Archive | October, 2011

Intergenerational Theft?

29 Oct

U.S. poverty, inequality is among the worst in the “developed” world.

According to a new report by a German research institute, the US lags behind most countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization that includes most of Europe, plus the US, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Among the 31 countries ranked in the study, the U.S. is in the bottom 5 for overall social justice, poverty prevention, child poverty rates, and income inequality.

But perhaps the most interesting thing revealed in this study is the generation gap in social spending and economic opportunity that most of us have intuited. The U.S. is in the bottom ten on senior citizen poverty rates–but is ranked even lower for child poverty rates, just above Mexico, Chile, and Turkey. Do we care more about old people than we do about kids? The U.S. is also in the bottom half when it comes to intergenerational justice, a measure of three components: family and pension policies, environmental protection, and the politico-economic conditions being established for future generations. As you can see from the charts below, the U.S. ranks 20th in intergenerational justice, just below the Czech Republic, and just above the poorest countries on the list. Greece is at the bottom.

A 2007 USA Today report reveals that behind the growing wealth gap lies a generation gap. The baby boom generation benefitted from an unprecedented growth in the welfare state that provided white workers a pipeline to a secure middle class lifestyle through access to quality, affordable higher education; subsidized housing loans; favorable tax policies; and support for middle class wages. But this bounty of government goodies has been slowly chipped away in the post-Civil Rights Era, as people of color and women have just begun to gain access to the benefits that had enriched whites, and especially white men.

Today’s young people are going into more debt so they can earn less. Politicians regularly re-assure baby-boomers that the government is determined to honor their social security benefits–but the next generation will have to accept less. At the same time that young workers are instructed to adjust their expectations downward, they are also required to pay into the Social Security and Medicare funds upon which the boomers who rail against “Obamacare” rely.

If current economic and policy trends continue, the baby-boomers will leave behind a society that is poorer, dirtier, and more unequal. These trends cannot be allowed to continue.


November 2011 Action Kit!

29 Oct

Here are some important links for getting involved in the November 9 Week of Action and the movement to ReFund California and empower the 99%:

Teach the Budget

Get on the Bus for the Nov. 16 Day of Action!

UCSC students and workers will join in an action targeting UC Regent George Marcus, and then on to a mass rally at the UC Regents’ meeting at UCSF-Mission Bay and a march through the financial district to join Occupy San Francisco! Buses will be leaving the UCSC campus at 7:45am on November 16th and leave the Bay Area by 3pm.

Support the Movement!

  • Spread the word about the November week of action to defend public education. Download this flyer and post it around campus and the Santa Cruz County community.
  • Show your support. Download and display this pledge of support outside your office or workspace.

Join the Movement

  • Come out to the UCSC General Assembly on Thursday, Nov. 3, 7pm-9pm, in Stevenson 151, at UC-Santa Cruz! Download a flyer and pass on the news.
  • Sign up to help activists with tabling. Students are spreading the work on campus by talking to students and workers about the issues and the actions we are taking to make change. Spend a couple hours spreading the word and meeting the campus!

UCSC Disorientation Guide 2011!

24 Oct

The DisGuide is a resource for getting informed and involved in the UCSC and Santa Cruz activist communities. Check it out for info on the UC and ongoing social justice struggles on campus and beyond!

Disorientation Guide 2011

Pledge to support November 9

24 Oct

Sign the pledge here:

Teach the Budget Is Back!

24 Oct

We have a new, updated curriculum with surprising new figures on how the UC and the state of California are cheating students, workers, and educators. But the problems we are facing are more complex and serious and formidable than ever, so we’ve put together a couple of extras to help educators, students, and workers understand the nitty-gritty of the huge wealth-grab that has sent our economy tumbling:

Please help us spread the word by teaching the budget, sharing this link, and spreading the word that the California movement to defend education is back in action and ready for a fight!
Learn more about our new
Sign up to

Student loan debt tops $1 trillion

23 Oct

The issue of student debt has become a focus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but Washington has been largely silent on the issue, after slipping a huge overhaul of student lending into the 2010 healthcare bill.

Good news, Bad news — But mostly bad news The recent reforms actually did some smart things, like cutting out the banks, which will save billions of dollars, but they did little to help those already in the hole. Moreover, recent reforms slipped into this summer’s debt ceiling deal will cut federal subsidies for graduate student loans.

Are student loans the next bubble? Total student loan debt has now far outpaced household debt and credit card debt. Below are resources and graphics. If you have an analysis to share or more resources to suggest, please contact us through the comments.

Student Loans and Indenture

20 Oct