The fertility rate in the United States has been steadily falling, so much so that without immigration our population would be declining. This is the seventh straight year fertility rates have fallen. In 2017, the nationwide fertility rate was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age—well below the rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women necessary to keep the population stable. Only two states—South Dakota and Utah—had birth rates above replacement levels.
On the Senate’s last day in session in December, it approved the government’s $1.1 trillion budget for coming fiscal year.
Few people realize how radical the new U.S. budget law was. Budget laws are supposed to decide simply what to fund and what to cut. A budget is not supposed to make new law, or to rewrite the law. But that is what happened, and it was radical.
What will happen to our Social Security benefits? This question is being asked by the program’s 56 million recipients in response to the Obama administration’s proposal to cut the annual cost-of-living raise for all who receive these monthly checks, as part of his 2014 budget.
Michael Hudson: Obama’s “bargain” on social security reform will push more retirees into poverty in exchange for a minor increase in high end income tax – a class that receives most revenue from capital gains.
Joseph Minarik (former chief economist of the Office of Management and Budget for eight years during the Clinton Administration) and economist Richard Wolff take on President Obama’s proposed changes to Social Security.
Erik Laursen, author of The People’s Pension, The Struggle To Defend Social Security Since Reagan, describes the three decade long war against Social Security, beginning with its origins in the bowels of the Reagan administration, and the dynamics behind an effective long-term strategy, a look at the decades-long ideological attack on this all-important program, the hydra-headed campaign to cut and kill Social Security, conducted over decades by rightwing bankers, foundations, economists and politicians.
In a country where the common attitude seems to be “every man for himself,” students need to band together to fight for their education among other public programs, said Noam Chomsky addressing more than 800 students at East Stroudsburg University on February 6, 2013.
Society, or the common good, as Chomsky called it, encourages people to focus on themselves and their own success. Programs such as public education and Social Security, which are now under attack, are based on a different perception.
“They are based on the perception that we should care about other people….That’s a dangerous perception. It means you should be a human being and not a pathological creature.”
Mr. Chomsky also gives an a long historical perspective to the educational system and how it has been used not for the common good but rather for the special interests of those who have power and money.
How today’s fiscal austerity is reminiscent of World War I’s economic misunderstandings
When World War I broke out in August 1914, economists on both sides forecast that hostilities could not last more than about six months. Wars had grown so expensive that governments quickly would run out of money. It seemed that if Germany could not defeat France by springtime, the Allied and Central Powers would run out of savings and reach what today is called a fiscal cliff and be forced to negotiate a peace agreement.
by Dennis Kucinich
December 20, 2012
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today strongly objected to a proposal to cut Social Security benefits. The White House suggested a reduction in Social Security to cut costs as part of the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations. The proposal called the “Chained Consumer Price Index” would result in a reduction of benefits for Social Security recipients even though Social Security does not contribute to the debt and should not be part of debt reduction negotiations.
The pace of Wall Street’s war against the 99% is quickening in preparation for the kill. Having demonized public employees for being scheduled to receive pensions on their lifetime employment service, bondholders are insisting on getting the money instead. It is the same austerity philosophy that has been forced on Greece and Spain – and the same that is prompting President Obama and Mitt Romney to urge scaling back Social Security and Medicare.
Last week’s dismal “data dump” has ended all talk of a strong recovery in the US. Retail sales, factory output, jobless claims, consumer confidence, business investment and existing home sales are all down sharply indicating that the US economy is decelerating and may be headed for recession.
The Obama administration was warned repeatedly that activity would slow when the $800 billion fiscal stimulus (ARRA) ran out and net government spending became a drag on growth. But Obama’s chief economics advisor, Lawrence Summers, shrugged off these warnings in order to keep the economy sputtering along at half-speed. Summers figured that bigger deficits and slower growth would create the rationale for slashing entitlement spending and crushing organised labor (particularly, public unions) In other words, the economy is weak, because the policy was designed to make it weak. Mission accomplished.
In this edition of the show Max interviews Michael Hudson from Michael-Hudson.com. He talks about the fictitious capital; what it is? And who is pushing it? Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971).
The Social Security program…represents our commitment as a society to the belief that workers should not live in dread that a disability, death, or old age could leave them or their families destitute. -– President Jimmy Carter, December 20, 1977.
[This law] assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half century ago… Continue reading →