicemen under social security

What Do Americans Think about Social Security?

Is Social Security a Federal Monopoly?

  • Workmen’s compensation
  • Rhode Island’s cash sickness insurance
  • How unemployment insurance works in the states
  • The main differences between old-age and survivors insurance and unemployment insurance
  • State laws and how they operate
  • Disqualifications
  • Experience rating

Should the Present System Be Changed?

  • Broadening the coverage
  • A federal system
  • Increased benefits
  • Disability compensation
  • Health insurance

Where Does the Money Come From?

  • Who pays for our present social insurance program?
  • Cost of an expanded social insurance program

To the Discussion Leader

  • What form of discussion?
  • Hints to help leaders
  • Discussion questions on social security

For Further Reading