Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 2,348
Number of posts: 2,348
If you are a woman and are not comprehensive of the extra burdens you have been carrying well, it is understandable because we older women bought the crap like idiots. We thought that paid work "did something" and all the other work we have been doing unpaid "did nothing" (one of these idiots being me).
1. As a boomer myself who "blazed the trail" for younger women, the following generations still continue having to make those choices as to whether or not to work for a wage because we are burdened with the extra 24/7 work of care giving and it is not just children.
2. Why not allow women the choice to do that work as it was in the past, knowing they will be supported instead of calling it "doing nothing"? Ridiculous as it is, we live in Lala Land by pretending that some fairies magically come in and performs that work because well, paid work is "more responsible". Get it? Whether or not you work for a wage, YOU are doing a huge amount of unpaid work that contributes greatly and then you are told that you "do nothing" important. Do not believe that bunk!
3. As was said in the post, according to the AARP this unpaid labor if, replaced with paid institutions would cost over $450 BILLION A YEAR so women can go out there to make rich men richer saying, "Do you want fries with that?" Additionally creating more institutions so women can work for a wage is simply more corporation subsidies so they can exploit women working for $0.75 for every man's dollar. Again, according to labor statistics and backed up by the AARP report quoted above, women also lose lose over $450,000 over a work lifetime because of the unpaid work of care giving
As a former feminist, you need to understand the "new" feminists of my generation were upper income women. They did not understand lower income women's burdens, especially women of color had always been forced into low waged labor at exploitative slave labor. These bourgeois women did not consider the burdens of lower class women ~ except whenever it was convenient to use us to make political points for themselves.
NOW supported Welfare Reform, applauding as wildly as all the other upper income WHITE men of privilege who created it (I can write about this sometime, believe me the story about how Welfare Reform came about is disgusting). Because well, doncha know raising children, especially POOR children, to grow up to fight in our wars, run our infrastructure, pay our Social Security, and take care of us when we can nop longer care for ourselves, well that work was just "not doing anything". Welfare Reform has caused more abject poverty for women, including middle class women who are now forced to ignore their families and go out there making a buck.
Let me tell you a story of my mother a WWII bride who worked inside the home supporting my father so he could work for their blue collar wages and was treated all her life as if she "did nothing" for our community. She not only raised three children, she sang like a bird and belted out the National Anthem at every community gathering, volunteered in her community, and when she died doctors came to me and told me how blessed they had been for knowing my mother and how much she had taught them, a woman who had a high school education.
As her daughter and young women in the 1970s I became enamored with feminism. One day while having coffee with Mom, I was spouting out about how we women had no choice for a career, how we should be able to go out there and work for the same wages as a man, blah, blah, blah. My mother quietly listened to me and then she said, "Cat, if your generation has their way and expect women to work for a wage that any corporation will pay you the same wages as a man you are wrong. If all you go out there, corporations will simply lower the wages for a man to your wages. If you think you are going to get any help or support with the unpaid work you do, forget it, they already believe you are "not working". No, if you get your way, BOTH men and women will have to work for a wage and women will be stuck with TWO jobs, the job I do AND the job your father does!"
Indeed she was right, that was exactly what happened and is the way it is today.
I realize this is the way it is now, I get that. But what is important for younger women to know is that, it was not always that way and it was not that long ago. My mother felt privileged to be able to raise her kids as her main jobs because her unpaid work was FAR MORE SUPPORTED. Women actually got Social Security to raise their kids when there was no other wage earner in the home.
Cat in Seattle
Posted by mntleo2 | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 09:44 PM (0 replies)
Meaning by the subject line that Social Security calls any unpaid care giving a woman does as not deserving of performing any "work" or any consideration while calculating if she will receive Social Security. If she has worked for a wage in her life, it is often WAY less than men because men usually leave that unpaid work to women and do not take as much time off in their work life, continuing to receive wages while their women perform this unpaid labor. This enables men to collect more Social Security than their women do. As a matter of fact according to labor studies, women lose over $400,000 over a work lifetime in paid wages after they have been performing all this unpaid labor ~ and never forget that the loss of those wages are calulated as about $.75 for every man's dollar! Medicare refuses to support relative care givers and often simply dump all the work on women while expecting her to either perform two jobs both paid and unpaid, or to make the sacrifice her loved one needs to do this work for no pay.
Thanks to Welfare Reform, which as well considers this unpaid work as "doing nothing", we often consider that this unpaid care giving "does nothing" for our communities. We often think this care giving tasks for women only is about child rearing. But this is not so. Women are often faced with more than 3 X in their lives where they must make the agonizing choice of caring for a loved one or working for a wage. This is because they also face these choices with their elders and their spouses as well. They are often forced to live off the income of their loved one in order to perform this care and then after this care is done, the kid grows up, the loved one dies, they are left with nothing.
You would be amazed at how many older women live in their cars simply because after this care, there is nothing left for them, because it often uses up the all the accumulated "wealth" and resources of the person for whom they cared. She gets little or no community or government support for the 24/7 care that has no sick leave, no medical benefits, no rest and often goes on for years and years. But her husband and her relatives and the community think she "does nothing" all day while care giving and even call her "lazy".
But the AARP has done some very detailed studies showing that this unpaid work actually saves this country over 450 billion a year! . Why is this? Because it would cost that much to build and maintain institutions to replace this unpaid work so that women can go out there making rich men richer saying, "Do you want fries with that?" You can read about this study here: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-10-2012/home-alone-family-caregivers-providing-complex-chronic-care.html
Americans in general think care giving is "doing nothing" and this suffering is our fault. They are so focused on how much more valued paid work is that they think that their own mothers who cared for them "did nothing" while performing this work. They stay silent about what could be done to value this work more. They will not even consider the $Billions these women saved themselves so they do not have to pay more taxes to create institutions which would in fact be more subsidies for corporations, not their families.
