We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, September 7, 2012

Interview with Eric Laursen on Social Security and The People's Pension

Click here to access article from Infoshop News. 

This author of a recently published tome entitled The People's Pension explains a number of things he has learned about Social Security while preparing to write his book. Here is one:
What's the biggest threat to Social Security today?
Not the right, but the center-right. In researching The People's Pension, I was amazed to learn how close Washington came to drastically restructuring Social Security during the second Clinton administration. His aides collaborated very closely with Newt Gingrich, behind the scenes and even after the Monica Lewinsky scandal hit, to figure out a plan to do it. Then the Republican Congress went ahead and impeached Clinton, and it was basically all over. But what struck me was how determined the leaders of both parties were to make a deal. In a way, the people who are most dangerous to Social Security aren't the Republicans, people like Gingrich and Paul Ryan. Their views are pretty well known, and they usually don't go all-out against Social Security because it would be too dangerous. The real threat is from center-right Democrats like Erskine Bowles, Sen. Mark Warner, and – at times – Barak Obama. They're protected by the fact that the Democratic Party created Social Security under Roosevelt. So voters and the national media tend to assume whatever they do must be with the best of intentions. And they're treated as heroes in the Washington media, which loves anyone who describes themselves as “bipartisan.”