THAT IS ENDING HOMELESSNESS IN BALTIMORE AND IS THE O'MALLEY, DIXON, RAWLINGS-BLAKE---AND NOW MAYBE PUGH TACTIC.
Every time a homeless advocate pushes establishment candidates for mayor----they know they are working against homeless people. They ask---WHY CAN'T A CITY GOVERNMENT GET ITS ACT TOGETHER ON HOUSING? They never talk about the gorilla in the room of Hopkins/Baltimore Development controlling City Hall and mayors being the problem.
Being centralized at the edge of city limits in a holding pattern
Baltimore homeless take a hit
Why can't city government gets its act together on housing?
The recent funding announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development drew little attention in the local media but will have reverberations for years to come for Baltimore City's efforts to end homelessness. HUD announced the second phase of its annual awards for homeless services to jurisdictions throughout the country. Unfortunately, Baltimore City fared very poorly in this funding competition. Only two of 20 existing projects were awarded funding in this second phase — a devastating loss of $3.8 million for Baltimore. Gone in an instant were commitments for annual funding that had been in place, in many cases, for decades that have helped thousands of people out of homelessness and into self-sufficiency and stable housing.
The loss of these resources will significantly impact city-wide efforts to end homelessness by reducing housing options for the most vulnerable citizens who are homeless. The result will be increased homelessness and longer shelter stays due to less turnover of shelter beds, straining services that were already stretched thin before these cuts.
How is it that Baltimore lost such a substantial amount of funding, especially given that HUD actually substantially increased the available funding nationwide and many jurisdictions across the country actually gained funding? The reason is a lack of a clear vision and direction in Baltimore City and insufficient efforts to lead change. In recent years, HUD has made clear that local jurisdictions would need to reallocate funding from transitional housing to permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing programs. To encourage this shift, HUD gave permanent and rapid re-housing housing programs clear priority in its funding notices and increased the competitive nature of the funding process overall. Many cities and states moved swiftly to adapt to this new approach in order to be competitive. Unfortunately, Baltimore did not and the result is that we have lost $3.8 million in vital homeless resources to other jurisdictions — resources that will be very difficult to get back in future years. It's a severe loss that the city can ill afford at this time.
In an earlier round of funding, Baltimore was able to secure additional money for 55 permanent supportive housing units designed to serve chronically homeless individuals. However, this is small consolation for failing to protect existing resources, many of which serve homeless women and families. Baltimore should have preserved its existing funding and gained even more funding in this competition. The cumulative loss in housing units and homeless services for the 18 programs that were defunded will dwarf the 55 units gained in the earlier round of funding.
Over the last several months, out of widespread recognition that the city's governance, structure and approach for homeless services was not functioning at a competitive level, the Journey Home Board of Directors (the local board for homeless services in Baltimore) has undertaken a planning effort to re-imagine the leadership, governance and grantee operations that are currently housed in Baltimore City government. The goal is to create a more effective, unified and coordinated entity for ending homelessness in Baltimore. With the severe blow dealt by these HUD cuts to local homeless services, this planning effort must now take on new urgency. Hopefully, this effort will result in bold and innovative thinking and dramatic changes to how homeless services are governed, managed and supported here.
Baltimore is in serious danger of backsliding in its efforts to make progress in ending homelessness. We, as a community, can't afford that. It is time for new leadership, a better structure, more open and transparent communication, greater collaboration, increased local funding for homeless services and broader involvement by homeless services providers, businesses, civic leaders, government agencies and the philanthropic community to finally and definitively make homelessness in our community a thing of the past.
John J. Schiavone, Baltimore
The writer is president and CEO of St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore and a member of the Journey Home Board of Directors.
Citizens may not know this but Maryland Assembly and Federal agencies funding drug treatment have deliberately centralized the business of addiction to Baltimore----not exclusively but the majority of funding leads to Baltimore. This includes VA funding for addiction. It is a warehousing of social support to cities over these few decades creating the huge social structure in our communities. Citizens from around the state come to Baltimore because the treatment and support is here. This has for decades as well made communities fighting to remain stable mad especially since that attraction to Baltimore was answered with centralizing these drug treatment locations.
Social Democrats build structures in communities where people live and need them----Hopkins has used those Federal funds as with all Federal funding for all social programs---including for public schools---to draw revenue to its expanding institution at the same time creating outreach big on PHARMA and no follow-up structure. Lot's of data collection---little support structure for these thousands of citizens tied to drug treatment. Many of these folks are now among the homeless being pushed out of housing and end homeless as the movement away from seeking Federal funds to expand global corporations and more to having rich foreign corporations come to Baltimore.
When I attended a media gathering to ask why media did not focus on the need to build small business economies in each community to reduce violence, crime, and drug economies they acknowledged----SELLING DRUGS IS THE ONLY JOB MANY OF THESE COMMUNITIES HAVE. So, since HOPKINS drives the policy to keep local economies stagnant as it builds its International Economic Zone Master Plan of global corporate campuses----
IT IS THE ONE CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR HIGH DRUG DEALING AND USE WHILE RECEIVING MOST FUNDING TO TREAT DRUG ADDICTION.
In China and third world nations----those addicted to drugs are thrown into global corporate sweat shop factories often not paid as part of prison labor.
41 Detoxification Rehabs in Baltimore MD
Below is a list of 41 Detoxification Rehabs center in Baltimore, MD.
This is a list of all Drug Treatment center, Sober Living homes and Mental health services in Baltimore.Click on listing
Proposed drug counseling center in Mount Washington draws community's ire
Sam Bierman, executive director of Polaris Recovery Center. (File photo)
Larry Perl, email@example.comBaltimore Messenger
Polaris' executive says Mount Washington office would not dispense methadonePlans to open a counseling center for drug addicts is causing consternation in the Mount Washington community, where opponents say it poses a safety risk to motorists at a bad intersection and to children who walk to several schools in the immediate area.
The Maryland Addiction Recovery Center, whose parent company is Towson-based Polaris Recovery Center, is seeking approval from the Baltimore City zoning board to open a center at 5550 Newbury St., at the busy intersection of Newbury Street, Kelly Avenue and South Road.
A community meeting called by opponent Bill Rudow, an attorney whose office is acrosas the street from the proposed clinic, was held Jan. 8, and another meeting, this one called by Baltimore City Councilwoman Rochelle"Rikk" Spector, is set for Jan. 21 starting at 7 p.m.., in the C-19 conference room at the Johns Hopkins University campus in Mount Washington.
A hearing before the city's Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals board is set for Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.
Polaris' executive director, Sam Bierman said the Mount Washington office would not dispense methadone, and would be a counseling center, open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., that would advocate abstinence from drugs. The center would focus on individual, group and family therapy, he said.
