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The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan (AK Press)
Journalist Eric Laursen will discuss and sign his new book on the decades-long attempt to dismantle or diminish Social Security.
"Laursen has given us a comprehensive account of the three decade long war against Social Security. . . . This is a fascinating history that progressives must learn, not only to protect Social Security but also to understand the dynamics behind an effective long-term strategy." --Dean Baker, author of False Profits: Recovering From the Bubble Economy
"This magnificent history documents the hydra-headed campaign to cut and kill Social Security, conducted over decades by rightwing bankers, foundations, economists, and politicians. [The People's Pension] is utterly urgent."--James K. Galbraith, author of The Predator State
"Independent financial reporter Laursen offers a breathtakingly comprehensive look at the history and politics behind 'the largest income support program in the U.S.,' ... Comprehensive and compelling reading on an important topic." --Booklist, starred review
Eric Laursen, born 1960, is an independent financial and political journalist, activist, and commentator. A native of San Francisco and graduate of Columbia University in New York (B.A. in History, Master’s in International Affairs), he began his journalistic career as a reporter for Wall Street Letter, a weekly newsletter for the financial services industry. He later worked for a succession of publications: as a staff writer for Corporate Finance Magazine; editor of Asset International, a weekly newsletter for international investment firms; and as co-founder and managing editor of Plan Sponsor, the leading monthly magazine for North American pension executives. It was there he became interested in the debate over Social Security. An independent journalist since 2000, Eric has written for publications ranging from Z Magazine and The Nation to Institutional Investor and CFO. His specializations are national politics, retirement and aging, global trade, U.S. fiscal policy, social services, business and financial services, civil liberties, and alternative economics.
Social Security, not for nothing do politicians call it the “third
rail of American politics—touch it, and you die.” Yet a powerful,
well-funded movement to phase out Social Security or even privatize it
has been gathering strength since the election of Ronald Reagan. Each
time it comes close to succeeding, it’s beaten back by a coalition of
labor, grassroots organizers, and the elderly. Meanwhile, Social
Security has only become more vital to retirees and their families as
the federal and state governments slash other benefits and services—a
trend that’s grown ever more troubling in recent years.
The People’s Pension is both groundbreaking history and an
eye-opening guide for anyone concerned about one of the biggest issues
of our times. With 95 percent of Americans participating in the
program either as beneficiaries or through their payroll tax
contributions, Social Security is quite literally the glue that binds
Americans together as a community. In a provocative epilogue, Laursen
argues to democratize, not disable, the program, suggesting that the
only solution for Social Security may be to de-link it from government