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Coalition Unites Against Privatization

The coalition New Century Alliance for Social Security, made up of civil rights, labor and women’s rights groups, has formed to denounce proposals to privatize social security in the United States.

“Privatization is pro-market, but it is anti-worker and anti-family,” said Jesse Jackson, President of the Rainbow/Push Coalition. Members of the coalition include John Sweeney, AFL-CIO President; Patricia Ireland, President of the National Organization for Women; NAACP President Kweisi Mfume; and National Urban League President Hugh B. Price, and others.

Members of Congress, many Republicans, and some Democrats support the privatization of Social Security because they believe workers could increase their savings by putting money into the stock market rather than allocating their money to Social Security, which places their money in government bonds.

Coalition members have expressed uneasiness over placing so much trust in the stock market without guarantees of who would oversee accounts and what safeguards would be in place to combat fraud.

Last week, women’s organizations held a press conference demanding that women’s rights must be placed at center stage in the Social Security debate and that women’s groups be included in decision making. National women’s leaders, including Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, also attended the White House conference on Social Security.

The Feminist Majority Foundation has advocated the following social security reforms to improve treatment of women in Social Security by eliminating current inequities:

Establishing earning sharing allocating 50% of both spouses’ earnings to each spouse so that each individual pays into the social security system and collects benefits in her or his own right.

Crediting, rather than penalizing, individuals providing child care or elderly care for their families.

Changing distribution of spousal and primary earner benefit to 75% of total benefit for spouse and 75% of total benefit for primary earner. Currently, the primary earner receives 100% and the spouse 50%.

Raising the cap on social security taxes in order to remove the additional tax burden on secondary wage earners.

Sources:

Womenconnect.com - December 8, 1998