Written on 12 April 2018; published on 6 December 2019
- THOUGHTS ON PROVIDING STAGE ONE WORK FOR THE CALIFORNIA HOMELESS AT LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE, IN EXCHANGE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
- Prison Work Programs for Less Than a Dollar an Hour
- Prison Release Work Camps.
- A Stage One Consideration in Employing California’s Homeless at Less Than the Minimum Wage
- THOUGHTS ON SLOWING THE SPREAD OF HIV AND AIDS IN PRISONS
- On Isolating HIV-Positive Prison Populations in Cell Blocks, Together with HIV-Positive Prison Guards
- Conjugal Visits
- HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES, COMPARED TO THAT IN CHINA
- How China Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from North Korea
- How the United States Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from Mexico
I wrote up these notes in April 2018, with a hope that I would soon finish them off. More than a year later, I have to figure I may never get round to that. I apologize to my reader that they are presented here in outline form …
THOUGHTS ON PROVIDING STAGE ONE WORK FOR THE CALIFORNIA HOMELESS AT LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE, IN EXCHANGE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
I have a thought that Stage One work might be provided the California homeless at less than minimum wage, in exchange for social services such as State One housing, necessary medical treatment, food, and temporary housing.
I note we have precedents in paying less than the minimum wage, here in America: Commission sales work, work on small farms, and newspaper delivery, for instance …
Link: “When Must Employers Pay the Minimum Wage?, updated by Sachi Barreiro, Attorney, at NOLO … https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/employers-pay-minimum-wage-law-29600.html ..
Prison Work Programs for Less Than a Dollar an Hour
Then there is the special instance of prison labor, where inmates have the voluntary option to work, for less than $1 an hour …
Link: “How Much Do Incarcerated People Earn in Each State?” by Wendy Sawyer, 10 April 2017, in Prison Policy Initiative … https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2017/04/10/wages/ ..
Thus we have a precedent, in the exceptional circumstance of incarceration, for offering work at a great deal less than the minimum wage. Could we build upon this precedent by offering work training to our felons or released felons or homeless, at far less than minimum wage?
If the precedent might be stretched in this way, then we might have the setting for an economic bounce-back, here in California, as greater numbers of the currently unemployed are able to find employment.
Prison Release Work Camps. I am thinking that something like this might be good if, for lack of funds, we have to release the prison population. For those who are ‘unregenerate’ … to use an old-time term … work camps might be set up or ‘rough and tumble’ work might be provided as an alternative to imprisonment, at greatly less than the minimum wage. This topic I discussed in a little more detail here …
Link: “Ought the United States, like North Korea, Have Forced Labor?” by Alice B. Clagett, published on 21 May 2019 … https://wp.me/p2Rkym-cQw ..
A Stage One Consideration in Employing California’s Homeless at Less Than the Minimum Wage
Here is a Stage One consideration: Let’s try to figure out some way to get around the minimum wage, for people who are unhomed, and who are receiving extra social services, in the event the United States government is not able to participate, here in California, in ameliorating the situation, and easing the social unrest.
For instance, could we offer something more akin to prison labor … voluntary labor, and a very small wage, in exchange for housing and food and medical care? Could we offer that, in camps especially set up for that?
What would be the long-term situation with regard to those that California cannot now find work for at minimum wage, and who must find work? If employment at less than minimum wage in exchange for social services were to be offered as a temporary, short-term Phase One, then what would be Phases Two and Three?
THOUGHTS ON SLOWING THE SPREAD OF HIV AND AIDS IN PRISONS
On Isolating HIV-Positive Prison Populations in Cell Blocks, Together with HIV-Positive Prison Guards
In United States prisons, HIV tests might be used to separate the HIV-positive prison populations … and the HIV-positive prison guards … physically, from those prisoners and guards who are HIV-negative. These tests need to be performed every 6 months, as I understand it, and also one month after possible exposure to the virus. HIV tests might be made routine in prison medical facilities, not only for the safety of prisoners and guards, but also for the sake of the infectable law-abiding populations upon whom prisoners might prey, either as prostitutes or as sexual predators, after their release.
I think that, to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS amongst United States prison populations, we ought to consider allowing conjugal or significant other visits in our federal prisons, and in those state prisons that currently do not do so.
