Friday, November 01, 2013

Welcome To The Hunger Day. On Gormless Welfare Leeches (Food Stamp Recipients) and Aircraft Carriers.

Today is the day when food stamp cut-backs take effect.  Among the group affected by this are as many as 900,000 US veterans and their families.

That's an interesting data point, and a way for me to write about what the US can afford and what it cannot afford.  Let's limit the conversation to the armed forces.  That way we are on firm conservative ground and share the reality where car bumper stickers (made in China)  decorate so many American cars urging us to "Support the Troops."

Then juxtapose that form of patriotism with the large number of US veterans on food stamps and the cuts in those benefits.

Or walk across the room and look at what we can't afford in the food stamp field:

Starting Friday, millions of Americans receiving food stamps will be required to get by with less government assistance every month, a move that not only will cost them money they use to feed their families but is expected to slightly dampen economic growth as well.
Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, popularly referred to as food stamps, reflect the lapse of a temporary increase created by the administration’s stimulus program in 2009. They are slated to go into effect separately from continuing negotiations over renewal of the federal farm support program, which looks likely to further cut funds for food stamps, which this fiscal year are expected to come to about $76.4 billion.
The Republican-controlled House version of the farm bill proposes cutting $39 billion from the program over the next decade; the Democratic-controlled Senate would cut $4 billion over the same period.
The food stamp cuts scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1 will reduce spending by $5 billion in the 2014 fiscal year, and another $6 billion over the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. They are expected to shave 0.2 percentage point from annualized consumption growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 and trim an estimated 0.1 percentage point off the annual growth rate of the nation’s gross domestic product, according to estimates by Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase. Those drags may seem small, but right now projections for gains in fourth-quarter gross domestic product hover around an annual rate of just 2 percent.

Bolds are mine.  Great savings there, what?  Now we can afford more aircraft carriers.  Note what the most recent carriers cost:

The final carrier of the class, USS George H.W. Bush, was designed as a "transition ship" from the Nimitz class to the replacement Gerald R. Ford class. Bush incorporates new technologies including improved propeller and bulbous bow designs, a reduced radar signature and electronic and environmental upgrades.[36][37] As a result, the ship's cost was $6.2 billion, higher than that of the earlier Nimitz-class ships which each cost around $4.5 billion.[38] To lower costs, some new technologies and design features were also incorporated into the USS Ronald Reagan, the previous carrier, including a redesigned island.[39]

Bolds are mine.  Or what about the latest, greatest carrier?  We are all very excited about it:

Navy's $7bn stealth ship hits the waves: America's largest ever destroyer leaves dry dock for the first time

Butbutbut, you might argue, we need those aircraft carriers to defend ourselves against evil Islamonazist terrorists who attack cities and such.  Heh.  Also,  look at the international comparisons on how many aircraft carriers the US has and how many the rest of the world has:

Seems a bit weird that seven billion for yet another carrier is money better paid than money on food stamps for veterans, say.

None of this should be intended to read as attacking aircraft carrier construction alone.  The point I wish to make is that we spend money like it grew in trees in some areas but in others we find our pockets so empty that nothing much can be done.  And neither should any of this be interpreted as meaning that the food stamp program couldn't be made better or that nobody ever misuses the system.  Rather, we are illogical in which government programs are deemed as important and which are deemed as breeding reliance on the government.
Added later:  A smart reader points out that the actual costs of running the aircraft carriers are far greater than just the costs of building them.  This is, of course, correct, because they need staffing, maintenance, food supply ships, protection etc etc.

Meanwhile, in Texas*

The new anti-abortion laws can take effect right away:

A federal appeals court issued a ruling Thursday reinstating most of Texas' controversial new abortions restrictions, just three days after a federal judge ruled they were unconstitutional. 
A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit challenging the restrictions moves forward. The panel issued the ruling after District Judge Lee Yeakel said the provision serves no medical purpose.
The panel's decision means as least 12 clinics won't be able to perform the procedure starting as soon as Friday. In its 20-page ruling, it acknowledged that the provision "may increase the cost of accessing an abortion provider and decrease the number of physicians available to perform abortions."
How does a doctor get admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in Texas?  I couldn't find this by Googling, but my impression is that the doctor must do hospital medicine to get those privileges.  Is that a necessary medical prerequisite for working in abortion clinics?

