Women and SS Retirement Since Term Paper

Total Length: 1155 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 15

Page 1 of 4

From the start, social welfare policy has been shaped by the work ethic and the belief that the provision of benefits to able-bodied persons will weaken their motivation to work. As a result, the cash assistance programs including Social Security benefits, Unemployment Insurance, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) enforce the work ethic either by rewarding higher paid workers over those who earn less or by encouraging able-bodied persons to choose paid labor (no matter what the wage levels or working conditions) over government aid. (Abramovitz, 1988, p. 1)

The desperation that is associated with seeking public assistance, even when the opt out option does not exist, and private pension plans have declined in popularity as other forms of retirement compensation have taken their place, and more and more people are required to simply save for their old age, no matter what. The social security system does not adequately meet the needs of the population it was designed to help and this is especially true of women.

T]he single most important factor accounting for changes in family well-being was a fundamental change in family structure: divorce, death, marriage, birth, or a child leaving home. In other words, changes in the economic status of families are linked inextricably to changes in the composition of families themselves." (Berrick, 1997, p. 33)

Attempts to alter the definitions of social security that underserve women have been around as long as its original legislation, in the form of the equal rights amendment, and many other women's civil liberties organizations. Headway is being made, frequently as a secondary result of demanding and occasionally getting equal pay for equal work. The standards associated with the equal rights movement will make a difference in the foundational legislation that changes social security to better meet the needs of the people who are served by it.


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