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7 there was less place for them too. The exploiting of children in industry came to be recognized as a blight rather than an aid to progress. And as machines did an increasing portion of the work, the competition for jobs left the aged at a disadvantage they had not the skill and strength to overcome. Young people in search of education, of training, of opportunity; old people with idle hands; wage-earners carrying the whole burden of family security--that was the picture when the family was doing well. But what the security when does not only the less able--the young and old--but even the workers and heads of families were caught by the enforced idleness of sickness or unemployment? These are some of the problems our own progress has created--how to protect children, especially when the family wage earner is dead or disabled; how to help workers bridge the gap and keep their families from want between jobs; how to provide proper medical care and some continuing income when the wage-earner and his family suffer illness; how to forestall need and dependency in old age. As needs have changed, new and better methods of meeting then must be--and have been--devised. Both the challenge and our answer to it have grown out of our past. The earliest town meetings made provision for schools, for health and the care of those of their number who "were in low and pore condishon." Though the pace has been uneven and sometimes halting, the progression has always been toward enlarging the area of mutual self-protection as the bounds of risk and of responsibility have been pushed back. Forty years and more ago, the local communities looked to the States; and the States began to share in government provisions for security. In our own time the States, their local communities and their citizens unable to meet these needs above have looked to the Federal government; and the nation in turn has geared all its forces to provide the new protections which our times demand--nationwide protections, against ignorance, illness, and insecurity. Social security will always be a goal rather than a final achievement. And we shall always be moving toward it along may lines of approach. Some of these have been mapped out in the Social Security Act. But these are not the only approaches that are even now being undertaken by our government; housing, farm security, public works, wage and hour legislation, and providing training and opportunity for youth are all equally important. Though the part that government is equipped to play in promoting security has thus been much extended in recent years, we can be very sure that increasing experience will discover still other paths of progress. But even when government is fully utilized "to insure domestic tranquility and to promote the general welfare," this alone will never make people secure. Government can and should offer only basic protection. It can and should provide the foundation on which individuals can build their future with more assurance. Beyond that, youth, maturity, and old age must still face their own problems; families still must make their own way and preserve their own values. There is nothing new in this reliance upon both individual effort and joint action. No one man alone could have explored the frontier; but many men, working together through the years, open up a content. No one community alone could have founded the nation; but many communities, working together through the years, built a nation not only politically united but socially and economically integrated as well. No one man, no one family and no one community alone can set up defenses defenses against nationwide risks; but national action can--and is--rebuilding and strengthening the foundations of security. The world in which we live and work is complex and impersonal--the machines stretch out on every side. In other countries, the times in which we live have seen less humanizing and less liberalizing answers to their challenge. This background gives added significance to the fact that, here in the United States, conserving the individual and, even more, the family has now become an active concern of that greater family which we call the nation.
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