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

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

Cover of the book "People's Pension"
AK Press

On Friday, May 11th, 2012, Eric Laursen spoke about his groundbreaking historical account and analysis of the three decade struggle over Social Security, entitled: People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan. Social Security is arguably the most successful anti-poverty social program that the US has ever institutionalized and upkept. Laursen details how Social Security is the "glue" that binds Americans together as a community; as well as unveils in-depth research on revelations from: the Clinton Administration's plan to radically restructure Social Security, the retirement crisis, the personalities that have driven the three-decade long struggle to restructure/eliminate/defend Social Security, and the newest challenges we face in this recent financial crisis. 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 government—including economic support programs like Social Security. In one of the most important books of the year, questions asked include: Why is the most popular and successful social program in American history, responsible for lifting generations out of poverty, now under continual assault by elements of the U.S. political elite? And, what has changed in American politics, society, and economics to make this possible? In the end, Laursen suggests that the only solution is taking Social Security out of the government's hands altogether. Here is the audio from this important discussion.

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John is a member of the Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse Collective and is finishing a PhD at the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins on the history of the idea of self-organization.