Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

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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Update:The Senate webpage now states that the final vote was indeed 68-32 with no abstentions. Here were the nay votes:


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Today, it was reported, HERE, AND HERE, that the House of Representatives passed a bill extending ARRA. I am still awaiting that information from the Daily Record.

The actual title appears to be: H.R.4260 “Transitional Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Act”.

Title: To provide adjusted Federal medical assistance percentage rates during a transitional assistance period.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] (introduced 12/10/2009)      Cosponsors (7)

Related Bills: S.2833

Latest Major Action: 12/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

If it is this bill, it is designed to last in some fashion four years, ending December 31, 2113. It includes adjustments; some are negative. It includes provisions for COBRA and unemployment compensation. It has provisions to States regarding how the bill, as an act, will articulate with their funds. There may be others that were packaged with it.

A similar and related bill has been introduced to the Senate as noted below:


Title: A bill to provide adjusted Federal medical assistance percentage rates during a transitional assistance period.

Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI] (introduced 12/3/2009)      Cosponsors (9)

Related Bills: H.R.4260

Latest Major Action: 12/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

Taxpayers for Common Sense has a fairly snarky comment about it’s passage In the House’s effort to get this done by the Holiday recess.

[..”But they weren’t done yet – next up, the jobs bill – basically another round of stimulus. This bill would direct $27.5 billion toward more infrastructure spending, increase aid to states and extend several benefit packages. Unlike the two earlier bills, this one is unlikely to survive the Senate intact, if at all, since the Senate is momentarily more leery of swelling this year’s predicted $1.5 trillion budget deficit. “..]


Based on TCS’s view, we all better call our Senators this week. I suppose it’s possible they still haven’t heard how much we are hurting out here. Or, maybe they really think that a .2% bureaucratic paper shuffle really constitutes an improvement in the unemployment rate.

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