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The Chumph Tries to Kill the Chesapeake Bay and Kill More Jobs

One of my favorite memories as a young boy was when visiting country relatives who lived along one of Virginia’s rivers emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. In the summer, we’d go fishing a few miles down river for the plentiful Sea Trout, Spot, Croaker, and Bluefish. And yes, “Croaker” is a type pf fish prevalent along the mid-Atlantic seaboard considered a delicacy by some, and a trash fish by others because it has lots of bones.

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Atlantic Croaker. So named because it makes a sound when caught. They breed in a 6 year cycle, and disappear for a year. Depending on year, they can range from 3-4″ to over 18″ in length.

In the fall Hunting season, the men in the Hunt Club would sometimes go out to the Oyster Grounds along the river, and collect bushels of the delicious bivalves. We would usually all ride on one of the flatbed Lumber Trucks, and wade out at low tide to chip Oysters off what is called Oyster rock, filling bushel baskets. Then on the way back home, “shuck” a few to eat raw, flavoring them with Vinegar, splitting up the catch so everyone had some to take home.

By the late 60’s – there just wen’t any Oysters.

The bay (and ocean side) has made a big comeback from the devastation of the Oyster stock by over-fishing and pollution. And a number of small aquaculture companies have had success in farming Oysters and Clams for the commercial market. I started “planting” my own clams, and raising Oysters in baskets which are designed to float, suspending the Oysters in a cage under water.

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While people both farm clams and use the floats for Oysters for commercial purposes, many people here who live along the water, or have access to a dock will raise Oysters or Clams for their own personal consumption. Originally the floats were designed to raise the Oysters above the bottom to avoid the deadly MX Virus, as well as pollution. Now, they are the basis of a sustainable aquaculture system.

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Now, Putin’s Bitch wants to take us back to the “bad old days” by destroying the very Chesapeake Bay clean up efforts which allowed the Oyster and Clam businesses on the bay to come back. POS needs to keep his freaking small paws off the Bay!

This is why the Farmers in my part of the world…

Weren’t stupid enough to vote for Trump

Chesapeake Bay’s Booming Oyster Industry Is Alarmed By Trump’s EPA Budget Cuts

Ryan Coxton resurrected his family’s oyster business in 2001 from the same muddy swath of Virginia river bottom his great-grandfather leased 102 years earlier. The slippery, jagged-shelled bivalves became so popular in the decades after the Civil War that a gold rush ensued in the Chesapeake Bay and its teeming estuaries, at times spurring violent rivalries that became known as “the oyster wars.”

But the Rappahannock Oyster Co. ― the first iteration of it, at least ― died in 1991 with Coxton’s grandfather. By the time Coxton and his paternal cousin, Travis, started growing oysters as a hobby on the family’s old property, the oyster industry in the region had all but collapsed.

Overfishing over the last century badly hurt wild oyster populations. Diseases ravaged the remaining creatures in the 1950s. Runoff pollution from farms and sewage treatment plants tainted the waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. Bacteria and algae fed by the pollution blossomed into massive, toxic plumes that sucked up oxygen and blocked sunlight, stymying fish populations and thinning the marsh grasses that oysters cling to to keep from slipping into the soft, silty mud and dying.

Things started changing in the last several years as the effects of an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup that began in 1983 under President Ronald Reagan took effect. (President Barack Obama imposed even stricter targets in 2009). Levels of phosphorus and nitrogen, a third of which settled on the water from being wheezed by power plants into the air, fell. The water cleared. Grasses grew back in dense thickets, tightening the river bed with roots.

By 2004, Coxton quit his day job and started cultivating oysters full time. At first, restaurants in the area, knowing how dirty the water had been, wouldn’t buy his product, even though it was safe to eat. He shipped them to upscale eateries in New York. But as water quality improved over the past decade, local demand came roaring back. Coxton opened his fifth restaurant Thursday evening and plans to cut the ribbon on a sixth in September.

Now the program that saved the Chesapeake Bay oyster industry is in jeopardy. The budget President Donald Trump proposed Thursday would eliminate funding for the $73 million initiative, along with more than 50 other programs and 31 percent of the EPA’s overall budget. Funding isn’t the only thing on the chopping block. Trump vowed to boost economic growth by axing regulations, particularly environmental rules he blames for holding businesses back. Already, his administration has scrapped a rule protecting streams from coal mine pollution, tossed out a directive ordering oil and gas drillers to report methane emissions and overturned a regulation giving the EPA power to police fertilizer and manure runoff from farms, the chief contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay.

