Democratic Left

The Scandal of Vast Inequality in Retirement Pay

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By Lawrence Wittner

Cato the Elder, a Roman senator and historian, once remarked:  “Cessation of work is not accompanied by cessation of expenses.”  For centuries, retirees have been aware of this unfortunate fact, which led them to demand and, in many cases, secure old age pensions to help provide financial security during their “golden years.”  But as indicated in a recently-released report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the financial security of retiring corporate CEOs is far, far greater than the financial security of average Americans.

According to the extensively researched IPS report, A Tale of Two Retirements, 100 corporate CEOs possess company retirement funds totaling $4.7 billion―an amount equivalent to the entire retirement savings of 41 percent of U.S. families (50 million families, including 116 million Americans).  The retirement funds of these 100 CEOs are also equivalent to those of 75 percent of Latino families, of 59 percent of African-American families, of 55 percent of female-headed households, and of 44 percent of white working class households.

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Radicals for our Time: The DSA Vision

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By Jared Abbott

Thanks to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and Donald Trump’s election as president, DSA’s membership has nearly tripled over the past year. Sanders brought the “S” word out of the closet, and Trump sent thousands of people in search of an effective organization both to fight the right and to push forward with Sanders’s political revolution.

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Sacramento Marchers Demand State Sanctuary Law

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By Duane Campbell

Over 1,500 marchers from around California descended on the Capitol on Wednesday March 15, to support the passage of SB 54: The California Values Act, which would significantly prohibit local law enforcement from coordination with federal immigration agents. While many cities, counties, school districts and universities have sanctuary policies, this bill would make such policies state law and shield many immigrants from mass deportation efforts of the federal authorities. The bill is strongly opposed by the Association of County Sheriffs who manage county jails and receive federal funds for their cooperation. 

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Defeat ‘Repeal and Replace’: Move towards ‘Medicare for All’

Democratic Socialists of America’s National Political Committee’s Statement and Fact Sheet on TrumpCare, the House Republican Plan to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act

March 15, 2017

For democratic socialists, the most reprehensible aspect of the House Reconciliation Budget Bill to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act is that it will gut Medicaid coverage and severely weaken Medicare’s viability as a single-payer system for the elderly and disabled. The bill does so in order to provide a major tax cut for the wealthy, equal to $650 billion over ten years. The bill would lead over 24 million individuals to lose health insurance coverage (according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office or CBO). The bill attacks the single-payer aspects of the U.S. health system (Medicaid and Medicare) in which the government as the sole insurer has the bargaining potential to curtail healthcare costs forced on us by private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

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Socialist Feminism & the Trump Regime

By Maria Svart

DSA has almost tripled in membership in the past several months and quadrupled in the number of organized local groups in red and blue states. Our growth alone shows that people want to be for something, not just against Donald Trump, and they want to have a voice. We have an ideological perspective that was missing from mainstream political debate until Bernie Sanders’s primary run, and it’s now on us to carry out a strategy to match. For this, we need a socialist feminist approach.

Building Bridges

What does it mean to bring a socialist feminist perspective to organizing? My own story may have some lessons in it. I grew up in a liberal but not left-wing household, watched my extended family win concessions from their bosses through participation in various unions, and became a feminist activist in college. My campus group promoted sex-positivity, abortion rights, and equal pay for women. But it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t satisfied but didn’t know why. Then I attended a Young Democratic Socialists workshop, and the socialist feminist ideas I heard there were like a bolt of lightning. Suddenly I realized what was missing!

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YDS: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

 

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Photo: Katie Schuering

Adam Cardo

From February 17-19, members of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) gathered for “Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump.” The first YDS conference since the post-Bernie/Trump boom, the gathering acted as a rally point for all our new members as well as the staging ground for building and confronting the new far-right administration.

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International Women's Day: Bread, Roses, and Rose

By M. Lehrer

In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory burned to the ground, trapping and killing 146 people--123 of whom were women, many of whom were supporting families--because the factory owners found it financially inconvenient to build fire exits. The funeral march for the victims drew a crowd of over 100,000. The memorial meeting was so big it was held at the Metropolitan Opera. One attendee, Rose Schneiderman, 29 years old, had been working since she was a child of 13. She stood in front of the people who had come to the meeting and surveyed the crowd. They were mostly wealthy, well-meaning women, many in the Women's Trade Union League, of which she herself was a member. They donated to the right causes and wrote letters to newspapers bemoaning the conditions of the factories and the foundries. They wanted words of comfort.

"I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship," she said. "This is not the first time girls have been burned alive in the city. Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers. Every year thousands of us are maimed. The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred. There are so many of us for one job it matters little if 146 of us are burned to death." She continued to the speechless crowd, "We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us." She wanted to comfort them, the good liberals of her time, but she couldn't. "I can't talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled."

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DSA In The News

"DSA In The News" is a roundup of recent media articles featuring DSA. It is based on links from Chicago DSA's New Ground.

  • DSA's massive growth in recent months continues to make headlines. This includes stories at Reuters and The Hill, as well as a video at Now This. It can't hurt, either, that Michael Moore urged others to follow him in joining DSA.

  • The real action is happening at the local level, as media outlets across the nation will tell you. From news of a new chapter in the Long Beach Post, to coverage of the first meeting of a new YDS chapter at the Georgetown Voice, to notes on new and renewed chapters in Idaho and Texas, there's plenty of hopeful signs that DSA may actually beat the Democrats to implementing a 50-state strategy.

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