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Georgia’s Celebrated No-Cost Labor Scheme: Cheating the Jobless?

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:56 AM
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Georgia’s Celebrated No-Cost Labor Scheme: Cheating the Jobless?


Georgia’s Celebrated No-Cost Labor Scheme: Cheating the Jobless?
by Michelle Chen
September 2, 2011

For a typical boss, there's only one thing better than getting away with not paying your workers: getting the government to supply you with people who will work for free. It's an employer's dream that may soon become reality around the country, as President Obama has moved toward incorporating it in his emerging job-creation agenda.

The job-creation flavor of the week is GeorgiaWork$, a job program that has for several years funneled unemployed workers into job slots as "trainees." Under this half-internship, half-indentured servitude scheme, a worker can earn a $240 weekly stipend on top of regular unemployment benefits for eight weeks, working 24 hours per week. Unlike other job subsidy programs, which use generally use public dollars to supplement workers' regular earnings, GeorgiaWork$ allows the state to capitalize on existing unemployment payments while giving a free boost to private employers. Workers, often hired in service sectors like child care and restaurant work, can only hope that their bosses will hire them after their preliminary test run ends.

This system fits well with Obama's anti-spending, quasi-pro-stimulus double-speak, and his forthcoming jobs plan may include a federal version of Georgia's virtually free labor system.

In other words, although GeorgiaWork$ looks like a steal for employers who want cheap labor, when it comes to helping people make a dignified living, there's no free lunch after all. Maybe the unemployed aren't as desperate as officials hoped; they might have just enough pride left to insist on an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

Read the full article at:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/04-2

And if you haven't read it already check out the post:

Obama’s newest jobs plan for the unemployed: Go work for free!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:57 AM
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1. I thought it was a one-time stipend
Well, either way, there has to be a better way than this hot mess.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It may be a one time stipend.

I've read contradictory articles regarding this stipend indicating it's a weekly amount, a one time total stipend divided up into weekly payments and an initial one time payment.

I haven't found anything conclusive on this matter yet.

If anyone does, please post the details and link here.
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Ruby the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thats a pretty big difference
Between $10/hour and $1.25/hour
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:20 PM
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4. The old CETA program which was created in the 70s. People did
work but only until their government money ran out and then they were "let go" and the boss hired another sucker who thought they were getting a real job. It is a jobs program but they need to represent it for what it is - a subsidy to businesses both big and small. It would work to get our economy going but it would not be a solution to the worker. I would also like to see it limited to small businesses.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:19 PM
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5. It has protections against workers going from job to job, I assume
It ALSO needs to have protections against corporations bringing a free worker on until the time period runs out, firing that worker and replacing him or her with another free worker.

It needs to have protections against corporations firing workers to free up space for the free ones.

If the program is structured to allow companies to bring, at most, three people in, train them at government expense and pick out the best worker to hire permanently for good pay, it wouldn't be a bad deal. If the corporations get their way, though, it will be a way to let people work at your company without actually having to pay any of them.
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