Americans support guaranteed pensions – plus: gas taxes, early literacy and the new conventional wisdom on paying for health care

January 16, 2009 | Aaron Keating

Americans concerned about retirement, supports guaranteed pensions: A national public opinion survey reveals widespread retirement insecurity among Americans.  Current economic conditions have more than eight out of ten Americans worried about their ability to retire. Some 71% indicate they feel it is harder today to retire as compared to previous generations. The findings also indicate that Americans believe pensions can help reduce insecurity, with 55% expressing that a pension would increase their own retirement confidence and 84% saying that policymakers should make it easier for employers to offer pensions. Further, nearly nine out of ten Americans believe all workers should have a pension plan.

Gas prices are down — time for $1/gallon tax?: Washington state’s economy is headed for the worst time since the Great Depression and our state is facing a huge deficit, notes developer Ron Sher. Now we will need more than ever to provide for the needs of our citizens and what better way than by imposing a $1-per-gallon gas tax to raise money and encourage people to continue to make environmentally responsible choices.

Oregon envisions gas tax based on miles, not gallons: The Oregon Department of Transportation is in the early stages of an experiment to meet the expected decline in gas tax revenue by developing a transportation tax system that is based not on gallons purchased at the pump but on miles traveled within the state.

Move over, conventional wisdom: look who’s ready to ante up for health care: Small businesses are among the groups hit hardest and left most vulnerable in our current health insurance system.  Yet, the small business community has been almost uniformly typecast as down on reform.  So goes the conventional wisdom.  But is it true?

Women need an economic recovery too: President-elect Obama can get the economy moving again by advancing gender equity instead of reinforcing the wage gap between men and women, which particularly hurts poor women of color. Feminist historians, economists and writers agree that we should rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges, make buildings energy efficient, and extend the information highway. But we also need to enhance the social infrastructure, bolstering not only a green economy but also the carework economy, by generating and improving pink jobs in home care, health and education.

Decoding the national report on early literacy
: Last week, the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) released the results of its six-year effort to review and synthesize all available research about what works in preparing young children, from birth to age 5, to read. The fact that the report was released on the seventh anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act is no accident – the report serves as a reminder that early literacy programs work, and they are crucial if we are to achieve the law’s goals of improving student achievement and narrowing achievement gaps.

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, Health Care, Retirement Security, Retirement Security Accounts

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