Saturday, November 12, 2011

Supreme Court Scorpions

Between the giant egos and the intense intellectual engagement, the Supreme Court can be a forum for "scorpions in a bottle."  Here  is a link to a book about the Supreme Court with the subtitle:
The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices
 Noah Feldman is the author.  Noah Feldman used to teach at NYU and now teaches at Harvard.  He is the author of several books about constitutional impacts of the involvement of the US in Middle Eastern conflicts.
This of course has nothing to do with Feldman generally, but I bring it up in the context of the Supreme Court from the 1930's.  Because Social Security is a current transfer system, I've been wondering how people talked about it when it was adopted.  Some conservatives have told me what a fraud the system is.  These people have said to me that people ought to be treated as entitled to the earnings on the amounts people have paid over the years.  We have seen how well that works with 401(k) plans, but there's no getting away from the fact that 401(k) plans are the modern way.  We are not going back to defined benefit plans.  Anyway, I'd like to know a reference to a book that reliably describes what people were saying about how FICA would work, when Congress adopted FICA and the Social Security Administration was established.
     Speaking of Harvard....
Here is a link to Martha Minow's new book called In Brown's Wake.   It's a book about the impact of the Brown v Board of Education decision in 1954.   Daughter of  Newton "TV is a vast wasteland" Minow, she is the Dean of Harvard Law School.  I heard her speak this past week about her book.  She views the decision's ongoing impact more enthusiastically than I do.  I fear that it has not had enough impact.  She emphasized that one of the impacts of the decision was benefits for women and other minorities, not just for segregation based on identity of some citizens as negroes.  Minow says that the decision has been used to assist mainstreaming of all public school pupils, regardless of race. 

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