“Oysters are filter feeders,” Coxton, 47, told The Huffington Post in a recent interview. “We can’t operate without clean water and a good environment.”

It wasn’t long ago that another Republican eager to placate his party’s populist wing took aim at cleanup efforts pursued by his Democratic predecessor. Weeks after taking office in January 2015, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blocked regulations aimed at limiting Eastern Shore poultry farmers’ use of chicken manure on their fields. The phosphorus-rich fertilizer is a leading source of runoff in the Chesapeake Bay.

A month later, the Hogan administration received a letter from the EPA warning that, if the state dropped new manure rules, it would need another policy to meet the agency’s pollution limits. Maryland Democrats scrambled to pass bills that would have done just that. In response, Hogan made an about-face. He ordered an immediate ban that targeted fields oversaturated with manure, even though he gave other farmers more time to comply, local NPR station WYPR reported.

“We have listened to the agricultural and environmental communities to find a fair and balanced plan for limiting phosphorus,” Hogan said in a statement at the time. “The enhanced Phosphorus Management Tool regulations … will protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay while still supporting a vibrant agriculture industry in Maryland.”

In a statement to The Huffington Post, the governor vowed he would “always fight to protect our state’s most important natural asset.”

“If any of these budget proposals ever become law, we will take a serious look at how to address them during our budget process next year,” Amelia Chasse, the governor’s spokeswoman, said. “Since taking office, Governor Hogan has invested more than $3 billion in efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and will remain a fierce advocate going forward.”

Conservationists, clean water advocates and oyster farmers hope Trump will have a similar change of heart. Or, at least, that Congress will withhold approval for any budget that doesn’t include funding for the project. Republican lawmakers, some of whom already joined Democrats in opposing Trump’s cuts to a similar cleanup effort in the Great Lakes, are expected to oppose the reductions.

“This just makes no sense. We are in disbelief,” said William C. Baker, president of the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “The EPA’s role in this cleanup is nothing less than fundamental. It’s not just important; it is critical.”

Oyster farmers emerged over the past decade as a force in Virginia and Maryland. In the Old Dominion State, farmers sold $16 million in oysters in 2015 alone, besting all other states on the East Coast, according to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s 10th annual report on the state’s aquaculture industry. Though smaller in Maryland, the industry has ballooned in the last eight years, said Jeffrey Brainard, a spokesman for the EPA-funded Maryland Sea Grant, which is also earmarked for disposal.

In just the last five years, farmers in the Chesapeake Bay region helped double oyster production on the East Coast to 155 million bivalves per year, said Bob Rheault, executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association.

“We’re literally an engine of job growth, especially in Chesapeake and especially for the watermen of that region who are up for the challenge,” Rheault said. “These proposed cuts are just job killers.”

“It’s like, my God,” he added, sighing loudly, “if we don’t have clean water, we don’t have customer confidence.”

Uncertainty over the future of the EPA cleanup program has spooked some who left other jobs in recent years to join the booming industry. Johnny Shockley, 54, quit commercial fishing to build a sustainable oyster hatchery on Hooper’s Island, the bayside archipelago where he grew, a third-generation waterman. Now the man The Washingtonian once called “the Chesapeake Bay’s hope on the half shell” worries his small empire of sustainable oyster hatcheries could be imperiled.

“One of the reasons why folks were getting in and willing to change their lives and commit their livelihoods to these efforts is the support we’ve seen from the federal government in the last 25 to 30 years,” Shockley said. “All of a sudden we’ve been threatened to see that all taken away.”

 

 
 

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Chumph’s Racism Destroying Agriculture

So…What happens if the Chumph gets his wish to deport all illegal aliens in this country…

The Agricultural industry in the US collapses.

Despite incessant whining by the white right snowflakes of flyover country…There just aren’t going to be any white folks out there picking cotton as long as they can get a welfare check, Even if you raise the pay to be competitive with other work.

Tell me again “who” is exactly unwilling to work for a living?

Wages rise on California farms. Americans still don’t want the job

Trump’s immigration crackdown is supposed to help U.S. citizens. For California farmers, it’s worsening a desperate labor shortage.

Arnulfo Solorio’s desperate mission to recruit farmworkers for the Napa Valley took him far from the pastoral vineyards to a raggedy parking lot in Stockton, in the heart of the Central Valley.

