Friday, March 15, 2013
Sick of It Yet?
As a person who works both self employed and contractual work as I do Substitute Teaching, I get NONE of it. For those like me we have to apply for Social Security Disability or carry private insurance at an extreme expense if the need arises. And as one who can personally attest you would be better off dying.
To get SSDI its over 18 months wait, a process of decline, appeal, court and in turn more money to Lawyers and others for money which you are "entitled" and could help you doing a PERIOD of need. What it does do is push you into full destitution during that period and then you end up having to rely on it permanently when in reality it should and could be temporary. But thanks to the overall idiocy and lack of competency what could be a beneficial aid during a time of need becomes dependency for life.
Then in turn you are then labeled, channeled and funneled into a system of churn, burn and more frustration during a period of life better spent on recovering, getting healthy and finding new ways of coping and in turn learning new skills that could actually get you off public rolls and back into private security. I have met many sufferers of Traumatic Brain Injury who should and could be back on their feet given the opportunity to work towards recovery and independence. When a highly functioning individual now ill with fluid on the brain and reliant on care is putting books into boxes for Amazon at $7/hr and in turn a reduction of SSDI equivalent to the amusingly low wages provided by this work will never enable him to find health and security on any level. This is America.
Portland is another "progressive" city that now has mandated sick leave for all. Irony in a city that refuses to fluoridate its water, but okay. What it means is that you have to work a specific number of days a year to qualify and in turn what it does it permits employers to ensure that their work force will be cut to meet under those hours to avoid that requirement.
In Seattle we have that same law and trust me, loopholes are not just for tax codes. And we have a City that does not provide Maternity leave as separate from Sick Leave. They are one in the same. Not to the woman having the baby, but what.ever.
The way to circumvent that many employees donate their accumulated sick leave to the individual who needs it. And then it becomes a shell game. And even that now has become a challenge to do.
We love to brag about how "hard working" Americans are. So are the Asian sweat shop workers in varying electronic and other industries locked in their warehouses right now. The differences are marginal at best.
In Germany, the strongest of the European Union countries economically, have the most generous workers plans. From job sharing, to time off that includes 6 weeks of vacation, 6 weeks' sick leave at full pay. After that, the health funds pay 70% of gross pay. You cannot be fired because you are sick. Plus, parents can take up to 10 days a year to care for a sick child. And very generous maternity and paternity leave provisions... Guten Tag!
We have no National plan well we do and its horribly inadequate. Twenty years after the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, half the workforce still isn’t covered, and depends on employers and local laws to provide the kinds of protections the F.M.L.A. affords. With federal expansion elusive. There is a plan to introduce a bill called the Healthy Families Act, which would set a national sick days standard, in mid-March), the momentum lies with cities and states. And in this time of sequestration, don't see that on the to do list anytime soon.
The belief that Paid Time Off is another free market concept that circumvents this until you actually speak to someone with said plan and that encourages you to come into work sick so you can still have vacation. What a lovely trade off.
The John Galt's are sure that all and any type of worker accommodations are all some plan to ensure a layabout lazy group of people who are simply living off the labor of others. Again the idea of a rising tide lifts all boats however when it applies to not paying taxes seems to be their lather rinse repeat talking point however is the exception. And no there is no proof that in fact lower taxes do in fact actually create jobs and build a stronger economy. Eduardo Porter wrote an excellent column about that very issue - here.
And we have my dear new besty friend Sheryl Sandberg sure that if women just leaned in more that would of course solve the problems of finding income equality, job parity and security. And a chauffeured driven Mercedes also reduces traffic congestion and more time to work while going to work. Mine is a bus but it's the same thing.
When the rich dictate the policies and enable them to be quietly adjusted in boardrooms and in Congressional halls we have no security, no protection and no exceptionalism of any kind for any American to rise their boat to make it to shore. Lean in, lean out. What.Ever. The view from a back of a Mercedes is great unless you actually are looking out at the community you are driving through. I doubt Ms. Sandberg is seeing much of East San Jose.