Friday, December 24, 2010

Corporate America's Plan to Loot Our Pensions

Simply put, the elderly are superfluous to capitalism. With high rates of joblessness the “new norm,” more and more people are being made disposable. This leads to an efficient if brutal logic: cutting old-age income and health care will make it easier to scrap old, useless workers. In fact, this reality is already coming to pass. One study published in 2008 found that over a 16-year period life expectancy had declined for many poor American women — precisely those who are disproportionately represented among the elderly heavily dependent on Social Security and Medicare.

Slashing social services affects everyone by increasing the pool of workers desperate for any sort of paying job, pushing down wages and benefits. This will all be pushed under the rubric of “personal responsibility,” and it will probably be successful as long as opposition is weak and divided. The main beneficiaries will be the super-wealthy who gain both from tax cuts as the social sector is chopped up and higher corporate profits as wages and benefits are slashed more deeply.'


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