The social contract is a concept that refers to the implicit agreement between a government and its citizens. It outlines the duties and obligations of both parties to ensure a harmonious and functional society. In the United States, several policies and laws embody the social contract. Here are three examples of how the social contract currently works in the U.S:
1. Social Security: Social Security is a government program that provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible individuals. The program is funded through payroll taxes, and it operates on the premise that working Americans should be able to retire with a basic level of financial security. The social contract here is that the government collects taxes from current workers to provide benefits to retirees, ensuring that older citizens have a safety net in their later years.
2. Public Education: Public education is a fundamental component of the social contract in the United States. The government is responsible for providing free public schooling for all children, regardless of their family`s income. The social contract is that the government ensures that every child has access to quality education, regardless of their economic background. This helps to level the playing field and gives everyone an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
3. Healthcare: Although healthcare in the United States is not fully government-funded, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a framework for ensuring that everyone has access to affordable healthcare. Under the ACA, insurance companies are required to cover pre-existing conditions and offer preventative services at no cost to patients. The social contract here is that the government ensures that everyone has access to basic healthcare, regardless of their income or health status.
In conclusion, the social contract in the United States is based on the idea that the government and its citizens have a duty to work together to create a functional and prosperous society. These three examples illustrate how the social contract is manifested in policies and laws that provide support and protection to citizens in various areas of life. The social contract is a vital component of American society, and its policies and laws reflect our values of fairness, equality, and opportunity for all.