We want to be good neighbors. We do not want to be a nuisance. — Sam Bierman, Polaris Recovery Center
Bierman also said he has reached out to the community, including scheduling a meeting Saturday with the zoning committee chairman of the Mount Washington Improvement Association.
"We want to be good neighbors," Bierman said. "We do not want to be a nuisance."
Rudow said he thinks the plan is "a non-starter" legally, because it has only 14 parking spaces and would need more than double that number to comply with city zoning regulations for health care offices.
Rudow also said he worries that the proposed clinic would compound traffic and pedestrian safety problems, especially for schoolchildren crossing what he called a dangerous and "wacky" intersection, where three major roads come together near the Mount Washington Village commercial district and a light rail stop. The Mount Washington School, a public school, has two separate buildings, one on Sulgrave Avenue and the other in the old Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church school, both of which are within walking distance, he said. Even closer is the Arts & Ideas Sudbury School, located in the old St. John's Episcopal Church, he said.
Maryland overdose deaths jump
"You constantly have a lot of kids walking in that area," he said. "My concern is for the safety of the kids."
Rudow also said the city is building a bicycle path that would run behind the office building where the counseling center could be located. And he said parking is already hard to come by in the business district.
Bierman said he anticipates having 20 to 25 clients and hiring six to eight staff members. The company is also buying a van that would shuttle clients to and from their homes or jobs.
But Rudow said the staffing and van wouldn't change his mind.
"From my perspective, it's irrelevant," Rudow said.
Some of the clients would come from Jewish Community Services, said Mike Gimbel, a Polaris consultant.
Gimbel, former longtime director of substance abuse programs for Baltimore County and later for the Sheppard Pratt Health System, said he has long been opposed to methadone treatment and would never work for a company that advocated it.
But Gimbel said, "I endorse this program."
Also endorsing it is Barbara Gradet, executive director of Jewish Community Services. Gradet said Jewish Community Services has formed a "continuum of care" consortium that includes Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and she hopes to refer clients to the counseling center.
Gradet said she could not quantify that statistically, but, "It's very clear to us that there's a need."
Rudow, who has not met with center officials, said he is not opposed in concept to a drug treatment center in Mount Washington, but, "This is not the location for it. That building doesn't work."
He added, "I'm always happy to compromise if there's a compromise (to be had). But there's no way possible for Polaris to change that intersection," unless the provider built a pedestrian bridge over the intersection
He said there has been talk in the community of a negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the Maryland Addictions Recovery Center.
The Mount Washington Village Association, a merchants' group, has not met with center officials or taken a formal position, which would be premature "until we know more about it," said the group's attorney, Herbert Burgunder III.
But Burgunder said, "The merchants are concerned about the intensity of the use" of the 6,000-square-foot building, as well as "the difficult intersection."
Koula Savvakis, president of the merchants' association, could not be reached for cxomment.
Spector said she would support the counseling center if the community does, but echoed Rudow in saying the plan would be "a non-starter" without more parking.
"I would never agree to rezone that property," she said.
Spector also said she would support the community in asking for conditions regarding issues such as hours of operation
But she added, "I haven't taken a position because it's too soon."
At the meeting Jan. 8, Rudow reiterated that he was no opposed to a clinic conceptually, but several of the 18 people who attended the meeting said they would be opposed. Mount Washington Village businesswomen Denise Klicos, of DK Salon, and Mary Anne Barker, of La Chic Boutique, said they thought the clinic would bring unwanted loitering and other problems to the business district and residential neighborhoods.
"I don't want additional people coming here and lying on benc hes," said Barker, a Mount Washington resident. "I don't want it in my neighborhood."
What we know as Hogan and maybe Pugh FIX Baltimore installing global corporate campuses and global factories to operate as they do overseas is that International Economic Zones have long used prison labor and those with drug addiction as prison labor. If we look at a prison being torn down in Baltimore City center as global corporate factories are being built-----we see the connection. This is how the far-right Wall Street global corporate pols think. Centralizing much of the social programs in US cities while creating the conditions of long-term unemployment----no job opportunities----and only black market economies sets the stage for what will become school to global sweat shop factory as prison. Going beyond the dismantling of our public K-12 schools and attaching them to child labor apprenticeships on global corporate campuses-----this is the direct route to the same. We are seeing a War on Guns and a War on Drugs growing even as Congress poses progressive on moving to lessen criminalization of drugs.
These are the global corporate sweat shop factories coming to US International Economic Zones under Trans Pacific Trade Pact will operate in US cities like Baltimore as they do in Asian nations.
US-owned Jabil factory in China is run like minimum security prison
Jul 02, 2010
The National Labor Committee (NLC) has released a 30-page report documenting the illegal and harsh sweatshop conditions at the Jabil Circuit factory in Guangzhou, China. The report, entitled 'U.S.-Owned High Tech Jabil Factory in China Runs Like Minimum Security Prison Producing for Whirlpool, GE, HP', describes conditions at the Jabil factory where over 6,000 workers - many of them illegal temporary workers - reportedly produce hi-tech products for among others Cannon, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Siemens and Xerox - among whom a number of Board members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. The new report includes worker interviews, photographs and company documents smuggled out of the factory.
THIS IS GLOBAL CORPORATE FACTORY SOCIALISM
Cruel and inhuman conditions at Jabil:
- The factory operates around the clock, with two 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. Workers are at the factory 84 hours a week.
- Assembly line workers are prohibited from sitting down and must stand for their entire 12-hour shift. Workers report their necks, shoulders, arms and legs become stiff and sore, and their feet swell up.
- Workers are allowed to use the bathroom just once in the regular eight-hour shift.
- Jabil hires a huge number of illegal temp workers and pits them against the full time workers.
- Security guards and managers patrol the shop floor as if they are police overseeing their prisoners. Workers who make a mistake are forced to write a "letter of repentance" begging forgiveness-which they must read aloud in front of all their coworkers. They can also be made to stay after work-unpaid-to clean toilets.
- Six workers share each crowded dorm room, sleeping on double-level bunk beds. Seventy-five percent of the workers say the factory food is "awful."
- Workers paid a base wage of 76 cents an hour through April, when they received a 17-cent increase, to 93 cents an hour, which is well below subsistence levels.
NLC director Charles Kernaghan asks, "What happened to all the promises U.S. companies made-that if they could set up operations in China, they would, by example, lift human, women's and worker rights standards for China's workers? Instead, U.S. companies bought into the 'China model' of exploitation, pitifully low wages, grueling hours, miserable living conditions and zero rights." Kernaghan adds, "Corporate monitoring never works. Five out of eight of the companies on the Board of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition have been producing their goods for years under illegal, harsh sweatshop conditions at the Jabil factory!"
- All overtime must be strictly voluntary.
