"We can never insure one hundred
percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and
vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some
measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family ..."
Franklin Roosevelt's Statement on Signing the Social Security Act
August 14 , 1935
hope of many years' standing is in large part fulfilled. The civilization
of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has
tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to
wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age. The man with a
job has wondered how long the job would last.
social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions
of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment
compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for
the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.
never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred
percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame
a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and
to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.
law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but
is by no means complete. It is a structure intended to lessen the force of
possible future depressions. It will act as a protection to future
Administrations against the necessity of going deeply into debt to furnish
relief to the needy. The law will flatten out the peaks and valleys of
deflation and of inflation. It is, in short, a law that will take care of
human needs and at the same time provide for the United States an economic
structure of vastly greater soundness.
congratulate all of you ladies and gentlemen, all of you in the Congress,
in the executive departments and all of you who come from private life, and
I thank you for your splendid efforts in behalf of this sound, needed and
Senate and the House of Representatives in this long and arduous session
had done nothing more than pass this Bill, the session would be regarded as
historic for all time.
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