Social Security’s Enduring Legacy: Adaptability
nextnewdeal.net — If Franklin D. Roosevelt rejoined the living tomorrow, he probably wouldn't recognize Social Security, his greatest domestic legacy. That might sound like something a critic or skeptic of the program would say, as if it had broken faith with Roosevelt's vision or expanded far beyond its original intent. But, in fact, what Roosevelt would see would be Social Security's greatest virtue: its adaptability to changing circumstances. Social Security has survived, thrived, and continued to provide a base level of economic security not only through big macroeconomic shifts (such as the inflation of the 1970s) but also the transformations and uncertainties in our individual and family lives. That adaptability and continuous reexamination and improvement is the quality most in keeping with the experimental, pragmatic nature of the New Deal.