Sunday, December 18, 2011

Legislation to Include Home Health and Farm Workers

President Obama and Labor Secretary Solis introduced legislation to include home health and farm workers in the Fair Labor Standards Act. This will remedy the exclusion since 1937 of those occupational titles. If I'm going to lower my blood pressure, I need to stop reading New York Times articles on this or any subject. And government labor statistics about income. Republicans quoted are agin it because it will raise costs and cost jobs. Whatever. Isn't there a new argument in the GOP playbook? Or NYT reportage? The government indicates median incomes for home health care workers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics site. Median is an artificial percentage. A 4th grader can tell you median means the exact middle of the pack. To use another example, the median age of single people in Michigan might be 34. Ages above that number might average 68, and ages below average 6 months old, so the median age is 34, although there is not one single 34 year old person in Michigan. Or any age near 34. There are no statistics about how many people of any age who are providing care for those less fortunate or able are receiving no income at all. The government statistics only include those who are registered, employed by third party agencies that issue 1099s or W4s, or are union members of organizations like SEIU. I applaud President Obama and Secretary Hilda Solis, and hope this 112th Congress will somehow have a Christmas miracle delivered to them before the new year voting follies begin. There is one more blessing for me to count this holiday season: I am not an elderly relative of any of the Scrooges who want to deny minimum wages to caregivers, home health workers and farm workers.

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