The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-05-29
  • Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist

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"Laursen has given us a comprehensive account of the three decade long war against Social Security. . . . This is a fascinating history that progressives must learn, not only to protect Social Security but also to understand the dynamics behind an effective long-term strategy."Dean Baker, author of False Profits: Recovering From the Bubble Economy "This magnificent history documents the hydra-headed campaign to cut and kill Social Security, conducted over decades by rightwing bankers, foundations, economists, and politicians. [ The People's Pension] is utterly urgent."James K. Galbraith, author of The Predator State The People's Pensionis both groundbreaking history and an indispensable guide for anyone concerned about one of the biggest issues in the upcoming election. With 95 percent of Americans participating in the program either as beneficiaries or through their payroll tax contributions, Social Security is quite literally the "glue" that binds Americans together as a community. Yet in the aftermath of the debt reduction deal between Barack Obama and congressional Republicans, the 2012 election promises to be a kind of referendum on the size and role of governmentincluding economic support programs like Social Security. Arguing to democratize, not disable, the program, Eric Laursen suggests that the only solution for Social Security is taking it out of the government's hands altogether. Eric Laursenis an independent financial and political journalist, activist, and commentator. The co-founder and former managing editor of Plan Sponsor, a magazine for pension fund executives, Laursen is also the co-author of Understanding the Crash(2010). His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Huffington Post, The Nation, Institutional Investor, The Village Voice, and Investment Dealer's Digest.

Author Biography

Eric Laursen is an independent financial and political journalist, activist, and commentator. He is co-author of Understanding the Crash (2010), and his work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Nation, The Village Voice, Z Magazine, The Indypendent, and the Huffington Post. He lives in Buckland, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
Social Security and the Reagan Revolution (1981-83)p. 31
A New Dealp. 33
"A Despicable Thing"p. 51
The "Third Rail" of American Politicsp. 67
"Watching for the Commission"p. 79
The Compromise of 1983p. 95
The Movement against Social Security is Born (1983-94)p. 111
Making the Casep. 113
"Generational Equity"p. 131
The War against the Geezersp. 153
The Anti-Deficit Obsessionp. 171
The Struggle for Austerityp. 187
Bob Kerrey Gets His Pulpitp. 203
Tax Cuts and Magic Bulletsp. 211
Selling Privatization (1994-96)p. 223
"Just About Unanimous"p. 225
Privatization Repackagedp. 233
Wall Street Enlistsp. 243
"What's In it for Me?"p. 251
Scary Numbersp. 265
The "Intergenerational Chain Letter"p. 275
Modest Proposalsp. 293
Chile's Pension Revolutionp. 307
Mating Dance (1996-99)p. 319
The Pension Revolution Comes Homep. 321
"Save Social Security First"p. 341
The Debate Hits the Roadp. 355
Democratic Backlashp. 369
"So Surreal You Wouldn't Believe It"p. 379
The Unbridgeble Gulfp. 387
Washington Politics and Public Opinionp. 405
The Social Security Electron (1999-2000)p. 419
The Politics of Prosperityp. 421
Bush vs. Gorep. 427
The Road to Floridap. 439
The Ownership Society (2001-05)p. 451
The Vanishing Surplusp. 453
A Zero-to-One Shotp. 459
The Bush Commission Puntsp. 471
Guns and Butterp. 481
Reaching for a Mandatep. 493
Karl Rove's Dreamp. 503
Bush Rolls the Dicep. 517
"We Need Public Pressure"p. 529
Propaganda and Politicizationp. 541
A Tipping Pointp. 551
The Republican Debatep. 561
Back to Austerity (2006-11)p. 573
"No One Is Talking Anymore About a 'Permanent Republican Majority"p. 575
The Rebirth of the Pain Caucusp. 589
Obama vs. McCainp. 609
Obama Stumblesp. 627
The Deficit Commissionp. 649
The Return to Austerityp. 669
The Retirement Crisisp. 693
Epiloguep. 705
Bibliographic Notep. 727
Notesp. 731
Indexp. 785
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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