against entrenched identity

Marta Russell ap888 at
Wed Jun 24 02:45:41 PDT 1998

Chuck Grimes wrote:
> So, in this historical moment the form of working class oppression is
> racism, sexism, homophobia, and various other form of discrimination
> because the core of that discrimination takes the form of suppressed
> wages. The means to stop or at least make the giants stumble is exactly
> the same as always: strikes, boycotts, political organization, advocacy

Here is a bit of advocacy on a similar note re disabled workers:

According to a 1992 Census Bureau report, on average, a severely disabled person makes $1,562 per month while a non-severely disabled person makes $2,006. A nondisabled person makes on average $2,446, or 33 percent more than the severely disabled individual and 20 percent more than the non-severely disabled individual which indicates that employers either de-value disabled employees or they take advantage of us financially. According to the 1992 Census Bureau Report, the earnings of men and women with disabilities have decreased since 1981 compared to nondisabled employees.

Republican legislator Baugh in California, latched onto the sub-minimum wage concept for disabled workers by offering legislation(1996) that would allow employers to hire disabled workers at a "special minimum wage" (that word special again), without the minimal and very subjective "protection" of having to show that the prospective employee is "less productive" than a nondisabled one. Theoretically any disabled person could be considered "less productive," and this sub-minimum wage could be used to exploit any disabled worker.

The existing minimum wage for a 40-hour week, even with recent hikes, is not a living wage. The California GOP proposal, by suggesting that disabled people can somehow manage to live on less than anyone else, lacks even the most rudimentary understanding of disability (or cruelly ignores it) because we often have more expenses than nondisabled people do.(Beyond Ramps: Disability at the End of the Social Contract, p 137)

Forgive me for not paraphrasing but it is physically easier to lift this out of the book rather than type.

Marta Russell

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