Pope’s ‘liberal’ views on capitalism freaking out conservative Catholics in Congress

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/26/popes-liberal-views-on-capitalism-freaking-out-conservative-catholics-in-congress/

By Travis Gettys
Thursday, December 26, 2013

Catholic Republican lawmakers are rattled by Pope Francis, whose recent comments have shaken up assumptions about their church and its relationship to their political party.

While church leaders have for years challenged the Republican Party on some social issues, including the death penalty and immigration, conservatives have generally marginalized their concerns as insignificant or irrelevant.

But the new pontiff has attracted too much attention with his call to focus less on divisive social issues and more on helping the poor and vulnerable.

Pope Francis has drawn sharp criticism from the hugely influential Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives for his remarks on the unrestrained free market and “trickle-down” economics, which he dismissed naïve and unsupported by the facts. Limbaugh branded those statements as “pure Marxism,” but Sarah Palin was less harsh, admitting only that the pope’s statements sounded liberal to her, and her former 2008 running mate offered mixed reviews.

“His economic perspective I’m not particularly enamored with, but his advocacy for the poor, his lifestyle example, his more modern outlook on social issues — I’ve been very impressed,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) attended Catholic school as a youngster and graduated from Notre Dame’s law school, said he found the pope’s reference to “trickle-down economic” demeaning and off-putting, but he said the pontiff’s message should be considered in context.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/26/popes-liberal-views-on-capitalism-freaking-out-conservative-catholics-in-congress/

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Your Terrifying Retirement Future: Why Millions Risk Sliding Into Poverty As They Age

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/maya-rockeymoore-racism-and-sexism-retirement-fiscal-policy

Low wages, low or no savings, and low Social Security benefits. The future is not bright, especially for women and minorities.

By Steven Rosenfeld
December 23, 2013

(Editor’s note: This AlterNet interview is part of our expanded focus on modernizing Social Security, which, to us means increasing benefits where needed and ensuring its long-term funding. Dr. Maya Rockeymoore is a longtime advocate for racial justice. She is chair of the National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare and president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions. She spoke to AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld about how America’s retirement crisis affects communties of color and women.)

AlterNet: There’s a lot about America’s growing retirement security crisis that’s not fully appreciated by the public, especially when it comes to the harmful impacts on communities of color and women. Tell us how unless we as a country have an honest discussion about this, and expand Social Security, that tens of millions of people will literally slide into poverty as they age.

Maya Rockeymoore: There is no way we cannot have this discussion given the nation’s changing demographics. The rising majority will be primarily Asian-American, African-American and Latino-American. The fact of the matter is those people are already here. Of all the babies born today, a majority are children of color. By 2019, a majority of all children under the age of 18 will be from these racial and ethnic, quote-unquote, minority groups. And by the by 2043, the nation will be majority minority.

The benefit cuts that austerity proponents are talking about today will be fully shouldered, if they ever were to pass, by a nation that looks very different than it does today. And so when you’re talking about cutting Social Security now, most proposals are not talking about cutting it for current retirees. They’re talking about implementing changes that would affect today’s youth. You should understand that you are primarily cutting benefits for a generation of young people who the odds are stacked against them having any type of retirement security.

AlterNet: And that’s on top of what’s shaping up as a retirement crisis for baby boomers.

Maya Rockeymoore: We’re already a nation experiencing a retirement crisis. The private sector mostly does not have defined benefit pensions anymore. And 401Ks have been a failure. What many people fail to appreciate is that communities of color have less access to retirement savings vehicles on the job than do white Americans. And unfortunately, even when they do have access, they are either more likely not to take advantage of it, or more likely to take loans out of it. So what we have is a population, that by virtue of their inconsistent relationship with the labor market, which is rooted in historical inequities, are already disadvantaged when it comes to retirement security.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/maya-rockeymoore-racism-and-sexism-retirement-fiscal-policy

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Billion-Dollar Climate Change Denial Network Exposed

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