« Maybe McCain is Lurching Left | Main | M$oft Loses in Court over Java »

December 23, 2002

More on Race, Social Security & Health

Following up on my post over conservative propaganda that minority groups lose out under Social Security:

The National Council for La Raza has a detailed fact sheet on latinos and retirement, with an emphasis on why social security is so valuable to blacks and latinos, despite propaganda otherwise. A basic reality:

Social Security benefits are the sole source of income for one-third of both Hispanic (33%) and Black recipients (33%), while the same is true for only 16% of White recipients.
And here's the real kicker for those arguing that blacks and latinos receive less from social security because they die earlier. While true, this ignores the fact that they also pay in less as well. As even the generally pro-privatization National Center for Policy Analysis notes (see question #17):
even though black workers get a lower rate of return, their overall expected loss from Social Security (discounted value of taxes minus benefits) is slightly smaller. Why? Because they earn lower incomes, they pay less in taxes. Thus, although their return is smaller, their "investment" in Social Security is also smaller. By contrast, the average white worker is forced into making a larger "investment" in Social Security.
So even on its own actuarial terms, the "blacks earn a poor return from social security" is false. But that doesn't stop the GOP from repeating the lie.

Trent Lott is gone, but replacing honest racism with lying propaganda is no great improvement by the GOP. In the last election, Gingrich's old outfit, GOPAC, was caught running radio ads comparing social security to reparations to whites-- a manipulation of civil rights rhetoric that so outraged black communities in those states that the Republicans were forced to yank the ads.

And as I noted in the first post on the issue, the outrage should not be at social security BUT AT THE FACT THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE DYING EARLY! For decades, blacks have been denied equal health care and even charged higher insurance rates (also here) than whites, and even when they have health care, they receive worse health care than whites. See more here.

Instead of shredding social security, if we built a real health care safety net, blacks would live as long as whites. If conservatives are really concerned about equity (rather than stockbroker profits from privatization) maybe they should support universal health care and the end of racist discrimination in health care.

But then-- the GOP just put a corporate medical man from HCA/Columbia in leadership. And HCA has led the way in undermining the health care of poor and minority communities. As this article details, HCA has been buying up the assets, then shutting down hospitals in minority communities across the country. As John Robinson of the Martin Luther King Community Center writes:

Discrimination is fueled not just by personal attitudes and hateful language but by dismissive and abusive corporate behavior toward minorities. Minority Americans are easy pickings for a moneyed giant such as Columbia/HCA Inc.

In the 1980s we heard a lot about corporate raiders. Today, we face a new threat: community raiders such as Columbia/HCA Inc. These raiders move from minority community to minority community, wringing out profits, destroying jobs, gutting vital services and then moving on to the next victim.

Social Security privatization is just the most audacious corporate raid in history. It adds the additional obscenity of using the language of equity to pursue its discriminatory and anti-poor agenda.

But we are living in the new age of Bill "medical fraud" Frist, not the crudities of Trent Lott. But it's the same old racist game, just with more corporate elegance.

Posted by Nathan at December 23, 2002 07:19 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)