- Humiliating treatment, including "letters of repentance" the workers must stop.
- Temporary workers should be hired as regular full time workers.
- Workers must have the right to use the bathroom more than once in an eight-hour shift.
- Assembly lines should be re-fitted so workers are not standing 12 hours a day.
- The workers right to organize a democratic, independent union must be respected.
I have spoken at length about the injustice in homelessness and what fuels our drug economy and addiction. Both social conditions create what is DISABILITY making this category in Baltimore one of the largest population groups.
The other side of disability are the physical disability group and I wanted to preface this talk with the unpleasant fate of other social groups being classified as disabled because DISABLED OVERSEAS ARE MADE PART OF THIS GLOBAL CORPORATE SWEAT SHOP FACTORY worker group. The far-right autocratic pols do not see social programs that support people ----they are not Americans with Disabilities Rights social Democrats---so, we have been seeing more and more disability rights laws and structures disappearing---and so too will the idea of creating humane pathways to work for our disabled. Wall Street global corporate pols----with Clinton Foundation heading the International Economic Zone policies for these few decades built this global human capital network and allow these worker treatments to occur----including global disabled.
Disability Wage Raise
Capital News Service
Published on Mar 26, 2014
The debate over minimum wage in Maryland has intensified in recent days, but raising just the wage isn't enough for some workers. CNS-TVs Woody Wilder was in Annapolis today as care workers for the disabled were at the State House looking for more support.
I think most people following my public policy posts can see the economic crash is coming---that it will be deep----and it will be social service programs like this losing funding. There is a move back to warehousing disabled no matter how much progressive posing Maryland Assembly does---we already see in Baltimore where a tiered per-pupil funding of special needs has special needs at the lowest funding----a concentration of special needs towards underserved public schools where they are main streamed with teachers often overwhelmed and unable to handled their special needs. This is what warehousing looks like.
Maryland will always get that media headline for policy passed that sounds progressive-----but the media never says Maryland rarely enforced progressive laws. This passed right before the Democratic primary in Maryland-----candidates pushing $15 an hour in Baltimore---and none of this will happen. Even the Federal laws around Prevailing Wages were attacked in legislation that posed progressive but made more loopholes to avoid prevailing wage laws. So, Maryland and especially Baltimore has created a huge wealth inequity for working class and poor---and now middle-class will fall into this US International Economic Zone race to the wage bottom.
This is why it is critical we fight now for those lower-income citizens being warehoused until this global corporate campus factory structure is built---and it will end all Federal and state social programs for disability.
When the Clintons REFORMED welfare by pretending to build a Welfare to Work at the same time they were passing NAFTA and moving all US corporations overseas to International Economic Zones they knowingly created a situation where people pushed off welfare would have no jobs to go to. THEY KNEW THAT. What happened around the nation when large numbers of people could not find work and could not get welfare benefits? They created black market economies of course but something else happened------cities started to allow long-term unemployed to be classified as SS Disabled. I have talked about this at length but talking this week on disabilities and work especially----the bottom line----Wall Street global pols subprimed our SS Disabilities Trust into bankruptcy just so it will end. Remember the $20 trillion in national debt with a collapsing bond market---there will be no SS Trust or SS Disability----so where will those workplace funds go as well?
THIS IS HOW WE KNOW MARYLAND'S SUBMINIMUM WAGE BILL IS POSING---IT CAME FROM CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL THINK TANKS ----
'Hillary Clinton Takes A Stand Against ‘Subminimum Wage’ For People With DisabilitiesSome disabled workers are being paid pennies per hour under a 78-year-old loophole in federal wage law'.
Maryland To Become The Second State To Guarantee Fair Minimum Wage For Workers With Disabilities
by Cory Herro Apr 20, 2016 3:35 pm
Maryland will soon become the second state, after New Hampshire, to phase out the “subminimum wage” for workers with disabilities.
Maryland lawmakers this month passed a bill that would do away with special wage certificates that allow employers to pay disabled workers according to productivity rather than hours worked. The law affects all 36 of Maryland’s “sheltered workshops” — nonprofit organizations that hire people with disabilities at subminimum wages to perform basic tasks like assembling products, hanging clothes, or picking up trash.
Some 420,000 Americans with disabilities are employed this way nationally, some at a rate of just pennies per hour. The average Marylander working under this arrangement makes less than $4 per hour — an unjust rate that no longer jives with modern attitudes toward disability, advocates say.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Waldstreicher (D), says the bill is a victory for civil rights.
“By passing HB 420 and SB 417, we have upheld Maryland’s highest ideals,” he wrote in a public statement. “Marylanders are a compassionate, caring people. We believe in the dignity of every individual, in equal rights.”
In addition to boosting wages, the bill aims to desegregate Maryland’s workforce over the next four-and-a-half years. The Department of Disabilities will reallocate state and Medicaid funding to promote employment in “competitive, integrated workplaces” rather than in sheltered, segregated workshops. The state will pick up the tab for planning workers’ transitions to integrated employment.
“People thrive in a diverse workplace,” Waldstreicher told ThinkProgress. “Most of these workers want this transition, and we want to help it go smoothly.”
Legislators have worked closely with the sheltered workshops, and the majority are on board. They were initially concerned that higher wages would displace workers, but the state’s integrated employment plan assuaged their fears.
Disability advocates applauded the legislation, saying sheltered workshops are ineffective and reforms are long overdue.
“[Workshops] offer the employees no opportunities to be part of their community or to make enough money to support themselves,” the Autistic Self Advocacy Network said in a statement commending the Maryland legislation.
“Sheltered workshops often rely on outdated, non-mechanized production processes — which are poor vehicles for developing the skills real employers need in the open market economy,” writes University of Michigan law professor Samuel Bagenstos in a report to the National Federation of the Blind.
Indeed, only 5 percent of sheltered workshop employees leave to take a job in the community, according to a 2001 investigation by the Government Accountability Office.
The bill is now on the desk of Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Waldstreicher told ThinkProgress he’s “positive” the governor will sign it into law.
These developments in Maryland are part of a turning tide against paying disabled workers less than minimum wage. Last month, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed support for eliminating the subminimum wage nationwide.
“We’ve got to figure out how we get the minimum wage up and include people with disabilities in the minimum wage,” Clinton said when a young lawyer with autism asked her about the minimum wage exemption. “There should not be a tiered wage.”
And in 2014 President Obama included workers with disabilities in his federal minimum wage hike — guaranteeing minimum wage for some 50,000 federal contract employees with disabilities.
'Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the government must provide people with disabilities with equal, if separate, alternatives for public transportation. Defining taxis as "public" is murky, but nevertheless many cities now require cab companies to provide some accessible vehicles'.
