Welfare Warriors


spring
2005

MW voice FEATURE

Letters to the  Editor

War

Editor's Tidbits

Mothers news from around the world

victories

Mama's health news

did you know?

Corporate war on the people

youth/ disabled/  gay news

Resistance in the War
Against the Poor

other SPRING 2005 articles

 

  Spring 2005


Did You Know?

Jobs Kill 6,000 Workers a Day

             • Work kills more people than wars—one death every 15 seconds, 6,000 a day.

            • Almost 270 million workplace “accidents” are recorded each year. 350,000 of them are fatal.

• The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 2.2 million people, including 22,000 children, die from work-related causes each year worldwide. This figure is probably low due to inadequate reporting in many countries.

            • Most workplace deaths are due to exposure to toxic chemicals. This is the cause of 35 million of the 160 million cases of occupational sickness worldwide.

            • Exposure to asbestos kills over 100,000 people each year. It is banned in 25 countries, but 150 countries still use it.

            • Workplace “accidents” are caused by employers who, in the name of profit, begrudge every penny spent on safety. They are also caused by governments who do not enforce health and safety laws. Sometimes workers cause them themselves due to a lack of training and information.

            • Rich countries export their hazards to poor countries. Labor is cheaper there and less protected. Mining diseases like silicosis have nearly disappeared in industrialized countries. But 10 million workers: 2 million in India, 6 million in Brazil and 2 million in Columbia are at risk from silicosis. It causes 5,000 deaths each year. It is the source of 90% of compensated occupational illnesses in Vietnam. 37% of all miners and 50% of miners over 50 suffer from silicosis.

            • Many employers and governments claim they can’t afford safe working conditions. But $1,000 billion dollars a year is spent dealing with the consequences of unsafe workplaces. This is 20 times as much as all aid to developing countries.

            • 12 workers died in Indiana steel mills in the past five years. The Indiana Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined employers only $45,500 for the deaths. Tony Parker died June 4 at Ispat Inland Inc. OSHA sited this company for 86 violations since 2000. They found five serious violations in connection with Parker’s death, and fined the company only $8,625.

            • Unions around the world have made corporate responsibility a main theme of the annual International Day for Dead and Injured Workers on April 28. They want more serious penalties imposed on employers who violate safety measures.

Info from Industrial Worker

PO Box 13476, Philadelphia, PA 19101


 

10 Richest People in the USA -- White Men

 

1. Bill Gates - Microsoft, Costco - $46.6 Billion

2. Warren E. Buffett - Berkshire, Coca-Cola - $42.9 Billion

3. Paul G. Allen - Charter Communications - $21 Billion

4. John T. Walton - Wal-Mart - $20 Billion

5. S. Robson Walton - Wal-Mart - $20 Billion

6. Lawrence J. Ellison – Oracle - $18.7 Billion

7. Michael S. Dell - Dell Computer - $13 Billion

8. Steven A. Bollmer – Microsoft - $12.4 Billion

9. Charles W. Ergen - Echostar Communications - $9.1 Billion

10. Sumner M. Redstone – Viacom - $8.9 Billion

Info from The Student Insurgent

EMU,Ste.1, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403


Women’s Wages Compared to Men’s

 

• White men $1.00

•  Black men 78 ¢

• White women 75 ¢

• Black women 65 ¢

• Latino men 63¢

• Latina women 54 ¢

            Since 1954, all women together averaged a .2 ¢ gain per year. But that has not been a steady climb. Through the 1960s and 1970s women’s percent on the dollar fell. It remained lower than in the 1950s. Finally by 1984 women’s income reached its 1951 value. Much of the increase in women’s wages compare to men in the 1980s was due to a drop in men’s average wagess rather than an increase in women’s wages.

            • Since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 it has been illegal for an employer to pay women less than men for the same job. But the good old boys network still manages to maintain the wage gap. They place men in high-paying positions and women in lower-paying or part-time positions. Since women often spend fewer years in the workforce, they may earn only 38% as much as men during their prime work years.

            • If women continue to gain at the over-all rate of the past 50 years, it could be anywhere from 2035-2050 before wage equality is reached.

            • The Bush administration is proposing to discontinue asking for data about gender when taking census information from employers. Without these numbers, needed policy changes can’t be determined.

Info from off our backs

2337B 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20009


Spoil the Rich, Rob the Rest 

            • Bush’s 2006 budget includes $2.1 trillion in tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.  (A trillion is one million millions.) Meanwhile, he hopes to slash funds for education, veteran’s benefits, environmental protection and health care. These cuts would save just $137 billion. Among the meanest of the cuts is the proposal to stop giving food stamps to 300,000 working families. This would save just $1 billion. Call your Congressperson at 202-224-3121 to support funding for food stamps.

Info from Working Assets

 

US Empire Betrays US Non-Rich

            • Congress will give the Pentagon and the military industry half a trillion dollars. Education for all children in the US will get only 10% of that amount.

• Defense spending has increased, but domestic spending has gone from 15% to 1% of the budget. Defense Department schools for children of military personnel overseas ended a week early last year due to lack of money. Now children of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan face additional cuts of over 30%.

• The wars against Afghanistan and Iraq have cost over $200 billion. Bush has asked for $82 billion more.

Nearly one-third of Bush’s proposed cutbacks are to education and programs that feed hungry children. Bush’s budget would cut additional 59,000 children from Head Start. Already Head Start is starved for funds. It is closed to three-quarters of eligible children- 3 million preschoolers

            • The budget would eliminate childcare benefits for 350,000 low- and moderate-income families by 2009.

