Talk on origins of Social Security tonight at Boise Public Library; speaker is Marc Johnson, former chief to Gov. Andrus

Johnson will speak from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Hayes Auditorium at the main library on Capitol Boulevard.

A former Idaho Public TV host, Johnson was spokesman and then chief of staff to former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus. Johnson and Andrus are colleagues at Gallatin Public Affairs, a regional PR, lobbying and consulting firm.

Johnson is writing a biography of Montana progressive Sen. Burton K. Wheeler, a contemporary of Idaho Sen. William Borah. In the course of that work, Johnson has studied the New Deal era extensively.

Johnson's talk is titled, "The Origins of Social Security." In an email, Johnson elaborates: "The program – the lasting legacy of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal – was controversial in the 1930’s and remains so today. I’ll offer a take on the Depression Era politics that drove FDR and the Congress to act in 1935 and bring the 'debate' about Social Security up to the current campaign."

The library schedule has this to say about the Johnson talk:

Social Security has been a controversial and politically charged fixture of American life since the program was created in 1935 during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. While millions of Americans have come to depend upon the monthly checks and other benefits, political candidates wrangle over whether the system is going broke and many younger Americans believe they’ll never see benefits from Social Security. However you feel about Social Security, it’s bound to be an issue in this year’s presidential election.

What forces drove the American political system to create Social Security in the first place? What finally motivated FDR and Congress to act? Why has the idea been so contentious for so long?

Marc Johnson has lectured and taught university classes on New Deal-era politics. This talk – The Origins of Social Security – will explore the conditions and personalities that drove the creation of Social Security during the Great Depression and discuss why the now nearly 80-year-old program remains controversial.

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Wake up

The gov't has stolen (and continues to steal) your money.

If you're sleeping and posting...

You might as well drink and have sex too.

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Social Security and the Rockefellers

"The main ideas for Social Security came from the employees of Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc., founded in 1921 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to search for ways to deal with labor unrest and avoid unionization." ("Who Rules America?", G. William Domhoff).

By the early 1930s, large industrialists such as the Rockefellers and Harrimans were already providing their employees with old-age pensions. They did this in part to encourage older workers to voluntarily retire and make room for younger employees, and as Domhoff points out, to deal with labor unrest.