I doubt that, and so I doubt this part of the ruling:

However, the panel said that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that having "the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate" a law that serves a valid purpose, "one not designed to strike at the right itself."

Everything about the forced birth movement is aimed at striking at the right itself.  The right here would be the right to have an abortion.

Texas is a fun state to live in as a woman or as a member of ethnic or racial minorities, because of that voter ID thingy.  

I think the law was created (as in other Republican-dominated places) to reduce the number of voters who might vote for Democrats, especially the number of poorer voters and the number of people of color.  But the Texas version of the law also affects married women who don't have their names on the ID in exactly the correct form:

In 2012 a federal court struck down Texas' ID law, ruling it would potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority voters.
But that federal decision was invalidated when the Supreme Court last year ruled part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. So now Texas is test-driving its voter ID law — one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation.
Texas judges are accustomed to a certain level of respect, even deference as they go about their daily business in the Lone Star State. So imagine Judge Sandra Watts' surprise when she went to cast her vote last week and was told there was a problem.
"What I have used for voter registration and identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote," Watts says.
Why? Because Watts' name on her driver's license lists her maiden name as her middle name. But on the state voting rolls, her given middle name is there, and that's difference enough to cause a problem.
"This is the first time I have ever had a problem voting," she says. "And so why would I want to vote provisional ballot when I've been voting regular ballot for the last 49 years?"
Watts stomped out of her polling place and called the local Corpus Christi TV station KIII. Her voting problems became the lead story that night.
The original Justice Department concern with Texas' voter ID law involved its discriminatory effect on the state's poor and minority voters. In 2012 a federal court ruled it unconstitutional on that basis, but that ruling was itself invalidated last year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. And with that, Texas' voter ID law was back from the dead. So it's come as a surprise how, in practice, the law has also been a problem for Texas women.

Note, also that a concealed-carry permit is a valid ID but a student ID is not!  Given that the former group tends to vote Republican and the latter group Democratic, one is astonished by such a chance correlation between what is allowed and what is not allowed!

Nah.  Given that all this is intended, is the problem caused by the patrilocal marriage custom which ends up giving married women multiple names part and parcel of the same attempt to make voting harder for some groups?

I'm not sure, because married women are actually pretty likely to vote Republican.  On the other hand, many Texas politicians would love to get rid of all female voters.  So judge for yerselves.
*The "meanwhile" series on my blog is about places where not-so-good anti-woman things are happening.  You can search for topics in it by using the "meanwhile" word.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stuff To Read on Halloween

I write about the Zombie Trends For Women here.

An odd serendipity made me read a sad post about the troubles of the progressive movement* and a post about the Tea Party on the same day.  Try it out, reading those one after the other while keeping mind that these are the two acceptable limits in American political thought.  Nothing  left of the progressives officially exists, for example.

Here's the odd part.  Either I am Halloween-hallucinating or most of the comments at the Ian Welsh post can no longer be read.  Or there's something wrong with my computer.

Whatever it is, I remember distinctly reading opinions there (or elsewhere?)  that progressive blogs were once extremely popular and achieved important things, but that nobody reads blogs anymore, what with the Twitter etc..  In any case I commented about that at another blog, so it's unlikely I made it completely up.

The point I wanted to make in that context is that anyone who thinks blogs can change the American politics in a few years is in for a biiiig disappointment.  Writing blogs is like carrying water in a sieve to the ocean of public opinion.  If you are really fast and really clever you have some influence.  But most people never read blogs in the past or today.

To finish, have a look at this spookily funny Fox News video:

I lovelovelove the number of silly assertions it contains:

1.  Stossel argues that women should pay more for health insurance than men because women, on average, use more care**.  It's true that the average use rates are greater for women than for men. But the reason for that is not hypochondria.  The difference has several reasons***, but by far the most important has to do with reproduction.

