Category Archives: Jobs

Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Crisis Led Many to Occupy Wall St

The more I read about it, the more shocking the story becomes about student loan debt.

It is just disgraceful that young people have to start their lives drowning in debt incurred to get an education.  How can you expect them to be able to buy homes and cars and start families in this kind of situation?

I’m sorry, but we have to find some better way for young people to get their education- or re-look at the educational system.  Admittedly, many young people go to college who probably shouldn’t; we need to remind people we need plumbers and electricians as much- or more- than we need more lawyers and stock brokers.  And we need to support that balance by leveling the income gap.

The young people are smart enough to realize this, too.  Income inequality is the core issue here….

Now, it appears student loans are driving these kids to prostitution.  This is not the first article I’ve read on this….

Another way for the rich to exploit the young and poor…

The young man standing next to the “Jail Sallie Mae, Cancel All Student Loan Debt” sign in Liberty Plaza last night could very well end up in jail himself – not for protesting economic injustice and marching on Wall Street, but for doing sex work to pay off his student loans. “My loans are $1,300 a month,” he said. “My rent is $1,300 a month. My salary is $2,600 a month. You can see the problem. So I work as a prostitute for food and utilities.”

Though he works a day job in the tech sector, it’s not enough to get by. “But it could be worse,” he continued. “I could have to do sex work for all of it.”

With the Department of Education estimating that outstanding US student loan debt will soon exceed $1 trillion and job growth stalled, students face the very real prospect that there’s no way to ever pay back their debts. As of this May, new graduates are leaving college with an average of $22,900 in debt each, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, makes the class of 2011 the most indebted in history. They are members of a generation of students who knew taking out loans to finance a degree – or two – was a gamble on their own futures. As Lindsay Personett, a recent graduate from Oklahoma City University, put it at Wednesday’s solidarity march to support the Wall Street occupiers, “Kids are told to get this expensive degree and you’ll get a job. You end up owing too much and owning nothing.”

Wednesday also saw solidarity walk-outs to Occupy Wall Street from hundreds of students from the New School, New York University, Columbia University, and several CUNY campuses. According to CBS Local, 150 students walked out at Brooklyn College to join the tens of thousands in Foley Square and Liberty Plaza. The student walk-outs are part of a larger national walk-out action, supported by OccupyColleges.org, which spanned at least 100 campuses across the US. Their demands go beyond calls for “job creation.” They are questioning the convergence of interests in the education and financial systems that require them to take on soaring, unforgivable, high-interest debt in order to get an education.

via Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Racket Sucks Young People Dry — And Led Many to Occupy Wall St. | | AlterNet.

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Protesters Against Wall Street

Very nice statement in today’s New York Times on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

At least one mainstream media outlet seems to be getting it….

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full article:

 

As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread from Lower Manhattan to Washington and other cities, the chattering classes keep complaining that the marchers lack a clear message and specific policy prescriptions. The message — and the solutions — should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.

At this point, protest is the message: income inequality is grinding down that middle class, increasing the ranks of the poor, and threatening to create a permanent underclass of able, willing but jobless people. On one level, the protesters, most of them young, are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity.

The jobless rate for college graduates under age 25 has averaged 9.6 percent over the past year; for young high school graduates, the average is 21.6 percent. Those figures do not reflect graduates who are working but in low-paying jobs that do not even require diplomas. Such poor prospects in the early years of a career portend a lifetime of diminished prospects and lower earnings — the very definition of downward mobility.

The protests, though, are more than a youth uprising. The protesters’ own problems are only one illustration of the ways in which the economy is not working for most Americans. They are exactly right when they say that the financial sector, with regulators and elected officials in collusion, inflated and profited from a credit bubble that burst, costing millions of Americans their jobs, incomes, savings and home equity. As the bad times have endured, Americans have also lost their belief in redress and recovery.

 

MORE:   Protesters Against Wall Street – NYTimes.com.

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Work for No Pay? How White Collar Companies Exploit Desperate Young People’s Labor — and Perpetuate Our Class Divide

 

The concept of “internships” has disturbed me for many years.

Basically, this is a way to get people to work and not get paid.  Which means, only those who can afford to work without pay have the option of taking these internships.  Therefore, this closes a lot of doors to a lot of young people.

I don’t like anything that inhibits upward mobility and this is a big inhibition.

Now, it seems, this is becoming more and more the case…

From AlterNet.org:

There is a job opening! It seems perfect—full time, in the non-profit sector, based in New York City. It’s obviously a prestigious position—they’re looking to hire someone with at least a masters’ degree, though in certain cases this can be interchangeable with five years of related work experience. There’s only one small problem: it’s unpaid.

According to statistics from the National Association for Colleges and Employers, the number of students at four-year colleges who took internships increased from nine percent to more than 80 percent between 1992 and 2008. Once the economy crashed, and a paying job became a luxury rather than a fact of life, many  jobs were re-packaged as internships, promising experience and career connections in exchange for free labor.

Recent graduates, disturbed by the dearth of job opportunities, began to take internships as a last resort to stay competitive in the labor market. Although an internship used to be akin to an apprenticeship—a temporary stint of unpaid, hands-on labor resulting in an eventual job offer—the explosion of both college students and recent graduates taking internships no longer guarantees a paid position. Instead, as more and more young people demonstrated they were willing to supply an unpaid labor force so long as it was framed as an “internship,” internships have become a means for companies and non-profit organizations to re-package once paying jobs and cut corners in a tight economy.