Other developed and undeveloped countries value this work and support it with such things as paid wages while they are performing this unpaid care giving, medical care, and old age pensions because they consider this work as "counting", it is "doing something" so that women do not suffer in their old age as American women do. They are not like Americans who will say without thinking that anyone performing this unpaid care giving, "Does not work..." They will not even change their way of thinking enough to pay respect and homage to this hard work by simply saying instead, "she works inside the home..."
So while we wring our hands about this report, well we cause this suffering for our own older female loved ones (though I often wonder how "loved" they are).
If there could be anything done about this it would be to change our attitudes about what is "work" as far as what unpaid labor contribute toward their communities. But Americans won't. All we hear is the wild cheering of creating 'jobs, jobs, jobs' as *only* extending to paid labor and not only ignore unpaid care as "doing anything" but actually denigrate and punish older women after they have done this work. They prefer to allow their own mothers to live in a car because see, she "did not work".
Believe me I could write a book about this as I have been advocating for low income people who mostly constitute women for over 30 years. I wish I had the humor of Michael Moore or John Fugelsang to write it or produce a movie, but I am too angry ...
My 2 cents
Cat in Seattle
Posted by mntleo2 | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:53 AM (5 replies)
I am an advocate for people who apply for benefits, and let me tell you the people who get their jobs from being the 'gatekeepers" are just as bad as this other customer.
Recently another advocate was with a person who had been "sanctioned" because she was a disabled mother. She was so sick that had gotten out of the hospital the day before she was supposed to have her "fair hearing" where she could protest the decision. The person who is in charge of setting up these hearings belittled the woman from even applying to be heard. Despondent, the woman decided not to have the hearing. When my advocate friend heard how badly the recipient felt so much that she decided not to go through it, the advocate encouraged her to go ahead anyway. She said, "I cannot guarantee you will not face the same deplorable treatment and belittling or that you will not be told the same things you were told today, but I can guarantee that you will not be alone I will go with you, if you face these people down or you will never get the assistance you need." So the recipient decided to go through the hearing as long as she did not have to face those horrible people alone.
My advocate friend was so angry about the treatment that she called up this person (the woman is called a Fair Hearing Coordinator) and told her, "You are supposed to arrange hearings, you had no right to belittle this woman who has legitimate reasons for her condition. She just got out of the hospital for crying out loud!" The Coordinator was incensed and said, "Are you telling me how to do my job?" My advocate friend said, "Yes indeed Ma'am, that is exactly what I am telling you. I pay taxes and you work for me..." The coordinator said, "Well if I just wanted some time off, I could go to the doctor and get two weeks off if I told them I was depressed or something lame like that. These people just use lame excuses so they don't have to work..."
My advocate friend was beyond angry. She said, "You have decent health care, you have a doctor that has been denied to your client. Your doctor knows you and knows the insurance you have that would cover you for the tests or whatever procedure you need to prove you are too sick or injured enough not to work. If your client were to try to go to a doctor who did not know her since she has to go to a different one every time,they would not give her permission because they do not even have the money to test her or whatever they would need to do. Furthermore you would not even have a damn doctor if it were not for this woman and the others you are paid to serve. THEY are the reason you even have a job!"
The coordinator hung up. This is because she does not want to admit that she lives off the backs of the poor. All this is fine if you have one sprig of heart and know how important your work is for your community. When these workers look down their noses at their clients they seem to forget that they would not even be there if it weren't for the people they hate. If you tell them to get another job if they hate doing it so much, they whine they can't because there are no other jobs that have the pay and benefits, blah,blah,blah.
Well welcome to the club of the people they serve. Because while these case managers would refuse these very same jobs because they will not pay the bills they expect their clients to take them. Then, rather than admit they like to force this kind of work on others just so long as it is not themselves, they wonder why it is that their clients are sick, disabled and unable to work after working those jobs and they like to pretend these people are avoiding working for a McWage. The twisted and selfish attitude is that their clients are "using excuses" not to work those low wage jobs, but of course people like this coordinator's refusal to do them is simply because they "deserve" better pay and conditions and that their client do not deserve the same. In short they are simply promoting those horrible conditions on others so they can keep in their nice cushy positions.
Poverty is an institution it is *not* a "choice" as the upper classes like to believe. Institutions remain in place because they benefit some people in spite of the terrible conditions it imposes on others. Like the Institution of slavery benefited Americans for over 300 years before it was abolished, the Poverty Institution benefits people like this coordinator and thousands of other Americans, not just in their own employment because of the poor, but their dependence on cheap labor, cheap taxes (the poor pay the highest rate of taxes in every state), tax deductions from non-profits for the rich, the extra fees imposed on the poor for not being able to afford "required" things like making a payment on time, the list goes on and on.
It should be admitted and never forgotten that the rest of society depends upon the poor to maintain their own classes. These case managers should be reminded that as is the case in their class and pretty much any upper class, they themselves would not have a job and they depend on the Institution of Poverty for their own benefit.
My 2 cents
Cat in Seattle
Posted by mntleo2 | Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:07 PM (1 replies)
CASAs are made up of mostly childless middle class women who have *no* clue abut poverty, much less about raising children. Getting $Millions in government money, CASA admits to going with CPS recommendations over 97% of the time. So much for being "independent", which they are mandated to be! I have seen CASA go into a courtroom going along with the State's lame recommendations who doesn't even know the name of a child ~ with the CASA nodding eagerly in agreement.