Carrying a fat stack of business cards for his company, Silverado Farming, Solorio approached one prospect, a man with only his bottom set of teeth. He told Solorio that farm work in Stockton pays $11 to $12 an hour. Solorio countered: “Look, we are paying $14.50 now, but we are going up to $16.” The man nodded skeptically.

Solorio moved on to two men huddled nearby, and returned quickly. “They were drug addicts,” he said. “And, they didn’t have a car.”

Before the day was through, Solorio would make the same pitch to dozens of men and women, approaching a taco truck, a restaurant and a homeless encampment. Time was short: He needed to find 100 workers to fill his ranks by April 1, when grapevines begin to grow and need constant attention.

Solorio is one of a growing number of agricultural businessmen who say they face an urgent shortage of workers. The flow of labor began drying up when President Obama tightened the border. Now President Trump is promising to deport more people, raid more companies and build a wall on the southern border.

That has made California farms a proving ground for the Trump team’s theory that by cutting off the flow of immigrants they will free up more jobs for American-born workers and push up their wages.

So far, the results aren’t encouraging for farmers or domestic workers.

Farmers are being forced to make difficult choices about whether to abandon some of the state’s hallmark fruits and vegetables, move operations abroad, import workers under a special visa or replace them altogether with machines.

Growers who can afford it have already begun raising worker pay well beyond minimum wage. Wages for crop production in California increased by 13% from 2010 to 2015, twice as fast as average pay in the state, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today, farmworkers in the state earn about $30,000 a year if they work full time — about half the overall average pay in California. Most work fewer hours.

Some farmers are even giving laborers benefits normally reserved for white-collar professionals, like 401(k) plans, health insurance, subsidized housing and profit-sharing bonuses. Full-timers at Silverado Farming, for example, get most of those sweeteners, plus 10 paid vacation days, eight paid holidays, and can earn their hourly rate to take English classes.

But the raises and new perks have not tempted native-born Americans to leave their day jobs for the fields. Nine in 10 agriculture workers in California are still foreign born, and more than half are undocumented, according to a federal survey.

Instead, companies growing high-value crops, like Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa, are luring employees from fields in places like Stockton that produce cheaper wine grapes or less profitable fruits and vegetables.

Growers who can’t raise wages are losing their employees and dealing with it by mechanizing, downsizing or switching to less labor-intensive crops.

Jeff Klein is doing all of the above. Last year Klein, a fourth-generation Stockton farmer, ran a mental ledger, trying to sort out the pros and cons of persevering in the wine business or quitting. He couldn’t make the math work.

Wineries pay Klein a tiny fraction of what they pony up for the same grape variety grown in Napa, and the rising cost of labor meant he was losing money on his vineyards. So in October, Klein decided to rip out 113,000 Chardonnay grapevines that once blanketed land his family has owned for decades. Now they lay heaped into hundreds of piles, waiting to be taken to the dump.

“I try to make any decision I make not emotional. When you’re running a business, it has to be a financial decision,” he says, sifting through the mangled metal posts.

Five years ago, Klein had a crew of 100 workers pruning, tying and suckering his grapevines. Wineries paid $700 for a ton of grapes, and Klein could make a solid profit paying $8 an hour, the minimum wage.

Last year he could barely get together 45 laborers, and his grapes sold for only $350 per ton. Klein knew his vines were done for when California passed laws raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 and requiring overtime for field laborers.

“There’s not enough guys, and everybody is fighting for everybody else’s guys,” he says. “In Napa and Sonoma, they’re getting $2,000 a ton [for grapes]. So, those guys can afford to pay $15. For me, I’m just trying to break even.”

Although Trump earned Klein’s vote, he worries that recent executive orders ratcheting up deportation plans and calling for a wall are putting a chokehold on an already tight pool of workers.

“That’s killing our labor force,” says the 35-year-old grower.

Already, fewer Mexicans had been willing to risk border crossings as security and deportations escalated under the Obama Administration. At the same time, Mexico’s own economy was mushrooming, offering decent jobs for people who stayed behind.

With the grapevines he has left, Klein is doing what he can to pare his crews. Last year, he bought a leaf puller for $50,000, which turns the delicate process of culling grapevine canopies into an exercise in brute force. The puller hooks onto a tractor and, like an oddly shaped vacuum cleaner, sucks leaves from grapevines.

He used to spend $100 an acre culling the canopies, which allows the right amount of sunlight to hit the grapes and turn them into sugar balls. Now, he says, “It will cost me 20 bucks, and I can get rid of some labor.”

Klein says he’ll spend the next five years replacing his 1,000 acres of grapevines with almond and olive trees, which require a fraction of the human contact to grow.

