Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mayday! Mayday!

It's getting pretty bleak for socialists around the world. The Scots had to outsource their parade's Grand Marshaling to Vermont's Bernie Sanders, in Sri Lanka they're having to give thanks for the tsunami

Around the world, the corporate elites and their political servants have no solution to the unfolding crises confronting mankind. They are engaged in a bitter struggle against their rivals for markets, cheap labour and resources and at the same time waging a class war at home against the democratic rights and living standards of the working class.

The Asian tsunami disaster graphically exposed the inability of capitalism to provide for the most elementary needs of working people.

George W. Bush is now the friend of the low income working man:

In attempting to fix Social Security's long-term problems without raising taxes, President Bush has chosen to recast the 70-year-old retirement program as one that would keep the lowest-income workers out of poverty but become increasingly irrelevant to the middle class and the affluent.

Under Mr. Bush's approach of "progressive indexation," a typical low-income worker who earns about $16,000 a year today would be entitled to retirement benefits equal to about 49 percent of his or her wages, the same amount that is promised today.

But those earning an average income, about $36,500 in today's dollars, would see big changes. Instead of replacing 36 percent of that person's working pay, as promised under today's system, benefits would cover only 26 percent of pay by 2075. And people who earn $90,000 a year in today's dollars would continue to pay as much as ever in taxes but would receive benefits equal to only 12 percent of their pay.

And Mad Max has lost Michael Kinsley from the barricades:

My antennae sense a drift of Democrats towards a bipartisan benefit cut solution to the imaginary Social Security solvency problem. One signal is the awful Kinsley column today. As I said a while back, the scenario to dread is one wherein the Dems collaborate in benefit cuts while the Bushies say we tried to get you private accounts to lessen the pain of benefit cuts, just elect another ten R senators and you'll have the accounts. After all, "Everybody" agrees there's a problem.

This is the fruit of conceding that there is at least some kind of teensy-weensy problem with solvency that requires immediate action. Crappy arguments ('Maybe Saddam doesn't have WMDs') didn't stop the Iraqi invasion. They won't prevent privatization of Social Security either.

There is no gotdamn problem with Social Security. Not today, not in 2018, not in 2060.

Tantrums are the first sign you know you've lost the argument. I wonder if it's because he couldn't delete Kinsley's comments from cyberspace the way he does with them on his own comments section.

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