social insurance was a wise admission on the part of supporters of competitive economies that citizens would take the risks such economies require only if they are provided with a degree of security against old age, unemployment, the sudden death of a spouse and the vicissitudes of health. social insurance arises from the understanding that competitive economies sometimes break down. competition has benefits and costs, and both are shared unequally.... risk is tolerable, even desirable, as long as every one of life's risks is not an all-or-nothing game. that is especially true when one's family is put at risk. protecting citizens against risk is a fundamental role of government. as fdr noted after passage of the social security act, the first americans to seek government protections against risks beyond their own control were not the poor and the lowly but the rich and the strong. they sought protective laws to give security to property owners, industrialists, merchants and bankers. he did not blame the wealthy for seeking these protections. instead, he saw these as models for comparable protections for workers and families.