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  • America was in the midst of a period of unprecedented prosperity.

  • It was called the Roaring Twenties.

  • It was a time of easy money in bathtub gin and the youth culture of the Jazz Age all but ignored the plight of America's elderly.

  • In 1927 a prominent lawyer observed.

  • Quote.

  • Practically all of the other advanced nations of the world have adopted some modern measure to relieve the suffering of the aged poor.

  • The United States, now the richest nation, stands alone and doing nothing.

  • Suddenly, America's care for years ended, banks closed their doors, industry came to a standstill.

  • 15 million Americans, young and old, were now without jobs and without savings, unemployment and poverty were suddenly everyone's business.

  • I can still remember it vividly because of the effect of my parents, the sense of hopelessness of hope lost in the sense that even though you worked hard through your life and you were honest and upright and 50 and all these good things, suddenly something could come along and happen in the country at large, which made your efforts worthless.

  • The depression hit older Americans especially hard.

  • Most had their life savings wiped out.

  • What few jobs there were went to the young in cities like Detroit, Michigan, they were running 45% unemployment, and that created a tremendous political pressure to do something.

  • In the face of a growing national despair, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a new deal for the American people and was elected president in 1932.

  • This nation is asking for action and action now.

  • Action came quickly.

  • Within days, Roosevelt administration began to push a flood of New Deal legislation through Congress, providing for widespread public aid.

  • One of the most controversial proposals was the Social Security Act, and contained within it was a small section called Old Age Insurance.

  • This Social Security measure gives at least some protection toe 30 millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, old age pensions.

  • They had a public assistance program which provided for old age assistance aid to the Blind Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

  • There was a rehabilitation program.

  • There was a program for public health.

  • Old age insurance was the last title and was thought really toe be a very unimportant part of the program, and it turned out to be the A single largest insurance program in the country.

  • When Roosevelt in 33 come out with the Social Security, we all said, What the hell is this?

  • They're taken 30 cents, 37 cents out over a paycheck.

  • We were all screaming about this, and, uh uh, it was almost unbelievable, You know, when I'd A Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, received the very first Social Security check.

  • People soon became believers.

  • She had paid only $100 into the system and was to eventually get $21,000 back.

  • Seltzer security was indeed revolutionary, although many complained that it wasn't enough.

  • Social Security profoundly changed America's ideas about growing old.

  • Never again would retirement be synonymous with poverty.

  • President Hoover promised a car in every garage a chicken in every pot, but it never materialized until Roosevelt.

  • He had our heart.

  • So because he tried to help, Social Security had really bumped its head against the ceiling, and it's still bumping its head against the sink really limits to what you can do with Social Security.

  • After all, most people are paying as much on Maurin Social Security taxes.

  • They are income taxes to produce this not terribly significant income level.

  • It's really a poverty income low.

  • If you're gonna live in dignity in retirement, you are not gonna ever do it on Social Security.

  • You're either going to do it on private pensions, plus Social Security, plus your savings or you're just not gonna do it.

  • Since the government's pension plan Social Security wasn't enough, workers began to look towards their employers to provide for their retirement through private pension plans.

  • Private pensions were nothing new.

  • The 1st 1 in America was established by the American Express Company back in 18 75 and the railroads began providing them a short time later.

  • For decades, private pensions were relatively rare.

  • But after World War Two, the number of private pension plans grew dramatically.

  • Organized labor's concern for the financial security of retiring workers had led them to push for more and more pension coverage.

  • But it didn't take long for some employers to begin to see the value of a pension plan.

  • The feeling clearly exists in the late 19 forties that that the labor market is something that has to be ah managed and super intended in a new way, and to do this one of the ways in which this has done is that workers older workers have to be encouraged to leave the workplace.

  • The workplace then becomes a place where younger workers I have a priority.

  • Retirement was becoming a fact of American life.

  • An individual's option to keep on working was being closed off in the 19 fifties.

  • After this, uh, this rapid growth of pension plans in the late 19 forties, there's increasing concern about retirement because more and more workers realize that they are going to be separated from the workplace, and they're gonna have to spend 10 15 or 20 years of their lives outside of work environment.