All of the privatization of public transportation is seeing outsourced disability transportation being left behind. There is no way a private transportation corporation is going to protect equal rights to disabled citizens in any need---whether privatized K-12 schools, transit, workplace, even disabled parking passes are being hit in Baltimore. The VA hospital has been outsourced and the new veterans with disabilities are not able to access the same care----we all know this. So this wage posing is more of the same as the same Maryland Assembly pols pass the dismantling of our ADA----
The far-right has always warehoused disabled----they will fall into this global factory venue if able to work.
Human Rights6 March 2014
Disabled Americans fight for transport rights
Growing campaign is pushing US companies to provide the disabled with better access to public transportation.
Toshio Meronek | |
Last month, New York City and the department in charge of its taxi fleet finally settled a two-year lawsuit brought on behalf of disabled New Yorkers. As part of the settlement, the city has pledged that at least 50 percent of its yellow cabs will be accessible by 2020.
It is great news for people with mobility impairments, who have generally been relegated to the bus system. Currently, less than two percent of cabs and only about 20 percent of New York subway stations are currently accessible - though with frequent elevator outages, that number is usually lower.
But for disabled New Yorkers, as well as disabled people who live in any major metropolitan area, there is a problem ahead: In many US cities with cab fleets, cab revenues have decreased by a massive one-third just in the past year, due to transportation network companies, or TNCs for short. In the long run, that may translate into fewer accessible vehicles on the road overall.
Commonly known as "rideshares", smartphone-based services such as Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber are so new, California became the first state to attempt to regulate them late last year. TNCs make it easy for almost anyone to use their own car to make money shuttling people around town, no cab license necessary. They are already big business: Uber, the largest service in terms of fleet size and revenues, was recently valued at $3.5 billion.
As these and other companies under the umbrella of the so-called "sharing economy", like the home rental site Airbnb, become increasingly popular, there is a question as to whether these services, unregulated, may end up expanding inequality between disabled and non-disabled people.
For one, while many cab fleets require a certain number of accessible vehicles to be on the road at any given time, and can be dispatched by phone, the platforms that TNCs operate offer no way to specifically request accessible vehicles.
Margaret Ryan, a spokesperson for Sidecar, said that the company is “working with accessibility groups to incentivise those with wheelchair accessible vehicles to participate on the Sidecar platform,” but didn't have any details on the program. Lyft's Jeff Fong wrote in an email, "Accessibility is something we are trying to figure out right now. It will most likely be something that gets built in the medium-term"; he also declined to give specifics.
Likewise, while traditional hotels typically offer at least some accessible rooms, with the widely used "homesharing" websites Airbnb and VRBO, individuals with disabilities have to fend for themselves. "We believe everyone deserves a clean, comfortable place to stay. Hosts can label their listings as being 'handicap accessible' and guests can use this filter when searching for an accommodation," described Airbnb's Jakob Kerr.
"Guests can also use our messaging platform to get to know their hosts and discuss any specific needs before booking."
But disability advocates note that none of this gels with the concept of equal access. “It's like the Wild West, rather than a regulated situation where everyone is getting served in a consistent way,” says Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund. She explains that where getting better cab accessibility in Manhattan was an "uphill battle", with these newer services, there is "no accountability".
Christiane Hayashi is Director of Taxis & Accessible Services for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Hayashi takes issue with calling the companies "rideshares".
"The first you've got to do is stop calling them 'rideshares,' because they're not rideshares,” says Hayashi. “They are for-hire transportation services.” Her organisation wholeheartedly supports the more traditional definition of ridesharing: carpooling. “But that's not at all what we're talking about.”
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the government must provide people with disabilities with equal, if separate, alternatives for public transportation. Defining taxis as "public" is murky, but nevertheless many cities now require cab companies to provide some accessible vehicles.
San Francisco's paratransit contract with local cab operators means that the city should have, in theory, about 100 accessible taxis on the road at any given time, says Hayashi. But it is cheaper for cabdrivers to drive their own TNC cars, meaning instead of paying $75 to $125 to lease out a taxi for a shift, cabdrivers are fleeing the industry "to, say, drive their own vehicles with a pink mustache".
Pink, faux fur mustaches are a symbol of the TNC Lyft, which requires its drivers to display the mustaches on their cars while they're working for the company.
With more cabdrivers opting to drive TNCs, San Francisco has had trouble recruiting and retaining drivers for their wheelchair-accessible taxi vans. “Point of fact, many of them aren't on the road right now.”
When asked whether the companies have seemed open to working with local governments, Hayashi responds, "That question makes me chuckle, because they have most pointedly not been communicating with local regulators."
Instead, "They just generally come into a jurisdiction, and they get cease-and-desist orders from regulators that they ignore, and then they beat a trail to city hall to get the rules changed," she says. Given their billion-dollar valuations, she wonders why the companies have not moved to provide their own accessible vehicles.
Meanwhile, those with interests in the tech industry, notably the billionaire investor Ron Conway, have pushed against regulation. Conway has donated to local politicians in municipalities that are at the heart of the struggle, like Mayors Ed Lee in San Francisco and Bill DeBlasio in New York City.
California's Public Utilities Commission is requiring TNCs to draw up an “Accessibility Plan,” including modifying apps so they "allow passengers to indicate their access needs," among other things. But according to disability advocates, the CPUC's regulatory system is problematic, because it asks TNCs to self-report things such as the "percentage of customer requests for accessible vehicles." Given that most companies ignored the issue until they were forced to do so by regulators, advocates also say people with disabilities may be discouraged from requesting TNCs from the get-go.
Of course, the taxis, Ubers, and Airbnbs of the world are just one small piece of the accessible transportation issue. Nearly 25 years after the ADA, New York's paratransit (Access-A-Ride) bus services, where disabled riders call 24 hours in advance to schedule a pickup, have earned a reputation for being excruciatingly late and slow.
San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit subway system is noted for its reliability, but it is also locally notorious for its elevator closures, and for people who can not use the escalators, that can make something as basic as getting to work difficult. And the airline EasyJet is the latest airline to face discrimination charges for refusing to carry disabled passengers who wanted to fly unaccompanied.
Scott Rains, an international tourism industry consultant whose Rolling Rains Report website has long covered accessible transportation issues, says companies need to start operating by the concept of Universal Design, which promotes products created to suit all kinds of bodies.
Rains says there could be a positive “ripple effect” if, for example, new buildings and vehicles were created to accommodate everyone.
“Until we really look at accessibility of the cars that come out of Detroit, or Japan, we're always looking at a patchwork kind of answer. Adapting things after the fact,” he says of the accessibility issues with TNCs. “Everything that flows from a vehicle where we're not designed into it, is problematic.”