The current system assigns all the care having to do with pregnancies and childbirths to women's accounts, even though humans still don't manage parthenogenesis.  Put more plainly, the costs of pregnancy and childbirth are not because of women's hypochondria and they are not caused by her alone.  Likewise, we have no male contraceptive pill, which means that the contraception often used by heterosexual couples together necessitates medical visits not by the man but by the woman if she's on the pill.

2.  Men and women who are past childbirth are told by Stossel that they should be angry about having to "subsidize" women (and men) in fertile age categories.  This is hilarious, because the subsidies inside the system flow into the reverse direction.  Older people use more health care than younger people.

3.  Stossel doesn't seem to understand what current insurance does when he complains about the "subsidies" of other people in one's insurance policy.  It already lumps together all sorts of different health care expenditures, which means that right now someone's Viagra consumption is "subsidized".  If insurance contained no such "subsidies" it wouldn't exist.  It's true that insurers prefer to divide the population they insure into groups of similar risk levels, but if we do this with all health care consumption (and match the risks precisely for each) we end up with no insurance at all.   To take a simple example from car insurance, Stossel's assertion is like saying that your insurance premia should not be used to pay for your neighbor's stolen car if you were luckier and kept yours and if both of you are customers of the same company.

4.  Stossel recommends more and more competition, instead of the ACA.  The idea that competition in health care is great is a very tricky one.  Lots of research suggests that there's very little price competition, without government incentives for it.  Whether quality competition is feasible depends on the particular product we are looking at.  It might work for some routine purchases of the well-care type, such as eye glasses and simple dental visits.  But in many cases consumers cannot judge health care quality well enough to become prudent shoppers (and in other cases consumers are too ill to do that).

*For a different angle to the brogressive movement, check out what Scott Lemieux writes.
**This argument also reopens the door the idea that individuals with pre-existing conditions should pay more than those without them.  The same logic applies.
***Some of them hard to quantify.  For instance, many observers believe that men, on average, don't see their health care providers as often as they should.  On the other hand, the way the medical profession defines recommended visit rates and what should be checked may itself be affected by various non-medical considerations such as women's apparent greater medical "compliance."

Today's Quick Peep into the Evo-Psych World: On Mean Girls

It's always a fun place to visit!  This time we learn that there are "mean girls" (hard-wired mean!) because cattiness discourages other woman from putting out and so maximizes the "mean girls'" own reproductive success.  The linked summary says that the paper was not terribly well-received, and also offers a criticism. I'm glad of the criticism being added there.

 This example demonstrates something common in  much of evolutionary psychology:  Anything that exists will* have an evolutionary explanation if you think hard enough and weird enough (within the simple model). 

Or look at it the other way round:  If there were no "mean girls" or no time when any woman behaves like that, then the evolutionary explanation for women's kindness towards each other could be the need to get more alloparents for their children and perhaps to get help in gathering or trapping or fishing.

The behavioral reality is  somewhere in the middle.  We humans all have nasty sides and nice sides, in varying proportions by the individual.  Just as there are "mean boys" there are "mean girls".   ---  The particular way this meanness presents itself may have genetic differences by gender or perhaps not.  But it certainly links to the way girls and boys are brought up, too.  --- And what we are mean about is not limited to just jealousy or envy about sexual partners or romantic partners but to most everything humans do.  To pick girls' meanness in only that context probably biases the research from the beginning.
*For instance, I've read about evolutionary psychology attempts to explain how suicide might contribute to the reproductive success of one's tribal unit.

Speed-Blogging, Oct 30, 2013. Contents: Rape, Sexual Violence And Societal Views on Those


This article, caused by the recent debate about whether women should stop drinking too much as a way to cut back on college rape at least opens the conversation on the difference between things one can do not to become a victim and things that can be done to cut back on perpetrators.

The studies it links to are a bit too often older,  from 1980s and 1990s,  and perhaps because the data is from sites where it is offered for a different purpose (rape crisis counseling for possible victims), it doesn't delve deep into questions of frequencies in the characters of the perpetrators, but just points out that rapists can come from all backgrounds.  Even when that is true it may still be the case that certain variables predict rape better and that we should work on whatever those variables might measure (such as belief that women are mostly wheelbarrows for c***t transportation etc.)

