Clayton Morgareidge hosts this Old Mole that, in addition to a discussion about the Syrian civil war and other mid-east conflicts, converges on a theme of social democracy under attack and the political stakes in its being defunded.
Joe Clement reads a short commentary about food stamps in terms of class warfare, and to that end as supporting the working-classes' capacity to organize and be organized to radical ends. 7:58 minutes (4.56 MB)
Jan Haaken talks with Universal Healthcare advocate, Chris Lowe, about Obamacare. Jan questions Chris about how to understand what's worthwhile and regressive in Obamacare from the perspective of those of us who believe healthcare should be universal. They talk about social democracy, the way that the government shutdown is being used to make us cynical about the state, and how we need to contextualize the kind of services the State offers and threatens to take away. 13:11 minutes (7.54 MB)
Frann Michel brings us the Well-read Red, this time focusing on pension-raiding under neoliberalism and the PERS system in Oregon, which Governor Kitzhaber has advocated cutting in order to make up for education cuts. In Frann's words: let's pit old people against young people. Frann explains how public pensions work, how they've been raided in the name of investment and the false crisis this creates. You can read the blogged version of it with links HERE 7:50 minutes (4.49 MB)
Last week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called for a special legislative session (to begin 8am September 30th) noting that "we have an opportunity to combine cost savings from reforms to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and new revenue to restore lost school days." In other words, maybe we can remedy some of the draconian cuts made to education in recent years by slashing the pensions of retired teachers and other public workers. Or in other words, let's pit old people against children.