Believe me CASA and GALs are a waste of our tax dollars. While I am suspicious of nepotist family courtrooms with assigned lawyers who stand to keep their case loads by losing their cases rather than winning them (if they give a damn at all), I say get these kids a REAL lawyer because at least their legal representatives have to answer to their Bar Association when they are unethical.
The most egregious thing being done is to let ignorant upper class (who are mostly white) women hold sway in court whose biggest crisis is that her nail broke. All she cares about is the yanking kids from poor families and placing them where they will live in that middle class home with the new car in the garage. Who cares about the hell going on behind those picture window curtains? She has *no* idea about the "wittle baybee" she is supposedly "saving". Like she "saves" anything but herself ... CASAs get away in court with bold face lying and proven perjury yet they still have complete immunity. As a matter of fact this is why they go into the court room with their own lawyer to protect their lily white asses, to hell with anybody representing the kid.
Our streets are full of runaway foster kids (and adopted kids) fleeing from their state paid tormentors. To recommend these houses of torture as "in the best interest of the child" is in great part because of a CASA's recommendations. These kids are raped, starved and beaten like this little girl was. This foster home is not some "abnormal" incident. The kid just raised the red flags because she died and the foster home is caught with their pants down (sometimes literally) is all. Most of the time these kids are just left to suffer.
If you read here that I am beyond disgusted with CASAs and their state-contracted paid cohorts, you are right. For good reason. Every single one of these contracted agencies profit off destroying low income families. In my book most CASAs need to drive their Lincolns home and tend to their broken nails or have a cocktail with Hubby after he gets home from the office, not given any power over something they have *no* clue about.
My 2 cents
Cat in Seattle
Board member of POWER and advocate for low income families http://www.mamapower.org
Posted by mntleo2 | Mon Aug 19, 2013, 03:07 AM (0 replies)
...There is a heueueuge industry profiting off the same court system as this judge involving $Billions per state in contracted private corporations and state agencies under DSHS CPS. While a lot of is is "legal" a great deal of illegal activities are simply ignored and become "legal precedence" meaning that the court routinely ignores Constitutional rights and breaks the law and this is supposedly OK.
These agencies get their funding based on Title IV that uses Social Security money for the sole purpose of taking kids from their families. Their mandates in essence say, "The more kids you take, the money you will make. If you return these children home, you will LOSE all present and future funding..."
Each state receives approximately, depending on the state, $1.2 BILLION dollars of this Title IV money. They also go in and take an additional 1/3 of any money allocated for low income assistance in food stamps, medical, housing and cash assistance. I am saying that rather than assist a low income family, they get more money and even TAKE money literally "out of the mouths of babes" in order to take their kids and get 1000% more in funding for doing so. As a matter of fact within the training of my own (WA) state's DSHS, TANF (welfare) case managers are encouraged to report to CPS for anyone applying for assistance.
On the average an agency gets about $8000 per "legally kidnapped" child per month while it would cost less than $1200 of your tax dollars to actually support the family instead. On the ground what this means and transpires into is to target low income families' children using unconstitutional but now state-made unchallenged legal "reasons". They often use "reasons" as vague as mere "concern" without having to prove any proof of abuse at all. Additionally the laws now give case mangers bonuses for each child they successfully take ~ plus the raking in of funding by mega-nonprofits, and all their contracted agencies. All of these people are given complete total immunity for any consequences even after proving in court they have lied. Therefore it is profitable for everyone to take low income family's children. Your tax-paid personnel within DSHS and CPS will pay $thousands for everybody else BUT give any support for the birth family to care for these kids by simply accusing them of some kind of "child abuse". An average adoption brings in an additional $50,000-$100,000 per child.
I used to believe that the kids were truly abused when taken by CPS, but in fact even the Department of Social and Health Services admits that over 85% of these children are not abused. They also know that when they place these children in foster care and adoptions, these children have a 5-7X and greater chance of being physically and sexually abused than if they had simply given support to the families and left the kids in their home.
Rather than support these families, they take kids for many bad reasons. I have personally seen kids removed because the family cannot afford the water or electric bill (MI's private water companies actually pours cement down the pipes of a family with a delinquent bill). I have witnessed taking kids because their family cannot afford the heat bill, they have no telephone. They take kids because a parent could not take the child to a medical follow-up (often because the appointment can only be made at times that the parent is working and if the parent does not work they don't get paid, etc). I have witnessed kids taken because the kid wore the same clothes two times in a row to school, and because the the mother was a new mother and so "did not have the experience to parent" (who was adopted and reported abuse as a child but was never heard or was it addressed ~ until it became convenient to take her baby).
I have witnessed kids taken who have not been abused themselves but because the parent had been sexually or physically abused as children and so even though there is no evidence of their children being abused, because these parents had been abused, they might in the future sexually abuse their own kids. Many of these targeted parents were foster and adopted kids themselves who were abused in state-sanctioned homes. If the parent becomes ill and cannot work for a wage, rather than help the family , DSHS accuses the parent of "maltreatment and neglect" and takes their kids.
I have actually seen a low income housing building completely emptied of children taken one-by one, which the non-profit who owns this building "coincidently" also houses adoption and foster care agencies as well as DV lawyers who like to blame the victim rather than actually support them (cough, cough while saying Seattle YWCA). I have also learned this emptying of buildings of all the children regularly occurs in transitional and low income housing in PN, GA, MI, WA, CA. The only reason I do not mention any other states is those are the ones that I have had meetings with lawyers, clients, and other personnel from these states who have witnesses to these occurrences. NOBODY wants to address this. Rather than support a family, juvenile courts and all their minions get much more funding while mega-nonprofits and private corporations will prosper for simply destroying the family and taking their children.
