This chapter examines the effect of perestroika on four major social entitlements: work, health care, housing, and pensions. Perhaps the most important social entitlement in the Soviet Union is the right to work, which is guaranteed by the Soviet Constitution and which has long been a mainstay of Soviet socialism. Mikhail Gorbachev hasattacked the endemic Soviet practice of overmanning and supported such labor-shedding exercises as the Belorussian railway experiment. His ambivalence on this question is typical of his refusal to state publicly that perestroika is likely to make life harder for many people in the short run. In his speech to the congress on May 31, Boris El'tsin criticized the slow pace of Gorbachev's economic reforms and called on the assembly "to resolve at least one concrete social issue" before adjourning in order to restore the Soviet public's lagging faith in perestroika.