'Curb cut effect'
A successful example of universal design he uses is one that most people will be familiar with: curb cuts. The now-ubiquitous slopes in sidewalks that allow people using wheelchairs to move onto or off of sidewalks became common in the 1990s, mostly because of accessibility lawsuits. But as it turned out, the simple idea has fans beyond the disabled community. “You find people with bikes, and moms with strollers, and kids on skateboards, and workers carrying a hand-truck full of beer using the curb cut because it works for everybody.” Rains calls it the “curb cut effect.”
Similarly, the organisation Concrete Change has successfully pushed for legislation enacted in dozens of U.S. municipalities calling for “Visitability”: a concept that all new construction include features such as a bathroom on the first floor, and accessible entryways, among other things.
As for Airbnb and Uber, "Each of these companies should have someone articulate in universal design," believes Rains. "They should have focus groups that look at the real issues that people with disabilities face, and then they should have design groups that break out the kinds of problems and opportunities that come up. Because the flipside of a problem is an opportunity."
Companies don't understand that there's money to be made, Rains says, from a disabled community that makes up about 20 percent of the US population. Why more companies haven't jumped on the potentially lucrative bandwagon “has more to do with stigma and prejudice than it has to do with profitability".
Sites like Airbnb “ought to have easily accessible guidelines for all their people who register with them, saying, these are the kinds of things that constitute the norms in a regular hotel, or these are general considerations. 'We encourage you to measure your doorways and describe how many stairs you have, and whether you have handrails on your stairs, in order to encourage people to make informed decisions.'” At least they'd show “good intent toward accessibility,” while not being legally bound to yet-to-materialize regulations.
Several of the companies cited cases where people with disabilities were using their services for travel, or making money off of them. But Rains is skeptical.
"In any situation, if you pose the question broadly enough, somebody is going to be able to find an example of how disabled people are benefiting,” he said.
Likewise, says Golden with the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, while it is great that people with disabilities might be driving Ubers in order to make ends meet, "it is never going to be in the numbers to have a discernible impact on disability unemployment. Meanwhile, the same companies are evidencing all kinds of problems".
'More lawsuits on the horizon'
And so more lawsuits and disability community organising to get these businesses to be more equitable may be on the horizon. Ronnie Raymond is a board member at the United Spinal Association, one of the organisations that worked on the New York City taxi case.
According to Raymond, "it seems like every single thing that has been done in this city concerning accessibility has been done because of lawsuits,” rather than the willingness of business and government to push for equal access. Buses, curb cuts, subways, and taxis are more accessible in large part because people with disabilities were able to sue in order to make them compliant with the ADA.
As Golden says, "We all have to pressure the states, the municipalities to regulate them". Airbnb and Uber have been successful at mobilizing their users to appear at public hearings to speak on behalf of the companies. Industry groups like Peers have people "in large numbers testifying on their behalf, and it's important for us to organize in the other direction".
The disability direct action group ADAPT, in particular, has been successful at getting attention onto various disability issues, with actions like blockading Greyhound buses. In part because of decades of such activism, the government required the company to switch to a more accessible fleet in 2012.
The fight over accessibility has been and will be an ongoing one, says Raymond. She tells the story of New York City's recent remodeling of the Dyckman Street Station in the Upper West Side. In response to a lawsuit, the city eventually installed an elevator on the downtown side, but not the uptown side.
If you live nearby, "You can go to work, but how do you get back?" And even with accessible features added, "Is it maintained enough so that I can depend on it to go to work on time?"
“When do you roll over and say, 'We won'?” asks Raymond hypothetically. “Never.”
What most families of people with disability knows is the Affordable Care Act moved to end American With Disability Act and the policies tied to access of disabled to health care as well. We see families now having to be the caretakers where Federal and state programs allowed for independent living and health care were defunded.
That minimum wage for caretakers of disabled is not transferring to families and families are not able to afford to pay caretakers so it is a case of increasing a wage at a time when services are becoming unaffordable. It is again tiering----the low-income disabled are the first to feel these effects but it will continue up the ladder as a middle-class continues to be impoverished and will not be able to afford outside care either.
Even the day workshops that used to be common for the disabled are being closed in many places as funding stops. We see disabled as volunteers not getting paid as with all population groups----but no paying jobs.
What we are seeing is the subpriming of what used to be a strong system of protection for the disabled. It is like watching child protective services fail into dysfunction these few decades of defunding and staff cuts. As parents are forced to be the caretakers----this means one parent will not work for an income instead getting these lower subsidies and the commitment to severe disability is a great one. Many parents are not qualified----caretakers of disabled must have personality traits conducive to such care and not all parents have this personality so we are already seeing the stresses on families and the compromise of care for the disabled.
Struggling To Care For Disabled Adults At Home
November 17, 20101:00 PM ET GuestsTamara Welter, mother of Olivia Welter
Joseph Shapiro, NPR investigative correspondent
Molly Hofmann, advanced practice nurse for the pediatric home ventilation program, Children's Hospital of Illinois
Olivia Welter has been severely disabled since birth. She's received round-the-clock intensive care at home. As of her 21st birthday, she was no longer eligible for state-provided coverage. Her parents now struggle to provide the care that has kept their daughter healthy all these years.
NY Legislature approves pay for parent caregivers of disabled adult children
By The Associated Press
on June 18, 2015 at 5:55 PM, updated June 18, 2015 at 6:09 PM
New York State Legislature
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Lawmakers have voted to allow parents to get paid for providing personal care for their chronically ill or disabled adult children.
Sponsors say many special needs children continue to live with their parents, who face the dilemma of having to work outside the home to pay for someone else to care for their son or daughter.
The bill would revise the state-administered Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, which already allows that caregiver to be another family member.
It would still prohibit spouses or the person legally responsible for the care and support of the individual eligible for the program. It also requires that the parent's services are consistent with the disabled or chronically ill person's care plan and at no higher cost than an outside personal assistant.
When Clinton/Bush/Obama PRETENDED they could simply chose not to enforce Federal laws the ADA was weakened in private corporate jobs. Profit is harmed by having employers create conditions for hiring so Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals will not enforce those Federal laws. This moved more disabled citizens out of main stream jobs and more into the disabled workshops----now the disabled workshops are being defunded----using the austerity of sequester as the excuse----remember, austerity and budget cuts are being done because tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud during the Bush/Obama era was never recovered----Congress simply cut Federal programs and services to replace those trillions of dollars.
Well, here we come to the grand finale of economic crashes and of course there will be no ability to fund Federal ACA requirements----no SS Disability----so families will be at home caring for their disabled children. Those able to work will enter the global corporate factory system.
Government positions were the main source of disability hiring left
Sequester Threatens to Cut Jobs for Disabled Government Workers
Workers with severe mental and physical disabilities are most in jeopardy.
by Gerren Keith Gaynor Posted: March 3, 2013
A- A A+ While the looming federal budget cuts, also known as the sequester, will undoubtedly affect many American jobs and programs, one of the most vulnerable to such cuts will be disabled government workers.