The going philosophy is that if the children are taken from low income homes and placed in upper income homes, then everything is "fixed". Who cares what happens after that just as long as there is a new car in the driveway and the homeowner is at least middle class? Who cares about the terrible, deep, damage and detachment they impose on these children who will be affected for the rest of their lives or for the possible abuse they may face ~ just as long as everybody BUT their birth families profit? Did you know that a foster home has more legal rights if accused of child abuse than a grandparent who has never abused their grandchildren?
In my state (WA)for instance, just last month a low income couple who the State admitted had never abused their children, lost their 4 children and their parental rights terminated because supposedly they were "slow learners". The last child was taken directly from the hospital after birth (a great piece of "merchandise" since it was a white girl). DSHS got AT LEAST $32,000 per month for this as well as spending $thousands on court costs and contracted agencies. They created extremely high barriers insisting on impossible activities for this couple. For instance, as low wage workers they were instantly expected to become middle class and pay for a 4 bedroom home without any support to do so. DSHS CPS demanded the couple to pay a huge part of their meager incomes in child support while CPS was also receiving all this state and federal funding. CPS also made them pay for all the state contracted mental health "experts" who stood to profit by always going into court with the state's recommendations (and thus ensuring they would keep those contracts coming).
Meanwhile as this case was being prosecuted, they were digging up the bodies of several starved and beaten adopted children this same agency had placed in their "forever home". Using the glowing term "forever home" is an unfortunate description here ... And of course, after jumping through all those hoops and giving all the income they had, this low income couple lost. Not only will these decision makers ever face any consequences at all for permanently placing these dead children in their living hell, these agencies used these parents' kids for profit, knowing full well that nobody, including this couple would have enough resources to go up against the entire state who wanted their children for profit.
Grandparents have tried to save their grandchildren, losing everything, taking mortgages out on their homes (if they have one) and spending their entire nest eggs for naught trying to save their children from the System. They are hardly given a nod in court, considered not as important as the foster home with strangers where their grandchildren languish. They "get" to go through mourning of the legal death of their bloodline while watching their grandchildren sold to the highest bidders. The reason they have no rights and are not considered is that the juvenile courts and all their contracted minions would not profit off the Title IV mandates if they returned these children to their families.
These people well know that supporting families is not only far less expensive, it is more successful ~ even when the adult(s) have substance abuse issues. Adopted and foster children are more likely to drop out of school, become substance abusers, go to jail, become teen parents, and become homeless than if they had been left in the home with support. Yes kids should be taken from homes where they are being burned with cigarettes and beaten ~ but this is less than 15% of the children they take. Most of these families simply need support that costs far less ~ but unfortunately this would result in the loss of funding and profit for juvenile courts, these private corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies, should they do so.
The whole juvenile justice system is rife with tainted personnel and funding and it does not only deal with teens, it deals with ALL cases involving ANY child. Juvenile court is in actually a "pseudo court" that gets to make decisions about people's lives while being aware of where the profit lies. For decades with the use of low income children, they have been creating "legal precedence" for higher courts to use. They are routinely ignoring Constitutional rights impacting higher court decisions ~ especially when it is brought up to the SCOTUS' attention, which has ruled that all are immune, even though many courts have expressed deep concerns about the procedures these pseudo courts use. See the comments made by the 9th Circuit Court in Humphreys vs County of Los Angeles wherte this court openly stated they had little trust in the so-called 'internal" investigations" where the "investigations" are made by the people who are being "investigated". By being a "pseudo court" juvenile court can make accusations without ever having to prove a thing, and simply use vague and unprovable findings such as using someone's "feelings" or even though there is no evidence, they can prosecute people for what *might happen in the future" as fact.
These judges know much of the money that these "juvenile contractors" get is out of Title IV ~ as they themselves receive along with the many private and public agencies standing to get money for "saving the wittle baybees". Most juvenile judges are corrupt because they know what is going on. They have nothing to lose because they are often themselves getting "double pay" for being a juvenile court judge and a regular court judge, collecting twice the pay, accumulating twice the retirement, twice the paid sick leave, and twice the vacation pay for working one job. They well know that most teens who turn to the streets are foster children and adopted kids who have been taken from their family homes that their own courts and personnel refused to support. While being sexually exploited or abused, these kids who try to tell CPS about their suffering are ignored because who cares while letting these kids shiver in a doorway terrified to go to their assigned homes, left to wander the street, when their "forever homes" and all these agencies still get money whether or not the child actually lives in these homes anymore ? If they get in trouble, well it just means more for the courts, DSHS, keeps those judges in that double pay, and more funding for these "private contractors".
I am an activist for low income families. I see this happening every day. I know for a fact that juvenile courts are crooked and involves fraud not only with this judge, but it is happening nationally. Here are some links for those who want to know more:
*The first is the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform: http://www.nccpr.org. They have tons of white papers that have come out of the government, universities, and organizations such as the Casey Foundation about the studies cited on this post. http://www.nccpr.org.
*Here is a group of scrappy WI women who have gone out in their state and recorded what they have witnessed. These low income moms did better wonk work than any wonk in the nation would do about the profit making that comes out of "managing" the poor including CPS activities. Because of their activity, they have caused the prosecution of fraud that forced their legislators to request the return of funding, but they have barely scratched the surface and this activity is happening in every state as it not only involves local agencies, it involves agencies that are national and international: http://www.welfarewarriors.org/mwv_archive/sp09/sp09_milw.htm
*Here is another organization fighting the water rights issue in MI State. Kids are being taken because rather than assist these families with a $300.00 bill, they take the kids and get $8000 a month per child for taking them. You could speak to Maureen Taylor who is a vibrant speaker about this issue: http://mwro.org/
There are more organizations who are becoming aware of their own community's juvenile court corruption and the targeting of low income families. As one of these, I am a board member of POWER, http://www.mamapower.org who is also speaking to this corruption and demanding reform!
