Friday, January 6, 2012

Hertford County Woman's Thoughts on Poverty Among the Elderly, 1937

Letter to the Editor in the January 1937 Issue of The Southern Planter

There is a distressingly large number of aged and destitute men and women in the world today, terrorized by impending old age that promises no surcease from the solicitude they feel for the necessities of existence. 

Most of these pathetic old people are worthy. And it’s not really their fault that they are thus brought face to face with poverty.

Their lives have been filled with toil and sacrifice, also they have known many hardships which we, of another generation, can scarcely comprehend. Disabled by infirmities attendant upon old age, they have lost the strength and courage to struggle longer with a calloused world for the independence which is theirs by every right on inheritance.

Feeble and forsaken now, though they have fought the good fight to exhaustion, and years of faithful serve have brought them no reward in a material way. And thus, in their helplessness, they consider themselves beggars; demoralized by the fact that they are obliged to accept support from the hands of others, and which is often grudgingly given. And the poor souls know it. For all other sensibilities fail. The price of youth remains to torture them in their helplessness.

All government employees, after serving a certain number of years, are allowed a pension upon retirement, and it would be only fair to these aged ones, who have labored just as faithfully in the cause of humanity, for the government to allow them a compensation, a very small annuity payable monthly would spare them the humiliation of being forced to pass their last days in county homes. Such a plan would in all probability be less expense to the government.
--Miss Elizabeth Pope, Hertford County, N.C.
The current system of monthly Social Security checks for the elderly did not begin until January 1940.

No comments:

Post a Comment