<<Is that a retirement system or welfare system? >>Neither actually. It's an insurance "policy". I don't believe you "pay" in to the welfare system in order to get a check. If you don't pay in to SS, you don't get a check (not welfare under that definition). You don't need to have ever worked to draw welfare. No work, no SS (not welfare under that test as well). I don't think anyone should consider SS welfare. It's really not a lot different than your auto insurance. If you have auto insurance, you pay in and pay in and pay in (and maybe never draw out). When you have an eligible event (i.e. car crash), you get a check. With SS you pay in and pay in and pay in, and when you have an eligible event (i.e. attain age 62/65) you get a check, mainly because you paid your "premiums" (i.e. FICA tax). With auto insurance, if you never wreck your car, you never get a check. With SS, if you don't attain retirement age you don't get a check (but your spouse and/or kids might).It was never intended to be welfare, it isn't welfare. It's a retirement system that was set up in the same manner as insurance (and is called Retirement INSURANCE Benefits, Disability INSURANCE Benefits, Widows INSURANCE Benefits). It's a retirement system that has grown and grown and grown (medicare, widows, disability, survivors, wifes, death benefits, etc., etc., etc.) as the needs of the people have grown. Don't call it welfare because it's not.
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