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Sunday, May 13, 2012

HERvotes Blog Carnival: Women Need Economic Security

This article originally posted on Ms. blog  

May 11, 2012  

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In time for Mothers Day, the 12th HERvotes blog carnival is dedicated to getting the word out about economic security for women, especially in their retirement years.  Women need better benefits — not cuts — under social safety net programs.

The economic slump in both the U.S. and Europe has prompted elites to call for “austerity.”  But we know that’s just a code word for cutting social programs women rely on disproportionately.  It turns out, though, that politicians who champion “austerity” will pay a price at the polls.  Just look at Europe: Last week, French voters ousted Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek voters threw the government into crisis — mainly in reaction to harsh cuts in social programs and (in France) an increase in the official retirement age.  Voters get it: austerity leads to a stagnant economy.

Here in the U.S., austerity imposed by state and local governments has thrown hundreds of thousands of government employees out of work, the majority of whom are women.  Want to know why the unemployment rate, while declining, hasn’t gone below 8 percent yet?  It’s mostly because of spending cuts imposed by conservative state officials like Texas Governor Rick Perry, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and others.

Despite elites’ call for across-the-board federal budget cuts and reductions in Social Security benefits, women’s organizations are calling for improvements in those benefits — specifically, child care credits for those who drop out of the work force to care for children or ill or disabled family members; an improved minimum benefit for lifetime low-wage and part-time workers, who are disproportionately women; fairer rules for disabled widows and surviving spouses, benefit equality for working widows; and equal benefits for same-sex spouses and partners, among other improvements.

In a report to be released today (Friday, May 11), the National Organization for Women Foundation, with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare call for these improvements to be made. In “Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling: A Proposal to Modernize Women’s Benefits” (PDF) we call for updating the program to face the new demographic reality: many women are now both bread-winners and primary care-givers and our guaranteed social insurance system should recognize that fact.

*Join us by sharing the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.

*Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Read More:
My Time, Intellect, Skills and Labor are Worth Less than Those of My Male Peers? Really? Yes, Really.- Anny Bolgiano, Intern, Coalition of Labor Union Women

The Gifts Mothers Really Want- Ellen Bravo, Director, Family Values @ Work

Thank You, Mom, for Teaching Me to Be Safe and Secure- Malore Dusenbery, Special Populations Associate, WOW

Can’t Afford to Work?- Shawn McMahon, Manager of Research and Innovation, WOW

Making a Vital Lifeline More Secure for Women- National Organization for Women

#HERvotes, a multi-organization campaign launched in August 2011, advocates women using our voices and votes to stop the attacks on the major advances of the women’s movement, many of which are at risk in the next election.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Returning Economy to the Economy, to Education, to Culture, to the Environment

As a single woman, who full-time single parented for 23 years, while becoming better educated about emotional/psychological family history I inherited_ to bring up a healthier child & to heal myself responsibly_ I earned my first undergraduate degree at long last, along with the ever accruing interest of a 45k debt load.
Subsequently, I also experience almost 3 years of recession-related unemployment before that turned around wonderfully, yet in continual low-wage paying ways.

I have never had debt this high before.

Now, I am earning a second undergraduate degree.

In the community where I call home, there has never been a panacea of employment here. Yet, I have stayed to accomplish the needed inner healing work first.
Over time then, I have experienced getting stuck in one geographic location because not enough opportunity &/or resource in any one or combination of direction(s) could I make fit together to move on to the next place my life wants to be_ defining material success, greater participation & contribution.
To get where I am inside my sense of self today, I could not have functioned without having first intuitively learned what it takes for me to coordinate self-value with civic responsibility in pursuit of personal dreams, while having raised & love my only, highly independent-child-family_ well enough, to leave Family Of Origin dysfunctionalism behind in one generation. *Garden-variety dysfunctionalism found in 85% of American families to one degree or another.

Shame, avoidance, abandonment_ particularly the unconscious, self-negating & victim-identity kind_ expressing in the public/professional & private domains, as projected judgment toward all others, making up a large enough percentage of the gate-keeping negotiating resistance, as  to contribute significantly in stifling via obstacle-centered energy in the face of meaningful change, as the other side of many a reasonable issue requiring everyone's fully conscious capacity participation. Such as how to reasonably pay for such things as public educational access that requires a more consciously responsible availability on the part of everyone, in order to reach greater collective success for all really?!

What personal, local, state, national or international human systems of access best provide for a broader spectrum of more educated workers, entrepreneurs, retirees & leaders in this world?

I say come fearlessly together, to craft solution-centered responses that are not couched in self-serving negative, reactionary judgmentalism that is only disempowering for absolutely everyone. Leave behind past-looking story identification!

Actively engage. Empower self through constructive participation, to collectively find solution-centered answers that actually work for more & more of everyone_ without exception.

Get over fear from the inside expressing in ugly, destructive, intolerant, & even in passive/aggressive ways on the outside. The social world is reflecting this habit more & more in ways that increasingly impact everyones' capacity to access, grow and perpetuate well-being naturally. Money is not even a fully conscious tool in human interactions YET!

Stubborn, fear-based silence rooted in negative resistance, only pushes away at developing healthier individual coping skills. This quality of silence is only a way to fool one's self that others will/do not notice.

Other's DO notice.

The recession nationally, & internationally reflects what evolutionary progress we are in need of making collectively.

What do you need to learn to consciously love & value yourself so, you are more available to receive & co-participate in the reality of unconditional love in this world, together?

*Photo courtesy of thealiensinmybasement, as well as informed perspectives on this topic from, many other intelligent places on the web!