Administrative Burden

Administrative Burden

Policymaking by Other Means

Pamela Herd, Donald P. Moynihan

The spirit of the new organization was built on three broad principles. First, as articulated in the 1941 Social Security Board’s Annual Report, the relationship between the agency and program participants was cooperative: “Social Security represents the collaboration of workers and their employers and the Government of the people.” Collaboration reflected the idea that beneficiaries were not supplicants, but had earned their standing as a partner to government. A second key principle was that participants were deserving of benefits, that “the sacrifices made by these workers in their country’s behalf are manifestly adequate social contributions.” 32 Finally, the principle that Social Security was an insurance program was critical. Although the bureaucrat who was administering traditional public assistance might view the claim of the recipient through the lens of deservingness, insurance suggests compensating a broad population that had collectively contributed to minimize a shared risk.

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