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The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan Paperback – May 29, 2012
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"If you want to put the current struggle over Social Security’s future in context, read this book."Mark Miller, RetirementRevised.com
"Independent financial reporter Laursen offers a breathtakingly comprehensive look at the history and politics behind the largest income support program in the U.S.,’ ... Comprehensive and compelling reading on an important topic."Booklist, starred review
"Eric Laursen has written a comprehensive and exhaustive history of the Social Security program in the United States. The People’s Pension is an honest, detailed and even eye-opening discussion of the program’s origins and continuing efforts to provide elderly and disabled Americans with a livable income. Equally important, it is a discussion of the attempts to alter and ultimately destroy the program by forces whose only interest seems to be profit and the elimination of any government institution that guarantees every citizen worker an income in their old age." — Ron Jacobs, CounterPunch
About the Author
An independent journalist since 2000, Eric has written for publications ranging from Z Magazine and The Nation to Institutional Investor and CFO. His specializations are national politics, retirement and aging, global trade, U.S. fiscal policy, social services, business and financial services, civil liberties, and alternative economics. He has also written on anarchist theory, practice, and history for a variety of publications.
Top Customer Reviews
The program has survived, so far, but the fight to defend it is far from over. Why? This book will tell you who would benefit from the destruction of social security and how these individuals are trying to destroy it; it will also tell you who are the politicians and organizations that benefit from serving these socially destructive individuals. Brace yourself! Many that you assumed to be on your side are not. This book will also tell you about the heroic individuals and organizations who tirelessly defend social security on your behalf.
Senator Tom Harkin called the Obama 2% cut of social security taxes the unraveling of social security and there is no doubt that it has
been a major blow. Social Security is now in greater peril than it has ever been, but as this book shows the system has always been on the precipice, and the only reason it has survived is because of its defenders.
For all who believe in the system designed to put an end to "poverty-ridden old age," in Franklin Roosevelt's words -- and
for all those of who doubt the effectiveness of activism -- "The People's Pension", is a must read.
Much motivation for this comes from an exaggerated anti tax, anti govt philosophy of right wing billionaires, that would end up putting millions in poverty. They don't even pay into ss over 106,000, which should be raised now. They spread the myth that ss is in trouble and that it's related to taxes which it isn't, being a contract between employer and employee, both paying in.
The center right democrats who need campaign funds from wealthy anti ss donors are also to blame for allowing the rw ideas to take hold.
Other pillars of retirement funding for individuals have been ruined--private pensions and home equity. SS is a crucial pillar of old age that for many will be all they will have. Younger people will have to support their parents if ss is destroyed or weakened.This will affecttheir being able to afford college, setting up a career, home buying, starting a family, saving for their own retirement. So it will affect people in their teens through the 50s also. Most of the population is actually in financial peril from any weakening ss. The benefits now are too low as it is, especially compared to European benefits, as the author mentions. So they should be increased,not undermined.
One classic example is the George W. Bush Presidency, led by a man who campaigned off of promises of limited government intervention in the lives of US citizens. Yet only months within his presidency began an unprecedented expansion of executive power, which soon led to the unchecked expansion of an unconstitutional surveillance state, an increasingly unsustainable foreign military presence that weighed upon the lives of millions of Americans, and further degradation of trust in the nation's leading governmental institutions. Yet nearly every one of these actions was defended by George W. Bush's Republican colleagues/party members, and had similarly been portrayed by Right-wing media institutions as "necessary actions" in response to "specific domestic threats," despite their clear contradictions against the individualism that had been trumpeted by the Bush/Cheney campaign stickers.
Several years later, Barack Obama, a Democratic President, appears to have fallen in that same conundrum of political opportunism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating book!! If you've ever wondered about the origins of SSN and how it came to be--this book is a really good read!! I found it both eye-opening and troubling.Published on January 29, 2014 by David Johnson
Don't be fooled by fake pundits scaring you about the impending insolvency of the social security (and take tragic financial mistakes)- get the facts here from ERIC LAURSEN. Mr. Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Mukundagiri Sadagopan
This book perhaps should be considered the Masters Degree in Social Security education. Their is little or no time devoted in formal education to the importance of Social Security... Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by D. Kolar
This book is an excellent reporter's historical examination of the attacks on Social Security since the inception of the Reagan administration. Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by Karen MCCALL
Laursen's book is an excellent compliment to Nancy Altman's "The Battle for Social Security". Read morePublished on January 21, 2013 by S. Freeman
While you may not remember all the pertinent facts contained in this massive book, it will give you a firm foundation on how to assess the validity and motivation of those who say... Read morePublished on January 10, 2013 by Durant
long hairy wonky book. lots of behind the scene action in a era that will affect all of us even though most of us think it's old history. Not boring.Published on December 3, 2012 by Charles Humphrey