Social Security (United States)

American system of social security

In the United States, Social Security is primarily the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) federal program. The original Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompasses several social welfare and social insurance programs.


  • The passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 marked a great advance in our concept of the means by which our citizens, through their Government, can provide against common economic risks. . ."
    • Quote by President Harry S. Truman, 107—Special Message to the Congress on Social Security, May 24, 1948.
  • There are two main differences between Ponzi’s original scam and the Social Security system. The first difference is that Social Security is run by the government and, whatever its constitutionality and its questionable ethics, is legal. The second difference follows from the first: Whereas Ponzi had to rely on suckers, the government can and does use force.
    • Quote from The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey by David R. Henderson, (2002), Financial Times/Prentice Hall, pp. 234-235.

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