Friday, September 16, 2011

Union for the Rich

I hope that you have all been following Jenny Neyman's most excellent reporting in the Redoubt Reporter on the international students who have come to the central peninsula on a cultural work visa, only to be left stranded with little work and no place to stay.  If you haven't read the articles do so here and here.

If you've been following the Republican presidential debates, each candidate is tripping over themselves saying that we need to get out of the way of business and cut regulations.

But the reality is that when there is little oversight, abuses will happen and this visa fiasco is just one example.  Businesses, including local ones, have exploited lax student visa regulations by hiring these foreign youngsters at below the going rate, providing crowded living arrangements (if any arrangements are even made) and deducting incidental fees from wages.  Students in the Hershey chocolate plant in Hershey PA, have been hired at the minimum wage so that the company doesn't have to pay local workers a decent (but still low) hourly rate.  Then Hershey and other companies dock the students' paychecks for minor expenses.  Kids end up making $1/hour.  Things are not much better here.  These are students that have already paid $3000-$6000 to a company to come here.  Thank goodness for decent people like Connie Goltz (an Australian also here on a visa) and Danette Howland to take these students in and show them that some folks US also have a conscience.

So, the real reason Republicans are for cutting oversight regulations is so the special interests they pander to can make more money.  In this instant, these companies make more money because they can hire these students for less money than they can hire Americans.  That then increases the US unemployment rate.  Why do Republicans hate average Americans?

It's curious too that in the banking business, those countries that have strict regulations like Canada have weathered the economic downturn of the last few years.  The ones like the US, Iceland and Ireland where there was little oversight, got hammered.  Remember the Saving and Loan debacle under the Reagan administration?   The US cut back the regulations and almost immediately that industry collapsed and that instigated a financial crisis.

But here we go again, the republicans are all for cutting regulations.

But lets call the Republican Party for what it is - the union for the rich. They are ready to sink the economy even more than it already is just to preserve the tax breaks the rich get for private jets and hummers.

Somehow they've manage to manipulate the teabaggers and religious fundamentalists and have convinced these groups that policies that protect the health, welfare and safety of ordinary Americans are not possible.  But making the rich even richer is what it is all about.

1 comment:

Celia Harrison said...

This is what it is like for low income people in Alaska. There is little low income housing, so people rent cabins or hotel rooms in the winter and have to leave in the spring. They are treated horribly by the owners as there are no tenant laws that cover "hotels" even when you are renting monthly. These people were treated just about how I would expect here. I am glad someone found out about them and opened their homes to them. Sadly there is nothing that surprises me anymore.

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