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Posts Tagged ‘Infrastructure’

You all know I was in construction. As a production waterproofer and roofer in the Bay Area, I, at one time held union cards for both roofers and bricklayers, because in the Bay area waterproofing can overlap both these trades. So, you would think I would be very appreciative of Bernie Sanders’s plans to put us all to work. I want to be, but I can’t.

Now, I absolutely think our infrastructure has gone to hell in a hand basket. Sanders states that we need 3.6 trillion just to get back to good repair. Having worked in the production and managerial ends of building rehab, I can tell you that there are always unknown and hidden conditions that can and will likely increase costs astronomically over projected figures. When we start this proposed building boom we should be prepared for what will be much larger costs. Even so, we need it.

However, I feel bound to point out who will be working in this new building boom. As of 2010, just into the Great Recession, there were 800,000 women working in the field of construction. Of that amount only 200,000 were actually in production. The rest were secretarial, architectural, managerial, etc. This total equated at that time to around 9% of the construction population. In my field it was less than 2%.

Many women began in the trades because of affirmative action, required by work done on public facilities. Numbers were increasing up through 2007 but dropped dramatically when building began to fall off in the same sector as the recession hit. We all know how few jobs there were out there and women, like many men had to look elsewhere.

I want you to comprehend just how little 9% of 3.6 trillion is to women. It’s 324,000,000,000, or 324 billion. Of course that figure represents each woman as a cost of construction overhead, not what they will earn, which will be considerably less. Compare that to the 2012 procurement costs of the F35C at 93.3 million each, of which the Navy alone intends to buy 280. This is but one toy in the military’s vast arsenal. That doesn’t include the development costs, which are inching up around 160 billion. In the scheme of government costs, Sander’s implied 324 billion for women is a sop; it’s worse, it’s an insult.

This is not equality. Without activism, training, and affirmative action it is not equal opportunity. Sanders entire jobs list is based on rebuilding our infrastructure. We women can do these jobs, but our society has many other urgent needs that women do as well and should be paid for. This is a male oriented “lift all boats” plan that will leave some women indirectly but only relatively better off, and only till the construction money runs out. Also, there is no mention of how many of these jobs will be union or in what states, or how they will be prioritized, or whether they will take into account our new global warming fossil fuel constraints.

See below a cut and paste from Bernie Sanders web site, done today. (more…)

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A Commission to Review Caucuses?

Obama has Iowa aflutter today. Discussions of the Voting Calendar were flying around. Iowa’s chant-We gotta be first, we gotta be first! If we keep screaming long enough maybe Iowa will actually hear a mosquito. GET RID OF THEM!!! (more…)

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