In 1935, over significant opposition and accusations of socialism, congress passed the Social Security Act. Many members of congress considered the bill dead on arrival since there was no known system in the world capable of cataloging every person within the United States. At that time the only data processing equipment in the United States were rudimentary punch-card machines that could add and subtract. Congressional members who voted in favor of the bill passed it without funding, assuming that it would be far too expense and technically unfeasible. They expected the bill to die.
Then in walked IBM, with a ready made solution utilizing punch-card technology that had been specifically designed to catalog a whole country's population into a central repository. Their solution met nearly every need that the fledgling Social Security bill needed to succeed and IBM was eager to step in.
But where did IBM come up with the technology so readily? It's true that Thomas Watson, president of IBM at the time, always worked to ensure that IBM was always anticipating customer needs and requirements before the customer realized them. However, he was not looking at the US market when he directed IBM to work on large punch-card statistical systems. Instead he was guiding the development of technology for the 3rd Reich -- to catalog their population in order to "cleanse" the non-Aryans. IBM's German, branch known as Dehomag, provided the equipment and training to the Nazi government, enabling them to catalog all people within Germany. And allowed the government to catalog religious heritage based on church records going back generations. This allowed the effective cataloging of a person's "blood heritage" even if they were not aware of it themselves, even if their ancestors had left the faith long before the individual's birth.
It was Nazi Germany's efforts to eradicate its Jewish presence which provided the technology to make the United States Social Security program a success.
For more information about IBM and the involvement their punch-card technology played in Germany during WWII, read "IBM and the Holocaust" by Edwin Black. It is a thoroughly researched account of the actions leading up to and through the reign of the Third Reich, and the involvement of IBM (and their subsidiaries).