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PORTSIDE  April 2012, Week 4

PORTSIDE April 2012, Week 4

Subject:

Tidbits - April 23, 2012

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:00:11 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (176 lines)

Tidbits - April 23, 2012

* Re: Social Security has a Large and Growing Surplus
  (Michael Kaufman)
* Re: Restaurant Workers Demand Equal Pay (Charles Lenchner)
* the poster the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn't want
  employees to see (Sam Talbot)
* Re: What it Means to be an Anti-Racist Feminist in the
  21st Century (Khawar Mumtaz)
* Re: 10 Things We've Learned About the Earth Since Last 
  Earth Day 
* Re: Two Members of Angola 3: 40 Years in Solitary
  Confinement (David McReynolds)

==========

* Re: Social Security has a Large and Growing Surplus

The contributions in the Tidbits of 4/21/12 by Harvey Lyon
and Charles Ostman are incorrect.  These comrades are under
illusions spread by the enemies of Social Security.

It is not true that the only one way to make good on the
bonds currently in the Social Security trust fund is to
raise taxes.  It is not true that the trust fund has in some
way been nefariously "borrowed", using the pejorative quote
marks.

These two assertions are talking points of the long standing
attackers of Social Security.

The bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund are the most
secure bonds in the world.  The US has never defaulted on US
Treasury  bonds.  It is a constitutional law that the US
government must honor those bonds before any other
creditors.

Of course it is true that worldwide capitalism is in crisis.
A worldwide crisis of under-employment and mass
emmiseration.

But that crisis is distinct from the US's obligations on
those bonds.  And the fight back to ending the wars, raising
taxes on the rich and corporations and  redirecting the U.S.
budget to human needs is part of the fight to defend Social
Security

In spite of the crisis, the whole world stores its extra
cash in US Bonds which are backed by the full faith and
credit of the largest economy in the world.  Those bonds are
the same ones that corporations buy, rich people buy,
foreign government buy, etc.

The anti-Social Security propaganda uses the pejorative
phrases " IOU", and "borrowed  trust funds", but the fact is
that Social Security is sound and only needs a little
tweaking  (ideally raising the cap) to get past the minor
difficulties which might be experienced in 2036 or 2037.

If no tweaking is done then there will still be enough money
to pay 75% of full benefits starting at that time - a
quarter of a century in the future.  And that money will
still last for another 75 years.

If nothing is done to fix the minor difficulty, the 75% of
benefits starting n 2036 will still be more than the 100% of
benefits that Social Security recipients are getting now.

There may be a "mother of all inter-generational wars", but
only if the attackers of Social Security win.  They've been
trying for 75 years, and have not achieved any of their
goals yet.

To help stop the right's attack on the Pearl of the New
Deal, please stop using right wing talking points, get
involved and do something concrete to defend this important
piece of social human caring.

In Solidarity,

Michael Kaufman

==========

* Re: Restaurant Workers Demand Equal Pay

Worth noting: the poorest paid workers in restaurant's are
the (often undocumented, latino) busboys, dishwashers and
delivery workers. Not to harsh on the food servers (I was
one of them for many years) but they aren't the lowest rung
on the totem pole.

I'd love a European style automatic service charge and end
the bizarre American fetish of tipping.

Charles Lenchner

==========

* the poster the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn't want
employees to see

Three links:

suppressed NLRB poster:
https://www.nlrb.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1562/employee_rights_fnl.pdf

short blog post -
http://followingsylvis.blogspot.com/2012/04/poster-us-chamber-of-commerce-doesnt.html

longer legal analysis -
http://blog.hreonline.com/2012/04/17/nlrbs-poster-posting-rule-struck-down-in-south-carolina/

Sam Talbot

==========

* Re: What it Means to be an Anti-Racist Feminist in the
21st Century

In the US, I am told, an "authentic" Muslim woman is the one
who is in some form of hijab or veil. The rest, I suppose,
are fakes or pretenders. Talk about stereo-typing! And
coming from feminists is alarming.

Khawar Mumtaz

==========
Re: 10 Things We've Learned About the Earth Since Last 
Earth Day 

There is a mistake in point three about
natural gas. In the short run, over 20 years, methane,
the primary component of natural gas, released into the
atmosphere is at least 72 and as much as 105 times as
bad as carbon dioxide as far as its climate forcing
impact.

Ted Glick


==========

* Re: Two Members of Angola 3: 40 Years in Solitary
Confinement

Whether Wallace and Woodfox were guilty of murdering a guard
at Angola prison, no act on their part can justify the
relentless hell of solitary confinement. Note that there
case has been taken on by Amnesty International.

Publications concerned with social justice and with prison
problems should carry information on this case.

David McReynolds

==========

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