My 2 cents
Cat in Seattle
Posted by mntleo2 | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 12:54 PM (0 replies)
...boiling them does little good when you have no place to wash them.
Believe me as a low income mom with 3 kids, two of them babies in diapers while working full time and no washing machine, it was imperative to have paper diapers. As an older mom (the two babies were born less than 1 year apart) I knew about using cloth diapers. The expense of going to a laundromat was impossible ~ much less the time needed to do that as there was little.
Adding to trying to wash diapers, doing the 6 or 7 loads a week of regular laundry was enough!!! Often I did that laundry in the bathtub and hung the clothes around the apartment to dry. I had learned from my mother how to do clothes in the "ricky-tic" washer, a wringer washer. I did not have a wringer washer, but the method there is quite green. You begin with the hottest water and wash the whites first. You rinse each load in another tub of clear water. Then you re-use the soapy water for the lighter colors on down to the dark colors, as the last load, using the same water and maybe adding a little soap. She taught me how to shave off soap from bars of Fells Naptha soap, which was cheap. It did not make the prettiest apartment but hey, it was an affordable way. Plus I could "do the laundry" at home while dong other imperative chores and minding the kids, helping with homework, etc.
I used to feel guilty about using paper diapers thinking they were "filling up our landfills" until I began to be an activist for low income people. One of the people I met was a policy wonk working for the city whose main job was about waste management. When he told me that over 90% of landfill waste was from business waste, I no longer felt bad ~ but affording those diapers was a constant worry.
To me the biggest luxury would have been to have a washer in the home, but many apartments expect people to do their laundry at their expensive laundry room where the equipment is not kept up. They are expensive when things like the the dryer does not work and you pay over and over in order to get the clothes dry. If I REALLY wanted to "live it up" I might use the washer and then take the wet clothes home to hang up.
I am not saying you are doing this but, often upper income people take for granted things that poor people simply do not have access to and need. They will say stuff like "why don't they just (insert whatever solution they think they have) ..." Well that "just" usually costs money that the poor does not have or it costs precious time that could be used for other needs. I learned to change my own oil, fix simple things in the home, and do what needed to be done to attend to my children's needs with little or nothing. To "just" do something like use cloth diapers and boil them, usually costs more time and money than paper diapers, see?
I hope this helps people who are trying to understand people in poverty because it is very appreciated that at least you try when most people demonize the poor and think they are "lazy" and that is why they are poor. They do not understand that poverty is an institution embedded within our society that they themselves depend upon in order to keep their own class positions. While it is perfectly legal to use class to discriminate against someone who is poor, the reasons this Institutions exists is because it depends on illegal discriminations. The Institute of Poverty is based on the classism encompassing racism, sexism, ageism, and disabilities.
The Institution of Poverty generates $Billions in the Poverty Industry for the upper classes, for things like the cheap labor. Mega "non-profits" exploit the poor by using them for tax deductions and cheap labor (sometimes even forced unpaid labor ~ that for-profit corporations also enjoy while getting government funds for "being so nice" as to "let" someone work for free). The truth is with a mega-non profit gets on the average of $57,000-64,000 per client yet only uses about $2000 of that in direct services, so mega-non-profits are mostly there for the upper classes. The truth is that mega-nons are just employment and tax breaks for the upper classes that does little for the poor,. And then there is middle class employment in order to "fix" poor people rather than address the entire institution. This denial creates government and university jobs that are generated for the upper classes to "study" and "manage" the poor. There is also the mental health and medical fields who employ the upper and middle classes (while exploiting McJob workers to do the hardest work), in order to "fix" the person but does little to address the whole Poverty Institution and the industries poverty generate.
Finally, we do not have any respect for unpaid work. Do you know, according to the AARP, that (mostly) women lose on the average of over $400,000 in a work lifetime performing unpaid labor? It would cost $Trillions if we had to create more institutions to replace that work so that women could go out making rich men richer saying, "Do you want fries with that?" Also according to the AARP studies they have done, this unpaid work SAVES our communities over $450BILLION a year! Yet codified into law that work is "doing nothing" according to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act only paid work is "doing something". This unpaid labor is not just about the raising of our children to care for our future, it is also about the unpaid care of our elders and our spouse. Each time, this need for 24/7 care causes (mostly) women to make the agonizing choice between working for a wage or caring for these loved ones. http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-10-2012/home-alone-family-caregivers-providing-complex-chronic-care.html
Indeed the Social Security calls all this unpaid labor "zero years" so it will not count any of that labor for any support that is saving $Billions. Most care givers have to live off their loved one's income, they get nothing. After their loved one dies or grows up after using up all the resources, then they are tossed to the street since they "did not work". Poor women do ALL this work, paid and unpaid while making 70 cents for every man's dollar on wages that won't even pay the rent.
I know what I am speaking about is scary. I also do not think this is conscience intent so much as taken for granted and hidden from view by a kind of benign denial. But often the use of "why don't they just..." is really trying to fix individual people who are caught in that poisonous spider's web of the Poverty institution. So by viewing people in poverty who individually need to be "fixed" because they "choose" to live in those conditions, is a way to keep the Institution of Poverty in place and all those illegal "isms" hidden. It blankets all of them with the use of "poverty" in order to pretend the illegal reasons are *not* the reason. This way the huge industry of poverty will never be recognized, from which the upper classes can continue to profit and benefit. See?
