Archive for May, 2010

75 Years Later, Social Security Is Still America’s Core Domestic Program

The Campaign for America’s Future holds its annual conference, this year titled America’s Future Now!, June 7-9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington. The politics of Social Security runs like a thread through the entire agenda. The titles of the various sessions tell the story. “The Great Debate: Progressive Strategy in the Obama Era.” […]

“Understanding the Crash” online

You wouldn’t expect an international financial crisis to have its origins in a modest home in a working-class neighborhood of Cleveland. But it did. Here, in words and pictures, is how it happened. Publishers Weekly has posted a chapter from Understanding the Crash (Soft Skull Press), the new graphic non-fiction book I’ve coauthored with Seth […]

Cato Premieres Its Latest Horror Show

Jagadeesh Gokhale is back with a new book laying out a fresh doomsday scenario for Social Security. But before dipping into the Cato Institute scholar’s (and Bush appointee to the Social Security Advisory Board) latest research-and-destroy mission, it’s useful to have a look at his past record as a budget analyst and champion of a […]

Retirement Calculators Critiqued

Columnist Mark Miller says on-line retirement calculators can be a minefield of misinformation: especially if you want a reasonable estimate of how your Social Security benefits will build up over time. The People’s Pension doesn’t often delve into matters of personal finance. But syndicated columnist Mark Miller, to whose blog and website,, we happily […]

‘Understanding the Crash’ Made Easy … Well, Easier

Understanding the Crash (Soft Skull Press) starts with a simple question that still haunts us all: What has happened to the world economy? Along with Seth Tobocman and Jessica Wehrle, I’ve co-authored a new book that explains how a housing bubble could build up and burst, triggering massive foreclosures, 10% unemployment, and a global recession. […]

The High Cost of Privatization

If Social Security was carved into a system of private accounts, how much would it cost the worker who depends on those accounts for his or her retirement? Too much. There’s a ton of news relating to the fate of social insurance, in the U.S. and worldwide: the Greek debt crisis, the Obama deficit commission, […]

The “Progressive” Road to Poverty

“Progressive indexing,” an idea that failed to rescue Bush’s doomed privatization campaign five years ago, is again the Flavor of the Month for Washington’s deficit hawks. Arguably, Steny Hoyer wouldn’t be House Majority Leader today if George W. Bush hadn’t made the fatal error of staking his second term as president on privatizing Social Security. […]