  • So there's increasing debate and concern in the 19 fifties about this new thing that's developing this new lump of leisure called retirement.

  • In response to this concern, insurance companies and other institutions begin to market the idea, a kind of modern idea of retirement that you begin to sell retirement.

  • Another thing that happens in the 19 fifties is the proliferation of journals about retirement.

  • Senior citizen of the magazine, founded in 1955 and Modern Maturity, is founded in 1959 and most of these journals present the new concept of retirement to their readers.

  • They encourage readers thio to think about retirement, that something is something that's very positive to prepare for it enough so it so it presumably will be positive.

  • They've really given up on the world of work as an option for people over 65 or over 70.

  • But to say that they grew in the world or two is not to say that they were secure after World War Two, because until 1974 this promise I'll give you a pension when you retire could be made lawfully as a completely breakable promise.

  • You could make it and then you could walk away from it and your word liable for anything.

  • But they're hollow promises.

  • I promise you 50% of salary when you retire, but we don't have the money in the fund or the company goes bankrupt or, for whatever reason, they decide to terminate the plan.

  • The employees got nothing in 1964 1 event focused national attention on the tragedy of those broken promises.

  • There was a car named the Studebaker.

  • There's a revelation in car performance waiting for you.

  • So drive the new Studebaker for the motoring trail of your life to all the new Studebaker is to also experience you coming or a Studebaker car was made in South Bend on student Baker just stopped making it.

  • Or at least they stopped making it in the United States.

  • They didn't go broke.

  • That didn't go bankrupt.

  • They just stopped in those days.

  • If you went to South Bend, this is what you saw.

  • You saw a nice little town and it had basically three things in it.

  • It had Studebaker.

  • He had Bendix and it had Notre Dame.

  • And when Studebakers shut down, it was an economic catastrophe for South.

  • And unfortunately, what happened is wouldn't put Studebaker Packard went out of business, liquidated, uh, the pension plan Assets were not set aside in a separate trust fund, and there were not minimum requirements to assure that the corporation was setting aside an adequate enough money in order to pay people their pension promises.

  • So as a result, when Studebaker Packard went under, individuals only got a few cents on every dollar of pension benefits that they had respect expected to receive included in the unemployed for some 3000 people over 50 years of age had about 2000 dependent under 19 years old.

  • Most of them had no source of income.

  • Vic and what we discovered, that's the interesting thing about people who are old, who has been done dirt is that they're alone.

  • They're isolated out there, and they know there's something wrong.

  • They counted on this and it didn't come.

  • And I don't know why they wrote a complaint.

  • And Studebaker, my client at the time, didn't do anything unlawful.

  • It's simply hadn't made a recourse promise.

  • It hadn't made a promise that have had the key.

  • It's settled for a little money.

  • And there was a political explosion in Senate hearings.

  • Thousands of retirees revealed the hardships they had experienced.

  • But the debate dragged on for over a decade.

  • A complicated compromise between labor and business was finally signed into law on Labor Day 1974.

  • The new bill was dubbed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • Arrests For short, This massive collection of rules and regulations safeguarded private pension plans, forcing employers to stand by their promises.

  • This legislation will alleviate the fears and the anxieties.

  • People who are on the production lines or in the minds are elsewhere in that they now know that their investment in private pension funds will be better protected.

  • They have a vested right.

  • They're certain, obviously, of better management of those funds.

  • Uh, yes, certainly will give to those 30 plus 1,000,000 American workers a greater degree of certainty as they face retirement in the future.

  • Before Risa was passed, a vast majority of all pension plans in the country did not have enough assets to pay the promised benefits.

  • In fact, less than 40% did.

  • In 1975 today, over 80% of all pension plans have more than enough money to pay all the benefits that they had promised, and a number of them were significantly overfunded, if you will.

  • So just on that one measure alone, there has been a great degree of increase in the security that people have with regard to their pension promises.

America was in the midst of a period of unprecedented prosperity.

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美國如何對待我們的老人。這公平嗎? (How America Treats Our Aged. Is This Fair?)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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