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August 4, 1956

Social Security—Fact and Fancy

JAMA. 1956;161(14):1428. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970140084024

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Mr. Stokes opposes social security as it exists today because there are insufficient funds to pay its promised benefits and because it is unjust. Those who are eligible for and need its benefits are often deprived of them, while those who are financially secure may receive abundant benefits. The author first explains how these corruptions in the system came about. Social security originated in 1935 from a need on the part of many to have a small income during their years of retirement. At the beginning, the system was reasonably adequate. Most persons, particularly younger workers, would receive annuities paid for largely by their own and their employer's contributions. The contributions were to begin at 2% of wages up to $3,000 per year; half of the contribution would be paid for by the employee and half by the employer. The percentage was to be gradually increased until 1949, when the

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