I had Cousin Insomnia visiting, so I read through all the comments at the linked article (those that were there last night).  They are revealing.  There are two schools of though, pretty much.

One argues that we shall always have rapists among us and that therefore the best potential victims (women and men and children etc.) can do is to do the equivalent of risk minimization.  Lock your doors, don't wear flashy jewelry, leave your vagina at home when you go out, and naturally don't get soused out of your head.

The other school argues that most rapes are not stranger rapes, that the rapist is more often someone known to the victim and that rapes can happen inside the victim's home or place of work, and that the idea of risk prevention can be a slippery slope, moving from not drinking to not going out to not wearing anything that shows your body and on and on.

I lean much more towards the latter school of thought, because rapes are common in India and in societies where people don't drink and because South Africa, for instance, has such humongous rape rates that there is no way countries simply have a fixed percentage of evil people who are born that way.  I also believe that our ideas about rape affect its likelihood.  If rape is something young men joke about, in public, that's bound to have an impact on how seriously the crime is taken.  So we must change the societal conversations on all this.

At the same time, I think that taking care of yourself is good for all of us human beings, that knowing where you are and what you are doing is very useful, if only to protect yourself against that rarer kind of stranger rape or other forms of violence, and this applies to both men and women.

 I also think that the reasons why rapists rape might vary.   We need more research on this (or someone needs to give lazy me links to the relevant research).  One commentator at the linked article argues that the motivations of male rapists who rape women include cases of extreme woman loathing but also cases where the rapist simply doesn't see the victim as a human but as that wheelbarrow which somehow contains the sex he is entitled to.

I think the person commenting on this stated that the views were based on clinical experience of some type, perhaps based on sentenced individuals' statements, so the wider motivations (given that only a tiny percentage of rapes end up in convictions) need more studying.

And when it comes to teenagers the confusion about what the concept of rape is in the teenagers' minds and what saying no means to them needs a lot more work.  The bro-culture, stereotypically, is seen as almost advocating rape as a form of scoring.  The wider society tells the teenagers that rape is wrong, but I'm not sure how the messages from the popular culture, the peer groups, the parents, the schools etc. interact.  We need to find what works, for a real prevention policy.

Speaking of rape sub-cultures of one type, Oxford University in England is giving us a peek of what's called "lad culture" in the UK:

Last Monday, the social secretary of the Pembroke College Rugby Football Club, Woo Kim, sent his members an email with the subject line "FREE PUSSY". In the email, Mr Kim proposed a "challenge" to the male members of the college; to "pick" a female fresher of their choice as a guest for the upcoming crew date. Mr Kim's email continued, "please bring TWO bottles of wine - one for yourself and one for your guest". This second bottle of wine is to be tampered with. He wrote, "You must open the bottle in advance, and include a substance of your choice. It may be spirits or food or anything you like."
"Please be as clandestine as possible in your deed."
As if this were not chilling enough, he elaborated that the theme of the Crew Date was 'VILLIANS' and that "Villains must be discrete [sic] in their work".
It's VILLAIN, by the way.

If I had to guess I'd think that this email is meant as a joke, not as an actual invitation for a mass rape event.  But we really should ask ourselves why this young man thought the joke would be appreciated by others, what the sub-culture was that he grew up in, why he thinks of "freshers" as prey and of the male football players as predators.  When would this joke be funny?

I'm not part of its intended audience but I think it's funny if you fundamentally believe that what those young men really want is free pussy and that the wheelbarrow wheel must be greased so that the pussy rolls out more handily.  If that's your basic belief, but you know all about the "politically correct" idea that no means no etc, you would find it hilarious.

Finally, and from my personal life:  This is the time of the year (near the day when the dead are on our minds) when I send love and good thoughts to the memory of a man I only met once, a long time ago, when I was in my teens and he was about eighty.

He was out walking his dachshund, clad in a dapper suit, about seven pm on an October night.  I happened to be walking on the same street, going to a study meeting at my friend's house (exams!).