Hope this helps and I really appreciate your trying to understand what poor people need!
Love, Cat in Seattle
Board member of POWER: http://www.mamapower.org
Posted by mntleo2 | Tue Jul 30, 2013, 09:29 AM (3 replies)
...IMO unions sold their souls to management, beginning with Reagan. I watched as union bosses went on fishing trips with CEO bosses and this would have been fine ~ but all too often they came back and their "packages" was about giving away benefits and wages and refusing to sanction a strike. Always they argued this would "keep jobs" but it did not. The jobs went away anyway. I have been in both private company unions and with the public sector. I will never forgive the rights those people took from my generation and now my children's generation that my grandfather saw people DIE to get. Whenever I spoke about the history I was taught, these union bosses laughed that off as if it were nothing.
In the mid-1990s and as an active union member in a state union job, I was shocked to discover that my union president had gone behind the worker's backs and gave away our Civil Service rights. This was simply so she could receive more money herself ~ to hell with the 30,000 + workers and their rights, whom she was SUPPOSED to represent.
The story is long and sordid but it actually preluded the problems people like me tried to warn would happen in places like Wisconsin with their anger at the loss of so-called "bargaining rights". Let me explain ...
Civil Service was important for ALL workers, whether they were in private industry or in government work. The reason this was so is that Civil Service rights are heueueuege. This was why it used to take next to an act of God to fire a government worker, because management had *better* cross all their t's and dot their i's before taking any action in that direction. When unions took their workers out from under Civil Service protection they in essence took away rights that take up an entire law library wall and the rights that remained, fit in one of their pamphlets.
My grandfather told me that the reason Civil Service was so important was because "if the government was not a decent employer, they would not up-hold labor laws for the private sector..." What he meant was that the laws passed under Civil Service was "an example" as to the work conditions elsewhere. I have watched my grandfather's words come to be true as I watched these rights erode from a time when a government employee could make a decent living down to the place where they are begging for food stamps after losing those rights ~ and then it "trickles down" to the private sector.
It has been all I could do to hold my tongue while watching the mayhem in WI when workers saw a governor essentially take away their wages and their jobs at the flick of his pen. He would never have been able to do that if their unions had stayed under Civil Service, but many of their unions followed like sheep to the slaughter when my union boss (925 ~ yes the same union that the movie was named after) began the process of taking away these rights in the early 1990s. As a matter of fact she helped to write the law in my state that began the process for this erosion ~ one of the first in the nation written in order to take down Civil Service. The man she wrote this bill with is Gary Loch and he became governor and is now ambassador to China under Obama so this was not a "Republican" movement. This was a bunch of "progressives" selling thousands (now millions) down the river and turning back the clock to where my grandfather's generation began. 20 years later my worst nightmares have some true, thanks to actions like this union president imposed on the rest of us. She had an obligation to her workers, but instead she led the way to the demise of the very reason unions themselves are struggling because, thanks to her and the rest who followed, they shot themselves in the foot.
On the surface it appeared that the "reasons" for taking away Civil Service SOUNDED good. Government unions are usually subsidized by the government along with the dues they get from workers. The problem with this is that because of these subsidies, if the specific union shop has not voted to become "closed" then the union HAS to represent a worker whether or not they pay dues. Unions wanted to force their workers to pay these dues without having to go through the process of urging shops to become closed. So taking down Civil Service seemed the "easiest" to do, since management was eager to do that and the unions stood to gain $millions more in union dues from their workers who did not pay.
As a good unions member (who voluntarily paid my dues), I and a few others tried to fight this erosion. We had to bring a lawsuit (not a small thing to do) against the state and the union. The reason we did this was because the boss had not only gone behind her worker's backs and negotiated Civil Service rights away, she was not even going to let her paid members vote on it in her so-called "democratic" union! It was one of the most painful times I have ever gone through as i was called a "union hater" by other union members. I eventually lost my job over it because this union boss had told her minions not to represent me when I began to get harassed after enduring an on-the-job injury (later admitted by my supervisor she was ordered to do by management AND the shop steward confessed he was also ordered to not properly represent me by the union).
But before I joined the lawsuit, I underwent a great deal of soul searching because of my own union roots. My grandfather used to say, "Stand with unions, right or wrong!" I really believed that. But I realized as I watched the shenanigans of this union that what he meant was worker's rights *not* union rights. Because unions themselves have become "corporations" and if they have to choose between their own survival rather than represent their workers as they are in existence to do, then they will choose themselves over their workers. As a matter of fact, the most ironical to me is that because of their own desire to survive, this union's workers had to belong to a union themselves!
I usually do not DARE to speak about this here as so many people do not understand how unions participated in taking away their rights and hurt themselves in the process ~ all in the name of $$$$$. They should have known they are Charlie Brown and the rest of the world is Lucy with the football, as this is WHY unsions are in existence. So while I can see plainly that the only thing left for the workers are these corrupt and self serving organizations, as long as people have to pay them in order for them to NOT represent them in exchange for a union's own existence, they will be angry at the reality they are not that well represented if at all. I will always be for worker's rights, however for good reasons, I will view unions with a jaundiced eye. Because I know they WILL sell you down the river if they have to choose between actually doing their jobs as a representative of you or to survive themselves.
If anyone reading this is thinking this was an "isolated" case, forget it. Believe me, I have watched the dominoes fall all across the nation. This was the beginning that I speak about here, but it has continued until now workers like the ones in WI are screaming for their "bargaining rights' because their REAL rights are gathering dust in some law library where few have them anymore. The few of us who tried to stand up to unions for worker's rights were mowed down like grass. I still believe it is possible to change that, but now thanks to the Powers That Be, this work is made harder. Because the terrible price my grandparents paid to pave the way has been destroyed for future generations for whom these brave workers hoped would never have to suffer as they did. I just wish people (and unions) would LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES instead of trying to justify them.
