We don’t need a weatherman to tell us which way the wind blows; or even Bob Dylan to tell us the times they are a changin’. Politically, environmentally, socially, and economically; the World of 2014 is not the same as the one most of us knew when we set out on our journey of life. The older you are, the more pronounced is the change, and the more profound the challenges.
The maxim in North America used to be simple; finish your education, get a job, pay your taxes, save your money, and retire at 65. That’s the boilerplate version of the modern American life, but workers today increasingly doubt that model will ensure a dignified, let alone comfortable retirement.
With wages stagnant for more than a generation, and savings chewed up by out-of-sight housing costs, exorbitant student loan repayments, and astronomical catastrophic medical expenses, the prospects of even basic survival on meagre pensions seems unlikely. And, as depressing as all that seems, especially for those riding behind the demographic bow wave buoying the Baby Boomers, even the pittance you’re expected to live off after work is now the target of pitiless “retirement thieves.”
Paul Buchheit is an essayist, college educator, and lead author of the book, ‘American Wars: Illusions and Realities.’ An active member of US Uncut Chicago, Paul’s also the founder and developer of the social justice and educational websites, USAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, and RappingHistory.org. Paul Buchheit is too author of the article, ‘Retirement Theft in 4 Despicable Steps’ an examination of how, “American workers are being cheated out of the retirement they’ve paid for all their lives.”
Paul Buchheit in the first half.
And; speaking on behalf of all Canadians over the weekend, the prime minister expressed this nation’s condolences to Israel on the occasion of Ariel Sharon’s death. Not mentioned, naturally, were the myriad war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Sharon, both while prime minister of Israel and its minister of defense. Stephen Harper’s convenient occlusion of the facts is evident too in the overall relationship with Israel he and his Conservative party have fostered and strengthened during his tenure. As Harper put it Saturday, “Canada values its long-standing relationship with Israel, which is based on shared values, common interests and strong political, economic, cultural and social ties.” The prime minister’s respect-paying for ‘The Butcher of Beirut,’ as Sharon is also known, is just the latest expression of sympathy and support for the Zionist project in a relationship that long precedes the nation of Israel itself.
Yves Engler is a Canadian essayist, activist, and author of seven books on Canadian life, politics, and the role Canada plays in the world. His latest article, ‘The Long History of Zionism in Canada’ provides illuminating context for both the Harper party’s relationship with Israel, and how Canadian identity politics is played.
Engler’s Book titles include: ‘The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy,’ ‘Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping — The Truth May Hurt,’ ‘Stop Signs — Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay (with Bianca Mugyenyi),’ ‘The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy’ (Shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non Fiction in the Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards), ‘Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical,’ ‘Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority’ (co-authored with Anthony Fenton), and ‘Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.’ Yves is also co-author of the recently released ‘New Commune-ist Manifesto — Workers of the World It Really is Time to Unite.’
Yves Engler and Canada’s long history with the “light of freedom and democracy in what is otherwise a region of darkness” in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our city’s streets, and beyond too, in the coming week. But first, Paul Buchheit and the four despicable steps to stealing your retirement.