Suddenly, a man in his forties, smelling of alcohol (SEE!),  grabbed me from behind, tore my long coat and pulled out large chunks of my hair by the roots.  I screamed for help.  A couple on the other side of the street made some comment about a marital quarrel (honestly).  I managed to pull myself free and ran up the street (a steep hill at that point), all the time calling for help and for someone to call the police (before cell phones, my sweetings), while my attacker was stumbling after me.

The only person who crossed the street was the old man with the dachshund.  He came to me, asking if I was all right, if I would like me to walk him to wherever I was going.  His hands were shaking, but he was there.

I have never forgotten that, and in recent years I light a candle to his memory.  A good person.

This petition about the police response to a horrible rape in Kenya is worth signing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Black Women May Be Less Likely To Be Protected by the HVP Vaccine

Think Progress writes about this:

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that has cut teen girls’ risk of cancer in half is less likely to shield African American women, according to new research unveiled Monday. Black women, who have higher rates of cervical cancer than the general population, are susceptible to different strains of HPV than the most common types for white women. Unfortunately, the only approved HPV vaccines in the US target the strains that most affect white women, leaving black women more or less unprotected.

The likely reason?  The strains of HPV which are most common in white women are not necessarily the most common in black women, and the vaccine protects against the most common strains found in clinical trials before its creation.  Because there are more white women, the results are driven by the fact that they were the majority in the clinical trials for the vaccine, because they are still the majority racial group among US women.

But those clinical trials may have also included too few black women.*

In developing Gardasil and Cervarix, scientists relied on studies to pinpoint the strains of HPV most likely to lead to cancer. Studies were done on all ethnicities, Hoyo said, noting that there may have been insufficient numbers of black women in the research studies to pick up the differences in HPV subtypes.
"There has always been some skepticism about whether there are other strains that are important, other than 16 and 18," she said. This study is not the first to report the differences, she said.

And Think Progress:

The HPV vaccine is hardly the only medical breakthrough that failed to account for racial differences. Even though the Food and Drug Administration has mandated proportional representation of minorities in clinical research, minorities are still drastically undercounted. One recent report found that many clinical trials exclude non-white subjects; the Hepatitis C vaccine trial, for instance, was 83 percent white, 14 percent African American, 2 percent Asian, and 2 percent other. Latinos, who comprise 16 percent of the total U.S. population, account for just 1 percent of clinical trial participants.

The problem may be more complicated when there are major (and perhaps previously unknown) differences in the incidence or form of a disease in different racial groups (such as the case of different strains of HPV being most common here).   A group small in numbers (say, American Indians) might not be under-counted in a study, compared to their population size, but because of the nature of those differences it should really be analyzed separately.  This requires taking larger samples of small population groups, because small samples have more scope for the effects of sampling error.

Many epidemiological studies already do that, in any case.  But these news are a good reminder that there are real reasons for  including women and men of all racial groups in clinical trial studies when the diseases apply to all of them.

Should black women get the currently available vaccine?  The general answer seems to be that they should.  It still gives protection against two strains.  But its protective value may be lower for them than for white women, and the vaccine should either be adjusted or offered in different forms for different racial groups.
* I can't figure out from just the summaries if this means that black women were not their population percentage in the trials but fewer, or if they were represented in their population percentage, but the numbers were too small to bring out the strain differences.

Folders We Need

I am now making folders of material which one needs to argue with weirdos on the net.  For instance, some time ago a story about a woman whose son got accused of sexual harassment in college led to the odd statement that colleges always find the man guilty in these cases, always.  I knew it wasn't necessarily so, because I had read many stories which argued that the alleged victim got no help from the college at all, but I hadn't saved those stories.  Well, now I do save them, and this one goes in that folder.

I am also collecting stuff on domestic violence, rape arrest and sentencing rates, the treatment of fathers in custody courts and so on.

The need to do this is lamentable, but necessitated by the fact that people on the net seem to have their own facts, in the way they used to have their own opinions.  If you don't have "your" facts stored, you are handicapped in any debates, and that handicap is unfair when the other people's "facts" are all one-sided.

We also need more general websites will all the information together and in easily found forms.  I'm going to try to do some of that on my own blog, but it's really a bigger endeavor than one puny goddess can undertake, all on her lonesomeness.