While Americans most likely to lose their job if Congress and the White House do not reach a deal will simply search for other job opportunities, for workers with severe mental and physical disabilities that option isn’t so readily available. The sequester, which would slash $85 billion, would put millions of disabled workers out of a job–something economists say would not be a good idea.
According to labor experts, keeping disabled workers on payroll makes sense because it saves the federal government an average of $4,657 in reduced or eliminated disability and healthcare benefits. The threat of job loss now as part of the sequester follows four years of serious decline in employment American workers with disabilities, who lost jobs three times the rate of the general population during the recession.
Here we see why so many Latino immigrants flooded the US these few decades. The tight border control forces them to work in these International Economic Zones. They reference US factories with unions as better but what unions are not educating is US International Economic Zone cities like Baltimore will not allow unions if those global corporate campuses and global factory-owners do not want them---and why would they? This is why we see immigrant labor density building in the Eastern and southern states ---and it is all workers into this system----including Americans. What I want to stress with our talk about our most fragile of citizens---the disabled----these global corporate systems see them as liability and not profit---it's only human capital for Wall Street global pols! ALL MARYLAND POLS ARE GLOBAL WALL STREET AND PASSED ALL LAWS LEADING TO THIS AS THEY POSE PROGRESSIVE WITH WAGE BILLS.
'But the Clinton administration has massively stepped up patrols at the border, stopping many migrants from crossing. "So many people get stuck along the northern border and have to take jobs in the maquiladoras," Najera says. "It's especially terrible for the young women'.
Those Clinton corporate feminists love enslaving women and children!
Misery of the maquiladoras
November 18, 2011In 2000, Socialist Worker's
Todd Chretien and Jessie Muldoon toured the maquiladora zone in Tijuana with a delegation organized by the human rights group Global Exchange--and reported on the conditions maquiladora workers face and their struggle to change them. This article appeared in the June 9, 2000 edition of SW.
A maquiladora producing clothing for the U.S. market
THE MODERN factories that dot the landscape in border towns like Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez don't fit the image that many Americans have of Mexico.
Huge multinationals such as Sanyo, Panasonic, General Electric and Nike have set up shop here. And they've brought with them some of the most advanced manufacturing technology anywhere in the world. Yet near these 21st-century facilities stand the shantytowns.
They are home to many of the more than 1.2 million men, women and children who work in the maquiladora factories, located mainly along Mexico's border with the U.S. Maquiladora workers assemble products that end up around the world. But when they go home at night, they can barely afford to put food on the table.
Mexican officials say that the maquiladora system--which allows multinational corporations to avoid taxes and trade restrictions by setting up factories that produce goods for export--is an economic success story. And it is successful--for the corporate crooks who have taken advantage of Mexico's plummeting wages. For Mexican workers, the maquiladoras have brought misery and repression.
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"FROM ITS corporate headquarters in Carlsbad, California, Sunrise Management oversees a global enterprise with 4,400 [employees] and 12 factories in North America and Europe," brags the Web site of Sunrise Medical, a manufacturer of home health-care products. "Our products improve people's lives in many ways: healing wounds, speeding recovery, providing independence, facilitating breathing and assisting in the activities of daily life... [based on] our empathy with people confronting illness, disability or simply old age."
But 22-year-old Maria has a different story to tell.
Maria has worked in Sunrise's maquiladora plant in Tijuana for just over a year. During that time, she suffered severe chemical burns, which turned the skin on her face dark gray. "I've been hurt by the chemicals we work with, and I want to know what they are so I can help myself," Maria says. "Most of the chemical names are in English, so we can't read the warning labels. My skin has been burned by these chemicals, and now they want to fire me. They say I came to the factory this way, but everyone knows that's not true.
Maria's coworker Carmelina has a similar story to tell. "I've worked for 35 years in different maquiladora plants--in textiles, electronics, chemicals," she says. "At Sunrise, we're abused physically and emotionally, and we have no way to resist. Many people have lost fingers and hands in the cutting machines, but they just get fired. The bosses always blame accidents on the workers, and we never get any benefits or compensation."
This is the world of the maquiladoras. The system is supposed to benefit ordinary Mexicans by bringing in international investment and creating jobs. But the real winners are the corporations who put profit first.
"It's not like Arkansas at all," explained an American manager for Sanyo, who was transferred to one of the company's plants in Tijuana. "They have a union [in Arkansas], and the workers are always saying, 'That's not in the contract.' We can be very discriminating here about who we hire. For instance, if a woman is pregnant, we don't have to hire her. Also, I can really play favorites in terms of promotions or giving out overtime pay.
"You have to understand, it's different here. The Mexicans don't think like Americans do. They don't know how to take any initiative on their own. But they're friendly. They'll never say a mean word to your face or even tell me when one of the other workers has made a mistake."
According to Minerva Najera, a human rights monitor in the Baja California region, many maquiladora workers are young women who tried to escape the poverty of rural life in southern Mexico by crossing into the U.S.
But the Clinton administration has massively stepped up patrols at the border, stopping many migrants from crossing. "So many people get stuck along the northern border and have to take jobs in the maquiladoras," Najera says. "It's especially terrible for the young women. They not only have to work five days a week for 12 hours, with a half-day on Saturday, but they often also have to take care of the children and do all the housework. We've found that many of these women only sleep for four hours a night and have to take drug stimulants just to keep working."
The dangers faced by Mexican workers have spilled beyond the walls of the maquiladora plants. Corporations whose only priority is profit have caused numerous environmental catastrophes.
For example, wealthy San Diego businessman Jose Cann abandoned his Tijuana battery recycling operation, Metales y Sus Derivados, in 1993. He left 6,000 tons of toxic sludge, including lead and sulfuric acid, sitting on the top of a hill overlooking the neighborhood where his workers lived. Every time it rains, poisons stream down the hill into thousands of people's drinking water. After years of increased birth defects, learning disabilities and illness in the surrounding neighborhood, the government finally responded to community protests--by covering the mounds of sludge with thin plastic sheets.
The wages paid by the multinationals don't begin to make up for these conditions--since maquiladora owners pay the lowest possible amount. Average pay for a 60-hour week in the maquiladoras is 400 to 500 pesos--about $40 or $50. And women and children often make much less.
To keep up with Mexico's high cost of living, whole families have to work in the plants. "A gallon of milk costs 25 pesos, a kilo of eggs costs 18, and a pack of tortillas costs five," says Eduardo Badillo from the Support Committee for Workers Along the Border in Tijuana's Guadelupe Victoria neighborhood. "So you're talking about 48 pesos a day just to put this basic food on your family's table. That's almost 350 pesos a week! Never mind clothes for your kids or books for their school, which we have to buy. Housing is also very expensive. The government now builds some small houses without any water or electricity for maquiladora workers, but they cost 15,000 to 20,000 pesos. Who can afford that?"
