Thursday, August 14, 2014

Made in Wisconsin: Social Security

During the Great Depression, when America was struggling with a dire level of poverty, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt needed ideas. He knew where to turn. 

The Wisconsin Idea is the policy that the University of Wisconsin has a mission to best advise governmental policy makers and conduct research for the benefit of the common good.

And so, who better to ask for help than the University of Wisconsin-Madison's chief professor of Economics, Edwin E. Witte?

Edwin E. Witte was born in 1887 in Ebenezer, Wisconsin. He was valedictorian of his class from Watertown High School and then graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (from which I'm also proud to have three degrees).

He amassed a body of experience both academic and governmental before becoming a professor of Economics back at our Alma Mater.

And when Roosevelt came calling, there was no one better for the job.

Witte was the principal author of the Social Security Act of 1935, which, when passed into law, created the Social Security Administration that still today provides a critical safety net for this nation's elderly and disabled. For this reason, he is called the "Father of Social Security."

When he finally retired in 1957, he himself, mirabile dictu, received Social Security! He died three years later, in 1960 (which is exactly why you need to start drawing the day you are able).

Keith Massey was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He has his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biblical Hebrew, with a minor in Arabic. After 9/11, he served as an Arabic linguist at the NSA. He is currently a Latin teacher at a public high school in New Jersey.

Keith is the author of Intermediate Arabic for Dummies. His fiction novels follow the adventures of Andrew Valquist, roughly patterned after himself--a man born and raised in Wisconsin who gets pulled into the world of international intrigue. 

Keith's novels are A Place of Brightness, Amor Vincit Omnia: An Andrew Valquist Adventure, Next Stop: Spanish, and In Saecula Saeculorum.