Fw: Re: Reply to Franklin Wayne Poley

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 11:34:13 -0500

In a message dated 98-06-11 18:22:35 EDT, you write:

+ADwAPA- Dear Welfare Reform Research: Do you think I am correct on this? That
welfare-to-work will become, more and more, just a clever repackaging of
workfare, especially as workfare becomes highly unpopular? In other words
it will just be a matter of having companies issue the workfare cheques
for the same forced labor program instead of government offices?

Dear Franklin Wayne Poley,

Your analysis is right on the money.  Why? Because Welfare to Work (WTW),
where it involves placing clients in private sector jobs controlled by the
business/corporate world, is motivated by the impetus of capitalism:
I don't know of too many businesses or corporations that do anything to
people (other than their investors)  beyond the usual PR campaigns (Cancer
Society, March of Dimes, etc.) where employees are donating their time and
business/corporations are getting the credit.  The benevolence of US
corporations has been grossly overstated and is a minute fraction of their
profits as well as always strategically placed. And for the most part, they
don't make any bones about it.  They have had the power to institute the
ideology that corporations have NO civic responsiblity and they have acted
accordingly for decades. But what is specifically attractive about these
welfare workers is summed up in the following TEN REASONS WHY:

(For those who are annoyed by any analysis that is longer than two
or two paragraphs, or nine seconds, skip the following ten paragraphs and
to the end for a brief summary)

1) they are women (90+ACU-) and women have been traditionally discriminated
against+ADs- therefore, their pay is less than three-fourths what these
would have to pay men as a group on which they would depend for labor--men
won't work these shit jobs and they know it--history has proven that, this
primarily what has become known as +ACI-women's work.+ACI- For example: Nurses
Child Care Workers, Cleaning Women, Waitresses and Hostesses, Clerical
Workers, and now Data Entry Operators.

2) they are women with children who can be threatened with the loss of
children (out-of-home placement has tripled with welfare reform), making
a group of workers that are easily intimidated and controlled,

3) because these women are poor, they often lack the resources necessary to
initiate political resistance campaigns or to form unions+ADs- in short they
not organized--a major threat that businesses/corporations will avoid at
cost (read the history of labor unions in America and you will see that
corporations are willing to and have often killed and masacred workers and
their familes to keep their labor costs low--US corporations are today
contributing to these masacres all over the world
(Indonesia/Chiapas/Guatamala)  and for the same reason--their profit

4) because this is slave labor, prospective employees can be forced into
+ACI-attitude+ACI- training sessions which use behavior modification to produce a
docile, mallable worker who will keep her mouth shut and worship her
for having given her a job even though she stays chained to the welfare
and still lives in poverty because her wages are so low.

5) hiring welfare workers gives these businesses/corporations a protected
market.  Rather than having to compete with other companies for workers
through level of wages paid and benefits offered, this protected market
assures that these slavers will be able to produce a profit running jobs
few other workers will take--unless their children are starving, which is,
course, the point+ACE-  These workers are the easiest coerced.

6) the overhead costs of training, transporting, and providing childcare
these workers is often covered through a diversion of public funds to
In short, the taxpayer (read other workers), rather than the
buisnesses/corporations who are exploiting these women's labor and
from it, foot the bill.  Without these massive subsidies, these workers
not keep themselves alive on what these slavers are paying them, and if
aren't alive thay can't be exploited,

7) many companies that run their own training programs do so with public
subsidies, futher ripping off workers (taxpayers) by charging erroneous
tuitions for these +ACI-training+ACI- programs (Marriott charges +ACQ-5,000 for a six
week, unpaid, on-the-job program to train poor women to become primarily
hostesses and housekeepers).  In Indiana, this would pay two years full
tuition at Indiana University+ACE-  Obviously, somebody doesn't want these
out of poverty.

8) because these companies do not make an investment in these women, they
have little to lose when they let them go--and they do let them go.  The
service industries where these women are finding jobs are some of the
paying, most dangerous, and most insecure working situations in the US.
example, Certified Nurses Aides experience the highest rate of turnover of
group of workers in the US (even higher than fast food which is
300+ACU---that means any particular job has three different workers in the span
a year, and the typical worker lasts four months),

9) these businesses/corporations are assured of a readily available, easily
explendable workforce because +ACI-work first+ACI- philosophies combined with
restrictions on education and excessive work requirements insure that the
and brightest of these women will be forced out of any self-initiated
educational programs that might have given them an opportunity to compete
middle class labor markets where living wages are taken for granted, where
workers are better organized, more politicized, and often keenly aware of
their civil rights,

10) by channeling these poor women into these low-wage, dead-end jobs, they
further reinforce arrangements that benefit business, protect business
interests, and at the same time insure the reproduction of race, class,
inequality. They also avoid the full-scale revolution they would have on
hands if they were to adequately assess and provide quality education for
these women. Obviously,  dumping 5,000,000 untrained workers into an
depressed low-wage labor market (20+ACU- of full-time workers in the US don't
annual earnings that bring them even to the poverty level, as
as it is computed)  is one thing+ADs- whereas, dumping 5,000,000 of the same
highly trained, well-educated workers into the primary professional
where (for the most part, technical and intellectual) workers are fully
of the subsequent depression they could expect in their wages (inevitable
without meaningful structural change--which takes time, effort, and a
in something bigger than one's own paycheck) is quite another.  In short:

1. They can push these poor women around
2. They can threaten these poor women with the loss of their children
3. They know these women are too poor to fight back and have few
4. They can brainwash these women through the coersion of WR
5. They can create for themselves protected labor markets
6. They let taxpayers support their workers through massive public
7. They create +ACI-mocked up+ACI- training programs to further rip-off taxpayers
8. They avoid making an investment in their workers
9. They support policies which prohibit women from gaining quality
10. They protect themselves from the turmoil of class warfare or from the
structural changes that would be necessary to avoid it, reinforcing the
quo through the systematic reproduction of class, sex, and race
inequailty--arrangements that have consistently proved advantageous to

Sitting at home this summer, +ACI-doing nothing at all,+ACI- and mighty proud of
(eat your heart out corporate America)

C. Ditmar Coffield
MMESJ--Mothers Mobilized for Economic and Social Justice