Working people in U.S. mines, mills, factories, offices, classrooms and in every occupation imaginable do their part by showing up, putting in their time and effort, and often risking their health and safety.  Overwhelmingly, workers are sincere, responsible, and contribute mightily to corporate and investor profits.

Corporations and government agencies benefiting from this labor have a responsibility to provide for the economic security of the low and middle income employees, without whom they could not achieve their missions.  As U.S. workers reach a sensible retirement age of 60 to 65, many are unemployed and experiencing virulent age discrimination.  Many have occupational-related health problems for which they have not received disability compensation.

 In an enlightened capitalist society, the final stage of life would be seen as one in which everyone would have an opportunity to stop their daily work grind and fulfill needs that leisure would allow.  They have given to corporations and the government throughout their life. Their life past 60 should be a time when they are given leisure time with a modicum of economic security.  At the very least, they should have decent shelter, adequate nutrition, and basic health care.

So what is happening in the United States today?  We are seeing a mean-spirited move to decimate the social safety net for people of all ages.  This move is funded by billionaire funded conservative political movements ensconced in phony “think tanks” such as the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the racist Bradley Foundation (funder of the Bell Curve).  The billionaire Kochs are pouring money into the Tea Party, which feeds propaganda and ignorance to that portion of the masses responsive to scapegoating of teachers, public employees, the elderly and myths about budget deficits – as well as who is to blame for unemployment.

Social Security – along with Medicare, one of the two most decent and humane old age programs ever conceived – has been on the “hit list” of the right-wing, wealthy elite from its very inception (see my The Tallgrass Activist blog post, “The Koch Funded Cato Institute Waged Guerilla Warfare on Social Security and the Mainstream Media Bought Into It,” October 10, 2010).  The money poured into the propaganda campaign against Social Security has been so effective that even so-called moderate Democrats such as Senators Richard Durbin and Claire McCaskill are supporting extending the Social Security retirement age.

Obama Administration support for Social Security has been tepid at best.  These days, with the exception of a few representatives and senators, the Democratic Party is failing to “fight” for the rights of working people (for one exception, see The Tallgrass Activist, “Jan Schakowsky’s Deficit Reduction Plan: A True Progressive Plan For the Working People,” November 18, 2010).


  1. The article, though sad, is very true. Has this country not already tried leaving the elderly, the old aged ill, the “worked to the bone” to their own accord? Someone help me remember! Didn’t we have a culture of financially broke and physically broken aged people? Wasn’t that a disgrace, a drag on the economy, a morally wrong era of USA history? What has changed? Oh, I see, the Fundamentalist takeover of the Republican Party, and their innate hatred for the last 80 years of the “New Deal!” Some axes just never get grounded enough, eh? As well, shame of any Democratic politician, that chimes in with the Fundamentalists and attacks the decades old institutions of Social Security and/or Medicare, merely because of their fear of falling off the political fence. Remember that Iraq thing? How’s that workin’ for ya’?

    Thank you, Mr. Kingsley, for standing up for the working people!

  2. Hi Mr. Kingsley,

    It was nice to have met you and your companion in Madison on Saturday. I was sitting right next to her at the next table. I have posted your blog post to my facebook page. I certainly hope all this social networking is helping us keep the fight alive and moving forward. It was truly inspiring to meet you folks on my left side and the steelworkers from Philly on the right! You have inspired our group to keep working (recalls, recalls, recalls!). I feel so strongly that we can’t let up informing people on these attacks on middle class America. Thank you both for coming to Madison and I hope you were able to enjoy some leisure time here!
    Tonya Rasmussen
    1st and 2nd grade teacher
    Madison, WI

    • Thanks for your comment Tonya. The people of Wisconsin have done far more to inspire decent people all over the United States than we could ever do by a short trip to Madison to show our support. The least we could do is put our bodies on the picket line and at rallys.

      I wish I could tell you how much you have done for the working people here in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri. You have given us hope that the fight is worth it and that we can protect ourselves from the corporate funded right wing.

      We will remain in solidarity with you and stay in touch!

  3. I feel honored to have met you and now getting to know you! My hat is off to you and to whoever you are traveling with, to Madison. Stay strong!