-- This is about my Ten Year Blog Anniversary coming, under the folder:  The Changes We Need.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Speed Blogging, Monday Oct 28, 2013: On Women Leaning In, Driving and Giving Talks in the Urinal Position

bell hooks writes about the LeanIn movement.  She makes good points about many of the limitations of the LeanIn ideas (their bad fit for women who are not white, upper class or blessed with a wonderful partner, the fact that they leave the corporate frameworks unchallenged, even though the success depends on the receptivity of those very frameworks etc.). 

On the other hand, tackling the problems she spells out is a much more difficult endeavor than the LeanIn emphasis on mostly self-help, especially if we are to address capitalism itself.   -- That comment does not mean that I didn't enjoy reading her analysis of this or that I wouldn't agree on much of it.

Saudi women protest the fact that they are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.  That may be the most famous part of the rigid rules which govern women's lives in that country.  The rest of the oppressive iceberg is submerged, though the article I link to discusses it.  Yet there are a few very small signs of positive changes in the attitudes of government.

Finally, that urinal position.  It cropped up in an internal memo of a Manhattan law firm, intended to teach female employees how to give a good speech.  A lot of it is applicable to anyone giving a speech, which made me wonder why male employees aren't given all that good advice about how to dress and groom themselves or how to prepare their speech and delivery.   Or perhaps they already got their internal memo with lots of good advice?

In this one,  the section on the voice use is all about how the speaker should try to lower her speaking voice ("Your voice is higher than you hear.  Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.)  And there is advice about cleavage and not letting people look up your skirt.

Which sounds pretty conservative and sorta common sense.  Well, except later on the speaker is told not to look like a mortician (If wearing a black suit, wear something bright.).  So all this stuff is extremely complicated and nuanced, whereas nobody would expect that a guy wears something bright with a black suit etc.

The funniest bit in the whole memo is the "urinal position."  It must have something to do with hands as it's in the section about choreographing your hands.  You should watch out for the urinal position!

The dreaded urinal position.  I have a guess on its meaning.  But I doubt it means that this law firm believes that women would otherwise, say, squat, while giving presentations.

Who Sucks Off The Government Teat?

When I first wrote about this bit from Media Matters for America, I didn't know that others had already pointed out the group which also gets subsidized when low-wage workers get food stamps or other help from federal and/or state governments.  That group is the firms themselves and ultimately their owners, because the low wages help to keep the profits higher .  From the article on Moyers&Company:

  • More than half (52 percent) of the families of front-line fast-food workers are enrolled in one or more public programs, compared to 25 percent of the workforce as a whole.
  • The cost of public assistance to families of workers in the fast-food industry is nearly $7 billion per year.
  • At an average of $3.9 billion per year, spending on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) accounts for more than half of these costs.
  • Due to low earnings, fast-food workers’ families also receive an annual average of $1.04 billion in food stamp benefits and $1.91 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments.
  • People working in fast-food jobs are more likely to live in or near poverty. One in five families with a member holding a fast-food job has an income below the poverty line, and 43 percent have an income two times the federal poverty level or less.
  • Even full-time hours are not enough to compensate for low wages.

One person at Fox News made this comment about the idea that perhaps the low-wage workers should be paid more:

PAYNE: There is a lot of unfortunate parts of the story. If you want to create a society where these jobs -- $8 jobs go for $15. Then what you're saying to people is like, okay, "don't improve your life. Don't finish high school. Don't go to college. Don't, you know what, have three or four kids out of wedlock. Don't put yourself in a predicament where this is your only option. In fact, keep doing what you're doing, smoke weed all day if you want. Doesn't matter. You'll get rewarded because in this society Mickey D's has got the money. They owe it to you." And I think that's a work mentality.
This is the whip-not-the-carrot policy to everything, the one which appears to be the preferred approach in US politics.  Make certain jobs (working at McDonald's, say) so poorly paid that you cannot survive.  Now, that will give you a good incentive to better yourself!

But it does nothing about the need for someone to work those kinds of jobs, and it shows very little empathy towards those who are employed in them.  Neither does it make any kind of moral inferences about those whose profits are made larger due to the subsidies the government provides, only about the workers in the low-wage industries.