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View Diary: Can you work against the social safety net and still call yourself a Democrat? (173 comments)

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  •  FDR, the corporatist hack (5+ / 0-)

    FDR talked up old-age pensions during his 1932 presidential campaign, but they were far from being a major Democratic issue.

    Developing some form of “social security” system only became urgent when the Townsend Clubs, a multi-million-strong movement, focused attention on the dire condition of the elderly and gathered nearly overwhelming grassroots support for generous guaranteed old-age income payments. Bankers, conservative lawmakers, and mainstream economists were alarmed when the Townsend plan came close to passing Congress.

    The president had to offer a counter-proposal – yet he had to structure it so as to reassure fiscal conservatives that it wouldn’t break the bank. This political reality, as much as any deeper inclination, may have underpinned FDR’s desire to make Social Security strictly self-funding in 1935.

    ...In the resulting 1939 Amendments to the Social Security Act, everyone got some of what they wanted. The benefit formula was liberalized. Initial payments moved up to 1940. Spouses and other dependents received coverage. Payroll taxes were reduced and a scheduled increase was rolled back from 1940 to 1942.

    teh cuts.  teh cuuuuuuuts!!!  

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:52:56 AM PST

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    •  I wonder if one needed ration coupons (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Cedwyn

      to buy cat food back then?

    •  naturally social security has not been improved (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, joanneleon, aliasalias

      since 1942, it has not been important to democrats and the american people could take it or leave it, they have little interest in it.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:19:48 AM PST

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      •  Snark? Must be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Progressive Pen

        Because anyone who doesn't think the Social Security Amendments of 1950 (which introduce the concept of COLA) and the Social Security Amendments of 1956 (which initiated Social Security Disability) were improvements is a moron.

        And since Joe clearly isn't THAT I must be on a severely irony deficient diet and have my snark detector turned down to zero.

        Joe throw me a life ring here. Because I am drowning in a sea of wit over my head. At least I hope so. - SocSec.Defender at - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

        by Bruce Webb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:52:19 PM PST

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    •  And for another contribution (7+ / 0-)

      toward a realistic history of the social safety net, I recommend, "The Echoes of Slavery: Recognizing the Racist Origins of the Agricultural and Domestic Worker Exclusion from the National Labor Relations Act," published by the Ohio State Law Journal of the Moritz Law School at Ohio State last year.  This piece discusses the general exclusion of Blacks and Latinos from the New Deal, and is a must read for anyone who wants to discuss current circumstances in a manner that does not romanticize the New Deal.

      •  my intent is not to romanticize the new deal... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, joanneleon, aliasalias

        or to point to a "golden age" when democrats were democrats and things were good(tm).

        my intent is to show that there has been a deal that was struck between the democrats and a constituency and that they are now at the point of breaking that deal in a way that will be impossible for their constituency to ignore because it will be painful for that constituency.  when they feel the pain, they are going to be looking for who caused it and while i'm sure that the corpodems will be happy to piss on their legs and tell them that it's raining, they will probably not go for that.

        there are lots of democrats on this site that are smart enough to figure these things out.  it's up to us to make the party do the right thing for its traditional constituency or truthfully stand up and say that we are abandoning them.

        i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

        by joe shikspack on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:56:49 AM PST

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        •  And it's "traditional constituency" is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          puakev, tardis10

          who?  White working class people, or the multiracial working class that the Democratic party long treated as second class citizens, at best?  I suggest that an uncritical discourse organized around the benefits of a Herrenvolk democracy is not the path forward in this discussion.

          •  the common man (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the group of its stated ambitions.  the marquee group.

            parties are judged on the coincidence of their rhetoric and their actions as you are doing above.  that is what i am doing as well.

            trust me, i have not for a moment thought of the democratic party as some paragon of perfection.  your attempt to point out that the democratic party is imperfect is unnecessary.

            the question is, do you want to make them do the right thing or do you want to spend time explaining that they have always been a bunch of gas bags and liars, they have rarely done the right thing for everybody and we can't really expect any better out of them - or do you want to step up and do something about it?

            are you a democrat?  do you vote for democrats?  why are you participating in this racist, flawed institution if you have such a clear-eyed view of their many faults?  because it's always been that way and doggone it, you like it like that?

            i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

            by joe shikspack on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:44:38 AM PST

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    •  In comparing the SS Act 1935 with the (4+ / 0-)

      amendments of 1939, let's all hope that any changes this admin. keeps signaling are as favorable. I'd forgotten how much was added before Ida May Fuller even received that first check. Handy-dandy chart here:

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:50:17 AM PST

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