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Social Security – The Beginning

A story by David T. Daniels

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At very early ages, my brother and I worked in Dad’s various crops – cotton, corn, potatoes, etc. What we did mostly hoe around plants. There was no pay from Dad, but we did work for a neighboring farmer for ten cents per hour. By ten years of age I was picking peaches in mid-summer. For 3 to 4 weeks I would earn as much as 20 cents per hours. In 1937, at the age of 13, I was promoted to the peach shed. Here we defuzzed, culled, and packed for shipment, and my pay elevated to 30 cents per hour. At the end of the first week, I was handed a slip of paper saying I was owed $11.00 plus. The math was 40 hours x 30 cents less something. I asked my boss what this was because I always got cash. He said it was a check and I had to go to the bank to get my money. The bank was very close by but I couldn’t visualize going into that sacred place with bare feet. I was always barefooted and even went to school and church that way. But, I was afraid of a bank. My Dad got the money for me and in a couple of weeks I received by mail my Social Security card. Thus I was one of the first to put money into that fictitious fund called The Social Security Trust Fund.

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