"Consider Social Security. What did people do when they got old in the past? Did they die en masse in the streets? No. They generally had families support them or there were private charities that helped out. However, now we are so used to the government taking care of things, there has been a social shift away from families taking care of their elders and now that is firmly ingrained in our society. So now, we couldn't go back now if we tried, unless we accept the pain that it will cause."
Actually, the truth is people died at an earlier age and had many more children than we have today. In some societies, the old simply wandered off to die to avoid being a drain on their families. If you had no/not enough children, and were not in reach of a charity, you did die...though probably not on the street. Just alone/with your spouse, usually of disease or starvation or both. We also used ot have debtors' prisons, but did away with them as well if you are interested in going back to the olden days.
Social Security was/is a forced pension scheme to ensure that old people have some income post retirement. This means that some can seek careers that are not financially rewarding but does benefit society.