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Violations of Employment and Labor Laws



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Violations of Employment and Labor Laws

  • Illegal deductions, employer retaliation, and workers’ compensation violations
  • Women, foreign-born, non-English-speaking, less educated, and non-unionized face more violations
  • Violations common in home-based work and industry

The Global Workforce

  • 30 million enslaved laborers
    • India, China, and Pakistan top 3 countries
    • Slavery occurs in every country in Africa (Unicef)
  • 800,000 persons trafficked across international borders annually
  • Dollar value of commerce in human beings rivals drug trafficking and illegal arms trade

The Global Workforce

  • 215 million child laborers (over 260,000 child farm laborers in US)
    • ¼ children in sub-Saharan Africa
    • 60% exposed to hazardous conditions; 25% exposed to hazardous chemicals
    • Violations of child labor laws common in U.S.

Child Labor

Outsourcing the Government

  • More than ½ of federal jobs now outsourced to private corporations
  • More than ½ of contracts no-bid
  • Threat to democracy
  • Outsourcing of military
    • Mercenaries
    • Demoralizes troops

Thomas Jefferson

  • The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government

The Third World Debt Crisis

  • Over 40 of the poorest countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia owe a total of almost $300 billion in foreign debt
    • countries borrowed when loans cheap and easy to get
    • money lent to corrupt/undemocratic governments during Cold War
    • corruption
    • world prices for main exports declined
    • new loans (at higher interest rates) required to pay interest on debt

The Third World Debt Crisis

  • Creditors
    • US, UK, Japan, France and Germany
    • interest rates up to 20-22% in 1980’s

The Third World Debt Crisis

  • Each African child inherits approximately $379 in debt at birth
    • debt 100-200% of GDP for Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, and others
    • Per capita income in Sub-Saharan Africa has declined in real terms by 6% since 1975
  • Live Aid (1985 raised $200 million)
    • Equal to the amount all African countries pay back on foreign debts each week (in 2001)

The Third World Debt Crisis

  • Countries spend more each year repaying debt than on education and healthcare.
  • Debt will never be paid off

Effects of the Third World Debt Crisis

  • Indebted countries drastically cut wages, which slows the economy and decreases purchases of U.S. imports
    • makes U.S. jobs less secure
  • Currency is devalued.
    • imports more expensive; exports cheaper
  • Government price controls eliminated

Effects of the Third World Debt Crisis

  • Government spending on food, fuel and farming subsidies reduced
    • One week of developed world farm subsidies = Annual cost of food aid to eliminate world hunger
  • Social service (healthcare/education) program spending cut
  • Countries strip and sell their natural resources
    • increased global pollution, etc.

Debt and Microfinance

  • Muhammad Yunus (2006 Nobel Peace Prize) – Grameen Bank
  • Microfinance promises growth of individual and small business
  • Reality – interests and default rates often high, corruption common
  • Perpetuates unfair economic system

Solution to the Third World Debt Crisis

  • Debt forgiveness

Foreign Aid

  • In total dollars: U.S. #1
  • As a % of GDP, U.S. ranks 21st among the world’s wealthiest nations
  • More money flows out of developing countries in the form of interest payments, profits of foreign corporations, and clandestine investments in financial markets of rich countries than flows into them as loans, aid, and foreign direct investment

Foreign Aid

  • U.S. Aid: Over 1/3 military, 1/4 economic, 1/3 for food and development
  • Most U.S. aid benefits U.S. corporations, is spent on military, goes to Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Pakistan, and the Philippines

Foreign Aid

  • Aid agencies often forced to buy from U.S. companies at inflated prices
    • 70% of aid effectively returned to U.S.
  • Food aid inefficient, benefits large agribusiness at expense of local farmers/economies
    • Takes $2 taxpayer money to generate $1 in food aid

Foreign Aid

  • 0.19% of the total federal budget, vs. UN target of 0.7%
  • On average, Americans think that 28% of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid

U.S. Charitable Giving

  • Approximately $250 billion/year
    • 2.5% of income
    • 2.9% at height of Great Depression

U.S. Charitable Giving by Income Bracket

  • $15K and under: 26%
  • $15K - $30K: 9%
  • $30K - $50K: 5.3%
  • $50K - $100K: 3.8%
  • $100K - $200K: 3.0%
  • $200K and over: 3.4%
  • Empathy Gap: wealthier people ruder with strangers, less charitably generous than poor people

American Charitable Giving

  • Religious Groups: 35%
  • Education: 13%
  • Multipurpose Foundations: 10%
  • Social Services: 8%
  • Health: 8%
  • Arts and Culture: 6%
    • NEA and NEH combined budget = $292 million 0.008% of national spending (2013)

American Charitable Giving

  • Science: 5%
  • Environment and Animals: 3%
  • International Aid: 2%
  • Other: 9%
  • - Includes individual, corporate, foundation, and bequest donations
  • Less than 10% goes to groups which directly help the poor


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