Some solutions? Here are a couple:
* First of all, RESTORE CIVIL SERVICE (yeah right, while we know it can be done because it was, just TRY to get your union to support it, much less any legislator who stands to get money from those unions).
* Unions need money, this is true. But the conflict here is that if you pay them to be your representative, they will not do so if your rights threaten theirs. I am not sure what to do except that figure out a way where unions should never have to make that choice. They should be able to freely and vigorously represent their workers without having to hurt themselves.
So yeah, I am skeptical of unions, but it is not without good reason. I am not skeptical of worker's rights. It has to start with worker's rights IMO and unions need to somehow get back to that work instead of being run like a corporation where their own workers have to have a union.
My 2 cents ...
Cat in Seattle
PeeEss: About 5 years down the road after losing their rights, union members that called me and other's "union haters" later came to us hat in hand with apologies as they watched their rights (and union) go to seed. Oh the president did fine, she made out like a bandit (literally) and bought a fine home in an upper class old neighborhood. To this day because of the ignorance of so many about unions, she is still going around giving speeches about how wonderful she is. But her die-hard supporters realized they had been duped, however it was too late. They wanted to decertify the union for all the damage they had done. I had the grace to not say, "I told you so ..." but all I could say was "Go get 'em!" since I was no longer a worker there. However I knew, one of the poison pills that this ~ and other ~ unions gave themselves in exchange for selling their souls, had already stacked the deck even more than it was stacked against those of us trying to stop what we saw coming and these workers did not have a prayer ~ Cat
Posted by mntleo2 | Tue Jul 2, 2013, 07:44 AM (3 replies)
...are often just judgmental BS!
First of all these commenters are blind idiots who do not get it. They do not want to admit that poverty is an institution it is not a "choice". This is because they are an enthusiastic part of living off the backs of the poor and prefer to maintain the illusion they are not doing that.
1. A well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, as marriage: the institution of the family.
2.any established law, custom, etc.
The poverty institution is based on racism, sexism, ageism (including LGBTQ), classism and disability. This institution remains in place in spite of the horrible damage it causes because it benefits the upper classes.
To demonstrate this institution, there is a story to tell about my friend Margaret who is a proud Somalian immigrant and American citizen who I have told about before on DU:
Margaret's entire family was murdered in Somalia and she wound up in those immigration camps where she was raped and beaten. Margaret had converted from Islam and became a devout Catholic and the church sponsored her to come to America. This was support for Margaret's housing, her food, and all other necessities until she supposedly "got on her feet". She found a job and this sponsorship lasted 2 years, which she reimbursed through her "job". However when this sponsorship ended, the job she labored at did not even pay enough to afford rent much less food, transportation to get to her job, or anything else. Because she had to choose between getting to her work in order to keep it and all the other expensive necessities in order to keep that job, Margaret wound up homeless and living on the streets of Seattle. I met Margaret when after being on the street years, she finally qualified for transitional housing. By that time she had contracted the incurable TB that runs rampant in shelters and was struggling with her health with no insurance.
One time when we were demonstrating together for social justice, I asked Margaret about poverty in Somalia versus poverty in America. Which was worse? There is a war going on there, people starve to death, they are murdered, what could be worse than there? So I expected her to say being poor in Somalia was worse. But Margaret told me that being poor in America is far worse ~ and when you think about it this is because of the people who demand to live off her back. Margaret said:
"In Somalia when you have no home you go into the woods where indigenous people have lived for eons and they will teach you how to survive. In America all those people have been chased away generations ago and they no longer know how to survive that way and if you tried to go into the woods, which God gave to ALL of us, you would be arrested for stealing. When you are poor in America,you have to pay for everything. even going to the bathroom if you have no home. In Somalia, if you are hungry, you can glean your food from the roadside and if the farmer doesn't mind, in the fields, In America, yes, they have food banks and food stamps but for an immigrant like me, I am not qualified to receive food stamps and the food bank is often too far away, plus the food there has to be cooked and if you have no home, where can ou cook? In Somalia, if you need to cook a meal or keep warm, you build a fire, even in the cities, but in America you would be arrested for doing so ... "
Almost all of these necessities in America somebody has to profit from and thus they have to be paid for. Our society is almost 100% dependent on living off people paying through the nose in order to be on "the grid" whether for electricity, food, housing, plumbing, water, you name it.
So Kpete and any other low income person commenting here, do not listen to these dolts with dummass "suggestions". They do not get it. One of our former disabled and homeless DU members in Denver got forever banned in the library for committing the sin of being homeless even though she pays a higher proportion of taxes than the richest person there. So much for the dummass suggestion she "go to the library" to access the Internet that she already paid for, which the whole country now depends upon. They'll take her taxes, but to for her to use public facilities after paying them? People like these commenters are saying, "Thanks for the huge sacrifice you make paying those taxes out of your meager income, but go to hell only I should have that right!"
God, as a low income disabled senior, these people disgust me. I often say whenever I train people to lobby for low income issues, "The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans openly hate the poor, Democrats just PRETEND they don't hate the poor."
Cat in Seattle
board member of http//www.mamapower.org People Organizing for Welfare Economic Rights (POWER)
Posted by mntleo2 | Sat Apr 6, 2013, 01:22 PM (1 replies)
Listen People, this "news" has not been shocking for the poor. In 1996 when Welfare Reform was passed and signed into law. we activists tried to tell you all what was coming, because that law in essence defined what was to come.
