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American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935$
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Jon R. Huibregtse

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034652

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034652.001.0001

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Railroad Retirement and Social Security

Railroad Retirement and Social Security

(p.92) 8 Railroad Retirement and Social Security
American Railroad Labor and the Genesis of the New Deal, 1919–1935

Jon R. Huibregtse

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines the railroad unions' fight to create a railroad pension system, which was the legislative model of the Social Security Act. Passage of the Railroad Retirement Acts of 1934 and 1935 and the court challenges that they faced set important legal precedents, which helped insure that the Social Security Act would not be ruled unconstitutional. Senator Robert Wagner, who wrote the National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act, acknowledged the importance of the railroad legislation in fostering his desire to create a national retirement system, which he believed would foster economic stability by increasing the purchasing power of a growing segment of the population: the elderly.

Keywords:   Social Security Act, Railroad Retirement Acts, U.S. Supreme Court, Congress

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