About 80 miles west in Napa, growers aren’t facing quite the same challenge. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa go for nearly $6,900 per ton, 10 times more than in San Joaquin County.

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Read the Rest Here…

 

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Here in Virginia, this is one of my neighbor’s Tomato Fields. This one is run by a major company, and the crop can wind up in anything from your Marinara and Spaghetti Sauces under a major label, to canned tomatoes, depending on what they plant. There are about 300,000 to 3 million plants out there on this field (of which the photo is only of a small part). All of these tomatoes are picked by hand by immigrant labor. Teams of hundreds go out to pick the crop, twice, before the plants are killed, and a second crop is planted. Typically they get two crops a year in Spring to fall. If the Chumph deports these workers…There ain’t gonna be any Mamma Ragu anymore.

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Who’ll Take the Governor With The Skinny Legs?

Ex- North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory of HB2 infamy is having a hard time finding a new job…

Pat McCrory, who signed North Carolina’s HB2 bill, can’t find work because people think he’s a “bigot”

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“It’s almost as if I broke a law,” former N.C. Governor Pat McCrory says

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican best known for his controversial bill banning transgender people from using the bathrooms that match their gender identity, is now complaining that the association with anti-transgender prejudice is hurting his post-gubernatorial career.

“People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’ – which is the last thing I am,” McCrory complained on a podcast for an Asheville-based evangelical Christian website known as WORLD on Friday, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

During a previous interview he told WORLD that “if you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you’re a bigot, you’re the worst of evil. It’s almost as if I broke a law.”

McCrory also told the Raleigh News and Observer on Monday that “I’ve currently accepted several opportunities in business to do work that I’d done prior to becoming governor in consulting and advisory board positions, and I’ve also been exploring other opportunities in academia, nonprofits and government. And I’ll hopefully be making some of those decisions in the near future.”

He added that academics were reluctant to hire him for teaching positions because of his association with the anti-transgender bill, arguing that “that’s not the way our American system should operate – having people purged due to political thought.”

McCrory also discussed a recent incident in Washington in which he was filmed fleeing from protesters chanting “Shame!” at him.

“I’m sitting there without security and thinking, ‘Is this really happening?’ I was in fear for my safety,” McCrory said.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in The Definition of Racism

 

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Why Conservatism is a Failure

Real easy now to see the failure of conservative philosophy…

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The conservative formula is wrong: Why liberal states won America’s tax experiment

Conservatives have been telling us that a healthy economy depends on low taxes, few regulations and low wages

This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.

For years, conservatives have been telling us that a healthy business-friendly economy depends on low taxes, few regulations and low wages. Are they right?

We’ve had an experiment going on here in the United States that provides an answer.

At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations and lowest wages.

At the other end is California, featuring among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; lots of regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; and high wages.

So according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.

Actually, it’s just the opposite. For years now, Kansas’s rate of economic growth has been the worst in the nation. Last year its economy actually shrank. Texas hasn’t been doing all that much better. Its rate of job growth has been below the national average. Retail sales are way down. The value of Texas exports has been dropping.

But what about so-called over-taxed, over-regulated, high-wage California? California leads the nation in the rate of economic growth — more than twice the national average. In other words, conservatives have it exactly backwards.

So why are Kansas and Texas doing so badly? And California so well?

Because taxes enable states to invest in their people — their education and skill-training, great research universities that spawn new industries and attract talented innovators and inventors worldwide, and modern infrastructure.

That’s why California is the world center of high-tech, entertainment and venture capital.

Kansas and Texas haven’t been investing nearly to the same extent.

California also provides services to a diverse population including many who are attracted to California because of its opportunities.

And California’s regulations protect the public health and the state’s natural beauty, which also draws people to the state — including talented people who could settle anywhere.

Wages are high in California because the economy is growing so fast employers have to pay more for workers. And that’s not a bad thing. After all, the goal isn’t just growth. It’s a high standard of living.

Now in fairness, Texas’s problems are also linked to the oil bust. But that’s really no excuse because Texas has failed to diversify its economy. And here again, it hasn’t made adequate investments.

California is far from perfect. A housing shortage has been driving rents and home prices into the stratosphere. And roads are clogged. Much more needs to be done.

But overall, the contrast is clear. Economic success depends on tax revenues that go into public investments, and regulations that protect the environment and public health. And true economic success results in high wages.

So the next time you hear a conservative say “low taxes, few regulations and low wages are the keys to economic business-friendly success,” just remember Kansas, Texas and California.