It said in essence that any job, whether or not it paid the rent was "successful" and it actually replaced good government jobs with "welfare-to-work" people. For instance, in NYC Guiliani used these people to replace his city workers because the welfare recipients "worked off their welfare" which is essence was less than $.50 cents an hour. This was under the approving eye of guess who? SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON who later went around the country with Joe Lieberman crowing about how "successful" Welfare Reform was. The only "success" that they could talk about was that the roles were reduced ~ they had *no* idea where these people went, what they were doing, or the impact of this law on struggling families.
Truth is they decided to cling to the myths and "forget" about the truth about poor people, mostly women on welfare. The truth was (and they knew it) that these women used welfare in order to get a leg up. Over 74% of these women went on to college and got livable wage jobs. Over 80% of them were married when they had their children, they did not get child support, which would have kept them off the rolls. Less than 15% of these women were teens on welfare. Now these women cannot go to school and any job, whether or not it supports them and their families is the *only* way welfare deems them "successful". So much in my book for Hillary to be a "feminist" when she actually was quite active into shoving these women and their kids deeper into poverty so her rich friends could live off the backs of the poor in order to get richer.
The other fatal mistake about this is about the widespread, quite disgusting, and very stoooopid refusal to admit that poverty is an institution, it is *not* a "choice".
Institutions remain firmly ensconced in societies because they benefit the upper classes in spite of the horrible damage this institution promotes. The elite WANT more and more people to be poor so they can use them to enhance bank accounts. Other institutions that have been now and in the past are the Institution of Slavery, the Institution of marriage, the Institution of Racism, etc. theInstitution of Poverty is kept in place based on racism, sexism (including LGBTQ),classism, ageism, and disabilities.
Meanwhile the government was paying large corporations and mega-non-profits $millions to do the same thing - replacing workers with low income people who then replaced the jobs that made a livable wage. It then kept the low paying people and POOF! One by one, the good paying jobs were gone. I might add here with a little sadness and yes I TOLD YOU SO-ness that we told you people the next class they were going after was YOU.
See, while people were wildly applauding Welfare Reform they were so sure that this law did not apply to them: while trying to hide their prejudices ~ and using racism to the max since they assumed being poor meant "being brown" ~ and assuming wrongly that the Institution of Poverty meant "being lazy", they thought this law would just be for poor people, not THEIR "hard working" little butts. Well guess what? In America, it is illegal to pass laws for just one segment of the population, when laws are made, they apply to EVERYBODY. I might add here, that there were many people on DU who I have sparred with over the decade about this who maintained the same attitudes, but well, sad to say now that they are paying for it, they now know what I and other activists like me, had been trying to tell them for years.
The truth is the whole society is based on poverty because the upper classes depend on the poor for their own comforts. The poor are the ones who serve the upper classes and their "wages" have always been depressed. Now that the the falling middle class are vying for these jobs, well suddenly they are all surprised that what they wildly applauded in the 1990s was their fate. Even mega-non-profits use the poor in order for the rich to use them as their own private tax shelters, where "donating" merely means they give their riches and then get it back in tax breaks. they in essence "privatized" charity in order to use the poor, the disabled, women, people over the age of 50, and people of color as their slave labor, making sure there is no way out.
You will notice that "charity giving" is almost always mentioned as 2nd on the list for those shills like Ryan, Rand Paul, and their ilk who know that "donating' merely means more money from the government and it is not donating at all. they are really their own private "Cayman Islands" where they can hide more of their riches. These mega-nons are just corporations that do not pay taxes in order to give punitive, miserly "assistance" to the poor when in fact they pull in about $54,000-67,000 per client while giving on the average of only $2000 in services. These mega-nons also employ bored rich relatives in 6 figure "jobs". You can literally take a Stairway to Heaven" in these places. As you ascend, the lower floors are where the broken equipment and furniture lay and the poor work for wages that would be just a dinner at an exclusive restaurant for their "Executive Directors". As you go upwards the offices are nicer for the middle class where the case managers, social workers, accountants , and the like work as gatekeepers for the rich. The upper floors are where there is leather everywhere, original art, and new equipment.
Side note here: do *not* mistake megas with small non-profits because the little ones is where the REAL work is done, they get *nothing* from anyone, and they often operate on a budget that would not pay a social work manager's salary.
So basically, as many of us warned then when Welfare Reform was passed, they used the the Institution of Poverty to see whether or not this would work and VIOLA! Now these conditions apply to the rest of you. No it was not all Democrats, but let me tell you the key Dems today who were demonizing the poor were no different than the Repugs in this endeavor. Now they can hate you all, blame you for your poverty, make low wages impossible to live on, use their "mega-non-profits" to hide their money while making sure the palt5ry "services" they provide will make you feel like a piece of crap, all while their friends rake in the dough off your backs.
Ain't they sweet?
My disgusted 2 cents
Cat in Seattle
Board member of http://www.mamapower.org
Posted by mntleo2 | Sun Mar 31, 2013, 12:40 PM (1 replies)
After Tom and Shelton went over to caucus with the Repugs, I heard rumblings of wanting to kick them out, but never thought established Dems with their staid and rather proper stance would ever do it. But indeed they did! Peltz says to pass it on! Here is is a quote from his letter emailed out tonight:
On February 2nd, Party leaders passed a resolution formally censuring Tom and Sheldon. The resolution also denied them any support in the future.
You can sign their letter in support of this decision here: http://www.wa-democrats.org/notourparty
I wrote in my signature, "Rather than be a turncoat while taking Dem money and fooling real Dems into voting for you, if you want to be a Republican, go be a damn Republican. On your way out, don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you!"
Cat in Seattle
Posted by mntleo2 | Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:59 PM (15 replies)