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November 4, 1950

The Cost and Financing of Social Security

JAMA. 1950;144(10):881. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920100069028

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Even a casual reading of this book should arouse one's doubts about the wisdom of national fiscal policies in the so-called welfare field. For many years now welfare programs and social security have been presented on a platter dripping with sentiment, generalizations and vote-getting promises. If for no other reason, this book is valuable because it presents an analysis of present social security programs and their future economic possibilities without recourse to plucking of the heartstrings.

The first part of the book deals with the four principal social security programs: (1) old age, survivors and disability insurance; (2) unemployment compensation; (3) health insurance, and (4) public assistance. Part 2 considers special categories the author calls "tangential" to the main issues: (1) the very poor, (2) the veterans and (3) persons covered by private pension and retirement systems. The third part of the book analyzes the over-all security program and presents

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