As Jorge, a 30-year-old father of three who works in a Maxwell electronics plant, put it: "The maquiladoras give us employment, but it comes at a tremendous cost to the workers who suffer many insults and injuries. Our kids have to go to work at 12 or 13 years old because the economy is set up to help the owners but hurt the workers. And if you raise your voice or leave a job on bad terms, then you get blacklisted."
The complete lack of union rights in the maquiladoras means that most workers express their resistance to terrible conditions and low pay through high absenteeism and by frequently changing jobs. After all, since the bosses work together to keep down wages and keep out health and safety standards, one job is, generally speaking, as good as the next.
Yet by concentrating large numbers of workers in crucial industries and by stoking their resentment, bosses on both sides of the border have created the conditions for anger to turn into action.
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Why the bosses love this scam
MEXICO'S MAQUILADORA program was instituted in 1965 to spur economic development in Mexico's border region. The idea was to allow foreign-owned companies--mainly from the U.S.--to set up assembly plants to produce goods for export. The multinationals were given huge tax breaks and exempted from duties and tariffs. Plus they got to take advantage of Mexico's large pool of cheap, unemployed labor.
The system took off when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1994. The number of maquiladoras and maquiladora workers has doubled in the past six years. Electronics is the biggest industry among the maquiladoras, but the factories make everything from auto parts to garments.
The program is particularly desirable for companies that set up shop near the border. The financial investment is minimal, and Mexico's minimum wage is very low. The equivalent of $4 to $5 a day is typical. No wonder the corporate crooks love the maquiladoras.
Neo-liberal economists like Kristoff and Krugman are sociopaths ----they created this image of International Economic Zone global factories creating opportunities for Asians who used to own farms and lived simply and happily. The American people understand the losses to citizens as US corporations were allowed to become monopolies in our own nation----we now have no rights or voice with global pols working for corporations and not citizens. They do not see us as citizens. So we know bringing back global corporations and global factories to US cities like Baltimore allowing them to operate as they do overseas will bring this to our citizens. These global corporations are pure profit-driven--they do not see weakened people as good human capital---they see them as liability. Obama and Clinton neo-liberals have these two terms dismantled much of the Americans with Disabilities structures and creating HUD that funds only global corporate campuses so they are working hard to kill ADA. Parents will become more deeply impoverished next decade so caring for disabled will become harder if left to family cost.
'He pointed out that “Asian workers would be aghast at the idea of American consumers boycotting certain toys or clothing in protest. The simplest way to help the poorest Asians would be to buy more from sweatshops, not less.”'
'To solve this problem, they either forcibly removed farmers from their land or levied onerous taxes in order to coerce them into seeking wage work, all under the guise of the “civilizing mission.”
This caused hundreds of thousands of people to move to industrial cities where they constituted a reserve army of workers willing to take whatever job they could find and ready to underbid each others’ wages'. Krugman is the neo-liberal economist who feels the pain of American poor and slaps Obama on the back for advancing International Economic Zone and global corporate campus policies in the US---no doubt thinking this is good for American poor---- For those white collar workers thinking this is only about the poor-----Asian white collar workers are impoverished and are tied to work as well----
Rethinking Sweatshop Economics
Instead of giving two cheers to sweatshops, we should alter the policies that cause poverty in the first place
By Jason Hickel, July 1, 2011.
The news that a Romanian sweatshop manufactured one of Kate Middleton’s most famous dresses has inspired renewed popular interest in the ethics and economics of outsourcing jobs to utilize super-cheap labor. This is only the most recent of a string of cases that exemplify the shocking proliferation of sweatshops — even across Europe — over the past few decades. But the truly troubling part of the story is the logic that Kate’s defenders have invoked to justify this trend, drawing on arguments made by allegedly “progressive” U.S. economists.
Jeffrey Sachs, well-known author of The End of Poverty, once famously stated, “My concern is not that there are too many sweatshops, but that there are too few.” Similarly Paul Krugman has argued that sweatshops “move hundreds of millions of people from abject poverty to something still awful but nonetheless significantly better… [so] the growth of sweatshop employment is tremendous good news for the world’s poor.”
In a New York Times Magazine article disturbingly titled “Two Cheers for Sweatshops,” Nicholas Kristof endorsed this logic by explaining that when he first moved to Asia he, “like most Westerners,” was outraged at the sweatshops, but eventually came to appreciate them as “a clear sign of the industrial revolution that is beginning to reshape Asia.” He pointed out that “Asian workers would be aghast at the idea of American consumers boycotting certain toys or clothing in protest. The simplest way to help the poorest Asians would be to buy more from sweatshops, not less.”
These arguments all turn on one simple idea that often vanquishes critics with its apparently unassailable economic logic: that sweatshops exist because people are willing to take sweatshop jobs at sweatshop wages. People have a choice in where they go to work, the thinking goes, and sweatshops are often the best deal in town — certainly better than no job at all. If sweatshops didn’t exist, then millions of people would be hungry on the streets.
This view rests on the assumption that countries that attract sweatshops have always been populated with masses of poor people desperate for wages, that poverty is somehow an a priori condition. In such a world, sweatshops can only be a boon.
But this assumption entirely misses the crucial point about poverty. People — in Thailand and Peru, for example — only choose sweatshop jobs because they have been made desperate and given no alternatives for livelihood. So it’s not really a “choice” at all. They are forced by circumstance to sell themselves into sub-human conditions. Sociologists refer to this as the “structural violence” of unemployment.
Colonial and Neoliberal Legacies
The desperation that drives people into sweatshops is a historically recent phenomenon. Most of the people in the so-called third world used to be subsistence farmers who were able to support themselves sufficiently on the yields of their land. That started to change under late-19th-century colonial regimes. In most places in Africa, Asia, and South America, colonizers initially had a very difficult time getting natives to work in their mines, factories, and plantations. To solve this problem, they either forcibly removed farmers from their land or levied onerous taxes in order to coerce them into seeking wage work, all under the guise of the “civilizing mission.” This caused hundreds of thousands of people to move to industrial cities where they constituted a reserve army of workers willing to take whatever job they could find and ready to underbid each others’ wages.
In the colonial context, substandard wages were not the neutral product of market efficiency but the outcome of a deliberate strategy to render people desperate enough to take jobs that paid pennies. But only recently did things get bad enough that sweatshops started springing up. Beginning in the late 1970s, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and later the World Trade Organization began pushing new forms of market deregulation — known as “structural adjustment programs” — on third world governments, requiring them to stop subsidizing their agricultural sectors and to allow cheap imported grains into their markets. These neoliberal policies crippled small-scale farming to the point of collapse and created a second wave of people forced to migrate to cities to survive.