Conjugal visits might lead to less intercourse amongst inmates, and less intercourse between inmates and prison guards, so that HIV might spread more slowly amongst the prison population. I feel that conjugal visits might also lead to less violence amongst prisoners.
Such a policy also might help prisoners who have been in long-time-paired relationships to preserve those relationships while imprisoned. It might help families stay together through the financial hardship of imprisonment of a parent, and that might positively affect community life.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES, COMPARED TO THAT IN CHINA
I have been perusing the “CIA World Factbook” online …
Link: “World Factbook,” by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) … https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ ..
… and have found it full of information pertinent to forestalling social unrest in California. For instance, from my reading, it seems to me that the human trafficking of immigrants to China from North Korea in our lifetime is, in some ways, analogous to the human trafficking of immigrants to the United States from Mexico.
How China Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from North Korea
Apparently, there are masses of people in North Korea, whom the government forces into forced labor in China …
“… North Korea does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of [human] trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government continued to participate in human trafficking through its use of domestic forced labor camps and the provision of forced labor to foreign governments through bilateral contracts; officials did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention measures; no known investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenders or officials complicit in trafficking-related offenses were conducted; the government also made no efforts to identify or protect trafficking victims and did not permit NGOs to assist victims (2015) …” –from Link: “CIA World Factbook, North Korea,” in the section: Transnational Issues … Subheading: Trafficking in persons … https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html … public domain
Korean people also may flee to China of their own free will so as to escape starvation …
“… risking arrest, imprisonment, and deportation, tens of thousands of North Koreans cross into China to escape famine, economic privation, and political oppression … –from Link: “CIA World Factbook, North Korea,” in the section: Transnational Issues … subheading: Disputes – International … https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html … public domain
Those types of labor available to trafficked peoples sometimes may be beneath the level of misery that is acceptable here in the United States …
Link: “Trafficking in Persons Report June 2017,” by United States of America Department of State … https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=801874 … This is a pdf download.
It might be prostitution. It might be illegal activities such as theft. It might be begging. They might be held by gangs that are ‘beneath the law’ and forced to be members of those gangs. This, to me, is unacceptable.
How the United States Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from Mexico
The situation with immigrants from North Korean to China is analogous, in some regards, to the situation with immigrants from Mexico to the United States. Immigrants from Mexico are not forced by the United States government into inhumane kinds of labor, but they may find themselves in those kinds of situations … living In dug-out caves in the Earth, for instance. And doing seasonal, migrant labor. Or young women or children may find themselves forced into lives of prostitution by pimps.
One thing we might look at, going forward, is how job training might be offered new immigrants, here in the United States, so as to broaden the scope of job opportunities for which they are eligible. This type of job training is doubly beneficial: It helps raise the living standard of immigrants; and it helps lessen the spiritual burden of human trafficking in the United States and uplift our nation through good works in our community.
The philanthropy we offer those caught in the throes of human trafficking is a kindness we offer our children as well, for they will look forward to a better educated community through whose informed choices may be sculpted a brighter tomorrow for all America.
In conclusion, I feel that Los Angeles in particular, due to such stressors as homelessness and released felons, faces the spectre of social unrest at present. What to do? I feel we must look at what other countries do when faced with these stressors. We must not turn away from innovative solutions simply because we feel they are beneath us, as Americans.
I feel it is because we feel this: that the lesser good we are able to provide the homeless and released felons is beneath us, and unworthy of them, that we have found ourselves for ten years to be in stalemate as a city.
We are unable to provide the level of benefits and care that has been, with hopeful optimism, voted into California law. Massive problems lie before us, and have done so for 10 years now. California is a Sanctuary State for those fleeing from downright extermination in the crueler states of our great Union.
Though we are that to many, we have not the funds to help those seeking sanctuary in the manner afforded the homeless, the helpless, those seeking shelter, food, and work in days of old.
Here in Los Angeles we must make bold to provide what we may to those who have nothing at all. Though it be against the laws of our nation, and against those of our State, we must do what we can. We must offer what we may. We must open our hearts, still our doubts, and come up with sensible, novel solutions to the new problems that lie before us.
In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
Video: “Everyone In–Supportive Housing Across L.A.,” by Everyone In LA, 8 March 2018 … https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=22&v=QnZWabk8mO0 ..
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