The Great Social Security Robbery

December 14th, 2012

James Petras

Introduction

The leaders of both major parties, Congress, the White House, the editorial writers, journalists of all the principle newspapers and most academic economists claim that Social Security and Medicare need to be ‘reformed’ in order to reduce the “unsustainable” fiscal deficit and avoid the bankruptcy of these social programs. An important aspect of this elite propaganda campaign is the perverse manipulation of the nature of those two programs. They are dubbed “entitlement programs”, implying some sort of government handout or individual privilege. In fact social security is a form of social insurance paid for through payroll tax deductions throughout the working life of the contributors, which usually approximates a half-century.

The “entitlement” rhetoric claims that the lifetime contributions are insufficient and that several regressive ‘reforms’ are necessary to “save the systems” – at the expense of the beneficiaries. The so-called “Grand Compromise” proposed by President Obama and the “Fiscal Reforms” proposed by the Congressional Republicans are all aimed at robbing working class contributors of their pension savings through various specific regressive changes.

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Waging War on US Workers

December 14th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

America's war on workers dates from the 19th century. Labor learned the hard way what it takes to win.

It requires organizing, pressing demands, taking to the streets, going on strike, holding boycotts, battling police and National Guard forces supporting management, as wells paying with blood and lives to get results.

They came. Workers got an eight hour day, a living wage, important benefits, pensions, and passage of the landmark 1935 Wagner Act. For the first time, labor could bargain collectively with management on equal terms.

Grassroots struggles prevailed. Management and government give nothing unless forced to. Today, virtually everything gained was lost. Federal, state and local Republicans and Democrats wage war on worker rights.

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