Internships are the new entry-level job—the same duties and basic experience, only this time without compensation or benefits.

More:  http://www.alternet.org/story/152653/work_for_no_pay_how_white_collar_companies_exploit_desperate_young_people%27s_labor_–_and_perpetuate_our_class_divide?akid=7682.275643.3vhqC6&rd=1&t=2

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The Republican Jobs Plan: Florida Lawmaker Wants State to Reinstate Dwarf Tossing

You just can’t make this stuff up….

The GOP has no-zero- interest in job creation or income equality.

But they have plenty of time and interest in frivolous lawmaking, laws to favor their campaign contributors, trying to legislate morality, trying to oppress women, gays and immigrants and trying to extend employment opportunities for Dwarfs….

This is so frigging ridiculous, I just can’t say any more about it….

Talk amongst yourselves….

From Frank Cerabino in the Palm Beach Press:

Some news on the job-creation front in Florida.

A state legislator has found yet another example of government regulation getting in the way of job creation.

So Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, filed a bill this week to bring back “dwarf tossing,” the barbaric and dangerous barroom spectacle that was imported from Australia and thrived briefly in Florida before it was outlawed in 1989.

“I’m on a quest to seek and destroy unnecessary burdens on the freedom and liberties of people,” Workman said. “This is an example of Big Brother government.

“All that it does is prevent some dwarfs from getting jobs they would be happy to get,” Workman said. “In this economy, or any economy, why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?”

via Cerabino: Lawmaker wants state to reinstate dwarf tossing.

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Dumb Alabama Immigration Law Working So Well Its Crops Are Rotting

Elections- and Laws- have consequences….

These Racist Tea Party Republicans better be careful what they ask for;  they just might get it….

They need to be aware of the consequences of putting their slogans into laws and actions….

But then, Alabama probably forgot slavery was now illegal and figured they would pick the cotton, er, tomatoes

These little facts keep getting missed by the home schoolers……

At least they still have Mississippi to make them look good….

From Wonkette.com:

Alabama is just the latest backwards state to legally codify its crusader witch hunt against the illegal immigrant wizards working their back-breaking field labor black magick on Alabama’s giant agriculture industry, but the state’s recently-enacted set of draconian worst-ever anti-immigrant laws are working a little too fast: zillions of Alabama tomatoes are rotting away in the fields this harvest season as undocumented immigrants flee like hell. Tomato farmers got together to protest these vicious dingus laws and make GOP state senator Scott Beason — the same creepy racist turd blossom who called African Americans “aborigines” — haul around one of the tomato buckets for five seconds to see how heavy they are. Beason felt he was too good for this and refused to pick it up, which is…hey, exactly like every other legal worker in Alabama!

The AP has the details of the Tomato Bucket Incident:

Tomato farmer Brian Cash said the migrant workers who would normally be on Chandler Mountain have gone to other states with less restrictive laws.

After talking with famers at the tomato shed, Beason visited the Smith family’s farm. Leroy Smith, Chad Smith’s father, challenged the senator to pick a bucket full of tomatoes and experience the labor-intensive work.

Beason declined but promised to see what could be done to help farmers while still trying to keep illegal immigrants out of Alabama.

Smith threw down the bucket he offered Beason and said, “There, I figured it would be like that.”

Oh well, at least Alabama and Scott Beason got to make their Important Point, about being dicks. [AP]

via Dumb Alabama Immigration Law Working So Well Its Crops Are Rotting.

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Next low-wage haven: USA

Well, this sounds like a mixed blessing to me…

Wages are so low and people are so desperate that it will soon be cheaper to hire American workers than the Chinese workers.

Of course, only in non-union states…

These are jobs, which is great, but I question if they will provide a living wage…

Seems to me to be another example of the declining Middle Class…

Anyway, interesting article in “Facing South” from the Institute for Southern Studies…

Jokes about the U.S. becoming “Europe’s Mexico” are commonplace, but now high-priced consultants are pushing the notion in all seriousness.

They’re predicting that within five years certain Southern U.S. states will be among the cheapest manufacturing locations in the developed world — and competitive with China.

For years advisers like the Boston Consulting Group got paid big bucks to tell their clients to produce in China. Now, they say, rising wages there, fueled by worker unrest, and low wages in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina mean that soon it won’t be worth the hassle of locating overseas.

Wages for China’s factory workers certainly aren’t going to rise to U.S. levels soon. BCG estimates they will be 17 percent of the projected U.S. manufacturing average — $26 an hour for wages and benefits — by 2015.

But because American workers have higher productivity, and since rising fuel prices are making it even more expensive to ship goods half way around the world, costs in the two countries are converging fast.

Dan Luria, research director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, says many of the big-name consultancies, which until a year ago were advising their clients to “Asiafy their footprints,” are now telling companies to think twice.

BCG bluntly praises Mississippi’s “flexible unions/workers, minimal wage growth, and high worker productivity,” estimating that in four years, workers in China’s fast-growing Yangtze River Delta will cost only 31 percent less than Mississippi workers.

That’s before you figure in shipping, duties, and possible quality issues. Add it all up, says BCG, and “China will no longer be the default low-cost manufacturing location.”

MORE:  ISS – Next low-wage haven: USA.

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