The conservative formula is wrong.

 

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Carrier Employees Pissed Over Trump Lies

About those 1100 American jobs the Chumph lied about…

 

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The Obama Economy

About that economy Obama supposedly wrecked…

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U.S. jobless claims at 43-year low; import price deflation easing

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held at a 43-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department added to data such as September automobile sales and manufacturing and services sector surveys in reinforcing the view that economic growth picked up in the third quarter after a sluggish performance in the first half of the year.

“The data are making the Fed’s current policy look too wrong footed and the markets are waiting for them to get back on track, most likely in December,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 246,000 for the week ended Oct. 8, the lowest reading since November 1973, the Labor Department said.

Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.

It was the 84th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with robust labor market conditions.

That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

 

The dollar fell against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasuries rose.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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How “Outsourcing” Has Killed the Middle Class

The twin demons destroying the American Middle Class are Offshoring, and “Outsourcing”. They call it the “Gig economy”, and to be honest it is pretty f’cked up for the employees.

Offshoring is responsible for the massive growth of the Chinese economy. Back during Clinton and Bushit American companies off shored all of the computer chip Foundries. This resulted in a massive growth in the Chinese economy, and left America without a foundry on American soil capable of producing the high density chips used in everything from TVs to our most advanced weapons systems. No wonder the Chinese Military has been able to upgrade their weapons systems and  launch Astronauts into space. We gave them the technology, all because of Wall Street greed and corporate avarice.

People work at SITEL, an outsourcing call center provider, in Managua, Nicaragua on July 3, 2012. [AFP]

A sweatshop call center in Nicaragua.

Worse was the loss of American jobs, manufacturing through the movement of factories off shore, and high tech through a combination of H1b Visas enabling companies to bring cheap workers over from India and other countries to displace American Graduates, and second “Outsourcing” where either American jobs were shipped overseas, or to sweat shops on American soil. This is the driver behind Trump, and Sanders, Unfortunately in Trump’s supporter’s case they would rather cling to their racism and blame minorities – than blame who is actually screwing them. Stupid is and Stupid does.

Surge in outsourcing wipes out middle-class jobs

For nearly 20 years Alfredo Molena made a middle-class living repairing bank ATMs in Los Angeles, despite being a high school dropout and immigrant from El Salvador.

By 2000 he was earning about $45,000 a year, enough to support his wife and two children in a spacious apartment and take periodic vacations to El Salvador and Hawaii. He had health insurance, a matching 401(k) plan, and a company-supplied cellphone and vehicle. But it all unraveled in 2005 after his employer, Bank of America, subcontracted the work to Diebold Inc., a firm specializing in servicing ATMs.

Today Molena drives a truck long-haul for about $30,000 a year, putting him in the bottom third of household incomes. He has no medical insurance. “I cannot afford it,” he snapped.

Globalization and the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and other cheap-labor countries are commonly blamed for driving down the wages and living standards of ordinary American workers, but there is another, less-known factor behind the shrinking middle class: domestic outsourcing.

Many jobs have been farmed out by employers over the years. No one knows their total numbers, but rough estimates based on the growth of temporary-help and other business and professional service payrolls suggest that one in six jobs today are subcontracted, or almost 20 million positions, said Lynn Reaser, economist at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

Separate Labor Department data show that some of these occupations have seen a significant decline in inflation-adjusted, or real, wages over the last decade.

In 2005, there were 138,210 workers nationwide who repaired ATMs, computers and other office machines, earning a mean annual salary of $37,640.

Ten years later, the number of such jobs had shrunk to 106,100, with most of them subcontracted at annual pay of $38,990. But after accounting for inflation, that’s a drop of about 15 percent from 2005.

By contrast, real wages for all occupations rose 1.3 percent between 2005 and 2015 � itself a tiny gain over the last decade, but still significantly more than those hit by domestic outsourcing.

“If a firm wants to save labor costs, outsourcing is just a way of resetting wages and expectations,” said Susan Houseman, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Unlike the effect of offshoring, with its relocation of jobs and plants abroad, economists know relatively little about the extent and effects of decades of subcontracting production and services to third parties in the U.S. But what research has been done suggests the practice has played a significant role in the nation’s troubling trends of stagnating wages and rising inequality.

Rosemary Batt and other researchers at Cornell University found that large employers at subcontracted call centers, for instance, paid their workers about 40 percent less than comparable workers employed in-house at large firms, not including the value of health and retirement benefits…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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