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What Is Social Security?

Social Security is a kind of “safety net” created by the United States government. It was inspired by the Great Depression, where millions of Americans lost their jobs and were plunged into poverty. Through social security, members who had made the necessary payments could at least be guaranteed a certain subsistence level. The program was launched in 1935, under Roosevelt’s New Deal.

In the social security program, workers remit a part of their salary into the social security fund. Their payments help sustain the benefits of previous workers. However, in return, when those workers retire, they will receive their due share.

Critics of the social security system say that there is always the risk that the system will collapse, leaving people who had invested part of their salary into fund with nothing to show for it. This concern has become even more relevant today, in the midst of a world-wide economic recession.

Nevertheless, the social security system continues to be very popular especially for those who are retired or are on the brink of retirement. Since this is a very large and powerful group of voters, most politicians avoid making any changes to the program.

The good news is that the social security system seems financially stable. Current payments or collections are greater than the amounts paid to beneficiaries, and the trend indicates that this will continue for several decades. Supporters of the social security system say that it is definitely more stable than private corporations, thus silencing attempts to privatize the system.

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