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Friday, January 3, 1997

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  • Will the push for Social Security privatization succeed next week?

    Next week, a Health and Human Services commission will release its report on the state of Social Security. Professor Ghilarducci lays out the economics as well as politics of Social Security and traces back the history of privatization as a solution for Social Security problems. She reports Wall Street is currently promoting change in the system to divert social security contributions to individual IRAs. The move, which could create 130 million new accounts, could keep the stock market booming for a while. Other implications of the change would be to raise the retirement age as well as extending coverage to local and state employees.
    Segment Subjects (keywords for the segment): Social Security, Privatization, Economy, Labor.
    Guest Names: Teresa Ghilarducci (Economics professor at University of Notre Dame)

  • Testimony From Javier Diez Canseco, Peruvian Lawmaker and Former Hostage

    While the Peruvian government hardens its stance as the hostage crisis nears its 4th week, a former hostage recounts the circumstances of the hostage taking. Canseco describes how in spite of difficult conditions inside the Japanese embassy, an intense political debate took place not only between MRTA members and hostages but also among hostages such as diplomats, members of government, Nisei, artists, etc. He relates how they concluded the country needed to deal with the extreme poverty and underdevelopment that feed violence. Canseco agrees with the government in that peace negotiations cannot take place under a hostage siege and suggests arrangements should be made for future negotiations to happen with the help of an international body.

  • Ogoni day: A day of action for the Ogoni people living in oil-rich southeastern Nigeria.

    For years the Ogoni have faced widespread pollution from petroleum giant Shell oil and severe repression by Shell-backed military governments. Ledum Mitee, acting president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, describes the situation on the ground, as 2000 soldiers have been deployed to prevent the Ogoni day celebration. He also offers an alternative for the US in its dealings with Shell-oil. Steve Kretzmann from Project Underground discusses how lobbying from the Corporate Council on Africa explains why the US government has not stopped buying oil from Nigeria in spite of President Clinton’s criticism of the regime. Both guests discuss proven and admitted Shell oil implication with the military government. According to Kretzmann, American foreign policy is an unlikely source of pressure on corporate activity; he says instead an international boycott is a more efficient way to compel change.

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