This happened at the same time as two other crucial structural adjustments. First, protective trade tariffs were drastically reduced, allowing Western corporations to move their operations offshore without paying prohibitive import duties. Second, important labor regulations like collective bargaining rights and high minimum wages were curbed or cut, to the point of giving corporations the power to sue their host governments for regulations that diminish returns on investment. This created an ideal environment for companies like Nike, Walmart, and General Motors to move their production facilities to places where they get away with paying workers many times less than developed economies would ever allow. This process of seeking the most exploitable location possible has become known as “the race to the bottom” — the dark underbelly of what economists so calmly encourage as “comparative advantage.”
A 2002 study conducted by economist Robert Pollin found that the retail prices of clothing in the United States would have to rise by only 1.8 percent in order to cover a 100 percent wage increase for sweatshop workers in Mexican garment factories. In other words, the price of Kate’s £175 dress would increase to £178.15, with the additional money doubling the wages of the seamstresses who made it. This is especially important in light of a 1999 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that found that consumers were willing to pay 15 percent more on a $100 item — and 28 percent more on a $10 item — if it was made under “good working conditions.”
The point here is that companies do not have to use sweatshop labor to earn profits, just as workers in third world countries do not have to be desperate enough to work in sweatshops. None of this is natural or inevitable, despite what sweatshop enthusiasts are so eager to have us believe. Sachs’ and Krugman’s absurd conclusion that we should promote sweatshops as a solution to the problem of global poverty derives from a profound deficit of historical perspective. It is a shame that the most cherished priests of progressive economics have nothing to offer beyond a world of sweatshops justified beneath the banner of “market freedom” and comparative advantage. That this has become the utopian vision of our time is tragic.
A New Economics
A few targeted changes to global trade rules could create a world where sweatshops don’t have to exist. If developing countries were allowed to erect import tariffs to protect small-scale agriculture and enforce labor regulations to ensure that every working citizen earned a living wage, the sweatshop concept would be completely unnecessary. Of course, if the workers that make shoes, clothes, and electronics for Western consumers were earning decent wages, that would mean that we would all pay a little bit more for our stuff, and the companies that make it might net a little bit less. But income redistribution along these lines would hardly be a bad thing, especially given today’s historically unprecedented levels of social inequality: The wealthiest one percent of the world’s population controls 40 percent of the world’s wealth while the bottom 50 percent controls a mere one percent.
The counter-argument holds that if working conditions become too humane and wages too decent in any given country companies will relocate to more welcoming states, hurting GDP and leaving the poor with fewer employment opportunities. This could be solved with an international minimum wage law (putting a floor on the race to the bottom) and a targeted trade quota system that channels foreign direct investment to where it is needed to alleviate poverty rather than to where labor is most exploitable. In addition, states can help create good jobs for their citizens by protecting local infant industries and by implementing import substitution programs.
Such policies have been tried before. The United States, Great Britain, and virtually every major economic power have been built on precisely these principles, and they were standard practice for many developing countries emerging from colonialism in the 1960s. If the developing world were to reinstate these policies — winding back the clock to a time before structural adjustment — they would be able to significantly improve local employment and generate an additional $480 billion per year in GDP above current levels. But such reforms would require confronting the entrenched interests of the states and corporations that control global trade policy for their own narrow benefit.
Sweatshops may indeed be preferable to poverty. But instead of taking poverty for granted in the first place, we should question the processes that produce it — the policies that make people desperate. Sweatshops are an easy, unthinking solution, and only make sense if we are ready to bend to the dictates of “market efficiency” and accept exploitation as economically rational. What we need is a new economics, one that can think beyond the limited boundaries of neoliberal ideology and make an effort to construct a more humane and democratic world. The question is not whether we have the ability to do this, but whether we have the courage.
This will be to where Wall Street global pols move and it has started already. Parents now become fearful of being able to care for a disabled child. Eugenics is what occurs when we revert back to far-right policies----where only fit human capital survive social Darwinism.
The problem for religions is the growing push of birth control towards at-risk groups with disabilities. Baltimore has a public health commission embraced by PUGH wanting elementary children taking birth control. We know the conditions in this article exist and it was a social democratic policy for almost a century that saw equal protection for disabled as the way to assure CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS. It is no coincidence that lab testing for fetal disabilities are covered in the Affordable Care Act----caring for disabled is not affordable to Wall Street pols.
'In the meantime, families struggle with diminished programs to help care for their disabled children. As the euthanasia movement gains strength and public acceptance, even violence against disabled people also becomes more acceptable'.
November 12, 2005
Eugenics Pogrom Against Disabled
A US National Institutes of Health-financed study has shown that first-trimester screening with a blood test and ultrasound can detect Down's syndrome in an unborn child 87% of the time. Another test in the second trimester can give up to 95% accurate diagnosis researchers report in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Lead author Fergal Malone says that the study of more than 38,000 US women could lead to more screening using less invasive procedures. In most cases, Down’s syndrome is detected using amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS), both invasive procedures that carry a risk of miscarriage. Malone stressed that screening should not be the only factor in a woman’s decision to “terminate” a pregnancy.
While the test itself does not necessarily have any moral weight, human rights advocates have said that in most cases, the practice is the first step in an inevitable trip to the abortionist. 89% of Down Syndrome babies in Canada, and 90% in the US are killed before birth.
The late Tanis Doe, who had been a professor of social work at the University of Victoria, British Columbia said in March 2004 that a prenatal, Nazi-style extermination campaign is being waged against the disabled in most of the western world.
Doe, who died in August 2004, was deaf and paraplegic. She spoke at the University of Alberta, warning that eugenics is far from dead. “Women are expected to — pressured to — abort pregnancies when fetal disability is diagnosed.”
Doe’s assertion is backed up by an announcement in 2001 from the British Government which advised all pregnant women to undergo tests for Down’s syndrome. Some bioethicists have speculated that there are economic considerations that contribute to a government’s interest in eliminating the disabled.
As public health insurance and social programmes in socialist countries like Britain and Canada become increasingly overburdened, families who refuse screening and abortion of “defective” children, may face financial penalties or loss of benefits.
In the meantime, families struggle with diminished programs to help care for their disabled children. As the euthanasia movement gains strength and public acceptance, even violence against disabled people also becomes more acceptable.
In one tragic case, the Guardian reported November 2, that a mother was convicted of killing her 36 year-old Down’s syndrome son, Patrick Markcrow, who had developed severe autism. Wendolyn Markcrow killed her son using a method recommended by euthanasia advocates: sleeping pills and a plastic bag. Mrs. Markcrow received a two-year suspended sentence for the murder, which she said she committed when she received no help with her son from social services agencies.