14 August

'We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.' _ President Roosevelt

August 14, 2009 · 1 min read

In 1935, Francis Townsend petitioned for an Old Age Revolving Pension Plan that would guarantee every person over the age of 60 a $200 monthly pension. The pension was to be paid for by a national sales tax. His petition was signed by over 20 million people and in response the Social Security Act came into law on this day in 1935.

Townsend didn’t think the act went far enough and continued to campaign for a greater pension until his death, forming the National Union of Social Justice, which stood a candidate in the 1936 presidential elections but William Lepke, the candidate won only 882,479 votes compared to Roosevelt’s 27,751,597.


Review – Asylum for Sale: profit and protest in the migration industry

Siobhán McGuirk and Adienne Pine's edited volume is a powerful indictment of the modern migration complex writes Nico Vaccari

End SARS and Fanon’s mission

The uprisings against police brutality that swept across Nigeria must be contextualised within the country’s colonial history, argues Kehinde Alonge

In the shadow of student rent strikes

Outside the media fanfare surrounding the recent wave of university-based militancy, one community's fight against developers goes on. Robert Firth reports


The conspiracy election

Conspiracy theories aren’t the preserve of a minority – they lie at the heart of US politics, argues Thomas Konda

Review – National Theatre Connections 2020: Plays for young people

From climate change to the perils of the information era, the collection powerfully explores the struggles facing contemporary teenagers, writes Jordana Belaiche

The convivial, practical road to socialism: a tribute to Leo Panitch

Hilary Wainwright remembers friend and mentor to many, Leo Panitch, who died on December 19, 2020