Townsend, Francis Everett

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Townsend, Francis Everett

Townsend, Francis Everett (tounˈzənd), 1867–1960, American reformer, leader of an old-age pension movement, b. Fairbury, Ill., grad. Univ. of Nebraska medical school, 1903. He practiced medicine in several Western states before he settled (1919) at Long Beach, Calif. In 1933, at the height of the economic depression, he produced the Townsend plan, which called for a pension of $200 per month for citizens of 60 years of age or older, on condition that the $200 be spent in the United States within a month after receipt. The funds were to be raised principally by a 2% federal sales tax. The simplicity of the proposal, the apostolic zeal of Townsend, and the organization of the Townsendites into a formidable pressure group brought increasing support for the plan despite its condemnation by competent economists. Bills to establish the Townsend plan were continually defeated in Congress after 1935, and the strength of the movement declined after the economy began to recover and the effects of social security were felt in the United States. Townsend modified a few of the provisions of his plan in the 1940s.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The CES proposal borrowed from the Townsend Plan and also included health-related provisions.
Roosevelt said at one point, "The Congress can't stand the pressure of the Townsend Plan unless we have a real old-age insurance system, nor can I face the country." So, on June 8,193/4, he sent Congress a message urging it to enact "social insurance ...
In the summer of 1936, the Townsend Plan was shaking society all across America, from sea to shining sea.
Townsend of Long Beach, Calif., announced an Old Age Revolving Pensions Plan, popularly called the Townsend Plan, giving all those over 60 years of age $200 to spend.
SUE TOWNSEND plans to return retail chain Ethel Austin to its North West roots and breathe new life into the oncefamous high street name.
PHOTO : More than a comedian, Townsend plans to expand his production company to help fulfill the hopes of other Black actors, producers and artists.