Social security for all — for now

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/04/01/social-security-for-all-for.html

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In the face of the largest unemployment chasm in US history …

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Dear friends, the Calvary isn’t coming, we are the Calvary, the US citizens are on their own, that $1200 isn’t enough to keep the US rolling along, and tRump Co. knows this.
Take care of each other, and if you can help others safely, do it.

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Of course Social Security is an entitlement.

I paid for it. I followed the rules. I am entitled to it. Entitled literally means “holding title to”, like you are entitled to your car; you hold the title on it; it means that you own something and you have the legal documentation to back that up.

I am sick and tired of people who don’t know the meanings of words trying to change their meanings so they can weasel out of their debts. ANYTHING that you are entitled to you deserve for one reason or another. Being entitled is the exact opposite of a false sense of entitlement; it is exactly NOT welfare or charity (neither of which are bad things, either).

Heck, the entire “Charity is Bad” thing from the religious reich tells you everything you need to know that they ain’t religious…

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Thank you for this: I wish someone in power on either side had the capacity to think about what life is like without paid-for homes and travel and their famous Senate Health Care Plan, but instead our best hope is some grotesque new set of Rube Goldberg means test crumb vending machines.

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Won’t happen unless the Cult of Mammon starts to actually think their heads might end up on a pike.

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I’ll see your SSI4ALL & raise you a Free Food Conspiracy.

SSI, food stamps & unemployment can become the basis for food co-ops, free clinics, free shows & communes.

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It’s hard to muster a mob to go put some heads on pikes while we’re under quarantine, we we’re kind of stuck in a catch-22.

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I’m a dyed-in-the-wool socialist, so I’m all for something like this, but keep in mind that I, and millions like me, have worked all of our adult lives in professions that do not contribute to Social Security, so there are no future payments to draw from.

In my case, it’s 30-plus years working for a municipality. I’ve got a pension waiting for me, but I can’t borrow against it.

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It’s the worst possible way to determine if someone needs the money, making them prove it up front through some complex proof requirement that adds a huge burden to the recipient and adds a huge cost and overhead to to manage it.

If we feel that there needs to be reductions in aid for people that have more, it should be done after the fact. Simply add it to the tax burden for the year. Have a progressive rate that taxes back more of the aid as the recipient’s income goes up. Taking back more of it slower than their income increases so there’s no cliff where making 1 more dollar forces you to pay back 2.

We already know how to collect taxes, already have all the infrastructure to collect them, and this bases the aid restriction on what happens at the same time the aid is needed. Someone who is decimated by the event but was fine last year gets the full aid with nothing recovered. Denying them aid because last year they had a good year but are now in need is simply cruel.

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What Denmark is doing is the best idea I’ve heard-- the economy goes into a “freeze” for a month, most people stay home, the government agrees to pay 75% of everyone’s pay to keep businesses from going under, and to keep people from losing their income.

The USA spends more on its military than the next eight nations combined. If this is war as Trump likes to say then we can surely afford to build fewer jet fighters and bombers this year so that money can go to making everyone safe medically and financially. The half-assed way we’re doing it now is just going to prolong the disease and prolong the crippling economic recession. I am still working, but I am watching my company slowly die, in a month I may be on unemployment and without health care. Imagine a huge percentage of US companies, big and small, going out of business and more unemployed than during the depths of the Great Depression. There is no free-market solution here.

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Still reading this, and agree with it so far, but I had to comment on this. Haaaaave you met our Government? The only “people” that matter are “corporate people”.

Maybe like a modern Pinocchio, “someday I’ll be a real corporation!”

(ETA) regarding bad things happen at random, you know it’s true, I know it’s true, but a shit ton of people seem to feel bad things only happen to bad people because God. I’m hoping this really shakes up that belief.

When disaster strikes, it blows the lid off and exposes the economic disparity like a diorama of American life. It reveals the weaknesses of our social services infrastructure.

I prefer to think of it as pulling the bark off the log and revealing all the things wriggling beneath that are eating away at our existence. But to each their own metaphor.

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On the other hand - pikes are appropriate for social distancing…

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It seems like nearly every older couple in my neighborhood going on their daily walks is carrying a non-sharpened version of these.

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Wow, I looked out the window, and BANG, there are two old folks walking with sticks.

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I would like to put this here lest someone think that the $1200 check is all that was passed and so not receive their temporarily expanded unemployment benefits.
https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/03/heres-a-quick-primer-on-the-new-expanded-unemployment-benefits/

You are not eligible for benefits if you can telecommute or you’re on sick leave.

You must provide self-certification that you are unemployed or partially unemployed or unavailable to work because:

  • You or a family member has COVID-19.
  • You are providing care for a family member with COVID-19 or for a child whose school is closed.
  • You can’t get to work because of a quarantine or self-quarantine.
  • You were scheduled to start work but your job was canceled or you are unable to reach the job due to COVID-19.
  • Your place of employment is closed or you have to quit your job due to COVID-19.
  • You are the main breadwinner for your household because your spouse died as a direct result of COVID-19.

How much will you get?

  • You will receive what you would normally get under your state’s laws plus $600 per week.

Even if you are not eligible for benefits under your state’s laws (for example, because you are self-employed) you will still receive:

If you apply for benefits in March and use them through July, you will receive your regular benefits plus approximately $12,000 in expanded benefits. That’s ten times the amount you’ll get from the stimulus checks.

How long will you get expanded unemployment benefits?

  • Normal extended benefits are authorized for a period of 39 weeks between January 27 and December 31.
  • The $600 bonus is authorized through July 31, 2020.
  • There is no one-week waiting period. Benefits begin as soon as you become eligible.
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I haven’t rented in a long time (thank the stars!), but I imagine any landlord in their right mind would find a reasonable way to help their tenants out during this insanity. I mean, if they evict, who do they think they’re gonna replace with? Ain’t nobody working. Of course, I know many a landlord ain’t in their right mind to begin with…so there’s that.

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To be effective, its not necessary to put heads on spikes. Its only necessary to withold cooperation.

The drawacks to misbehavior are getting diminished every day.

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Agreed.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stated Sunday that Americans could live on $17 per day.

I wish someone would challenge him to give it a try for six months. Watching his attempt could become the new national pastime (if a few more wealthy, clueless people would participate and try to beat his record). Betting on how long any of them might last could work out better than the lottery.

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“For those who do need it, benefits advanced now could be deducted from their future Social Security benefits when they retire or become disabled.”

This is the part that doesn’t make sense to me. Our social safety net is paltry because those resources have gone to the wealthy for decades, leaving us with nowhere to turn for support in a crisis. It’s time for the rich to give some of that money back by paying some f*****g taxes to. Borrowing from the funds we’ve been contributing all this time, only to have to pay it back from an already frugal retirement fund when we can’t work any more, is not a good solution.

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