            • Aid for public schools will be $12 billion short because of the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB). States must now fund the NCLB program. States are already struggling with a budget shortfall of $100 billion. Education cutbacks and teacher layoffs are spreading across the country.

            • Programs set up under the NCLB will now exclude 700,000 children from after-school help. Disabled children will receive less than half the funds they received in 1975 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

            • Bush cut Pell Grants by $270 million for the 2004-2005 academic year. The new cuts would deny scholarships to 84,000 students who qualify for support. They also freeze Pell Grants at 2001 levels, despite increases in tuition and college costs.

            • Education cutbacks include over $250 million for teacher training.

            • Bush’s budget gives permanent tax cuts of $62,500 to each millionaire in the US.

            • Half of the money spent on the war in Iraq could pay for pre-school education for 10 million children. It could provide a free college education to 4 million students. It could enable school systems to hire 1.3 million teachers.

Info from Workers World

 

US Security Endangered by Debt, Not Terrorism

            • In Nov. 2004, Congress raised the federal government’s debt limit for the third time in three years, to $8.2 trillion. The total federal debt by Jan. 8, 2005 was $7.6 trillion. This is $25,792 for every woman, man and child in the US. It rises by $75 million every hour.

            • The debt is the total amount the government owes to banks and other countries. The deficit is the yearly addition to the debt. In 2003, there was a deficit of $377 billion. In 2004 the deficit was $413 billion. The estimated deficit for 2005 is $500 billion. This is mostly due to the cost of war, which gives billions to big businesses and Texas oilmen to privatize Iraq resources. Increased debt means increased taxes for workers and small businesses. But it’s a windfall for the rich, who buy government bonds and are guaranteed repayment with interest. In 2004, the government paid $3322 billion in interest to holders of the national debt.


US Being Economically Drained by Corporations

            • In 2003, the IRS collected $987 billion from individuals

• In 2003 IRS collected only $194 billion from corporations.

• Corporate taxes are at their lowest level in 20 years.

• 95% of corporations pay less than 5% of their income in taxes. The rest of us pay 35%.

Info from Freedom Socialist

 

A Big Business that Works for the People

 

            In 2004, Working Assets Long Distance telephone company donated $6.8 Million to progressive nonprofit groups. To see how the money was distributed, go to WorkingAssets.com/donations2004. To switch to this excellent long distance phone company, call 1-800-493-5798.  They donate 1% of your bill to activist groups, charge competitive rates, and send out monthly political alerts. (They are Welfare Warriors’ long distance carrier. Tell them we referred you.)

Info from Working Assets


US Military Madness 

            • US weapons sales to poor countries amounted to $8.6 billion. The US sold 76% of the arms bought by the Middle East. They were the dominant supplier to Latin America in the last three years, primarily because of the warplanes to Chile. The US is selling F-16 attack jets to both Pakistan and India.

            NewsNotes

 

            • The US pays Lockheed Martin $23 billion a year to make weapons of war. This is 10 times the entire UN budget.

Bombs Away

            • 10,350 nuclear weapons are stockpiled by the US.

United for Peace & Justice

            • Ongoing Military Operations in Iraq = $3.9 billion per month.

Donald Rumsfeld

            • 5,000 US soldiers have deserted the military.

Associated Press

            • The US military spends $3 billion each year to recruit high school students. Two-thirds of the recruits do not get any college money. To qualify for college money, recruits have to pay $100 per month for a year.

New York Amsterdam News

            • There are about 150 military educational institutions in the US. The Pentagon pays 350 civilian universities to conduct research projects for the military.

Chalmers Johnson

            • 26 inmates in Iraq and Afghanistan held by the US military were killed while in detention.

• The US is again training Indonesian officers under its International Military Education and Training (IMET) program. This decision overturns a Congressional ban on Indonesian participation in IMET due to violations of human rights done by the Indonesian military.

             • The Pentagon is pushing for blanket exemptions from federal health and pollution cleanup safeguards. The US military is already exempt from following the nation’s wildlife protection laws. It is one of the greatest polluters of land, sea and sky in the world.

            Common Dreams

            • The Pentagon has the authority to interfere with what is shown in movies, especially war movies. Nothing negative about the military is allowed.

Operation Hollywood

            • The Pentagon has been building 14 long-term encampments across Iraq that could house as many as 100,000 troops indefinitely.

            • A new government report has found that over 40 terror suspects legally bought guns in the US last year even though their names appear on government watch lists. Information on the sales was kept for only 24 hours.

            • US academics are warning officials in Spain that the war on terror may breed more terrorism.

            Democracy Now

 

            • The ACLU and Human Rights First have sued Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in federal court for putting into practice interrogation methods resulting in torture. The case was filed Mar. 1, 2005 in Chicago on behalf of 8 Afghan and Iraqi detainees.

www.wsws.org

            • The Treasury Dept. agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned 5 times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to Track Osama bin Laden’s and Saddam Hussein’s money.

Wis. Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba

 

            • Osama Siblani, publisher of The Arab American, stated that George W. Bush told him in May 2000 that he planned to “take out” Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

Democracy Now


Dare To Be Free-Don’t Watch TV

 By the age of 70, modern US children will have lost 7-10 years of their lives watching TV.

The Kaiser Family Foundation

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