California fires are crises of capitalism | Moorbey’z Blog
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation program pays inmates $1 to $2 a day to fight active fires, plus time off their sentences. Over 2,500 prisoners are risking their lives battling fires across the state. (tinyurl.com/ydbus2at and tinyurl.com/ydy9colb)
By using this “volunteer” prison labor, the state says it saves $90 million to $100 million a year. It also claims to help inmates learn new skills while working in a team environment. Of course, no jobs in this field are guaranteed for ex-prisoners.
Trump continues to deny that human behavior produces global warming and that this is a major cause of more incidences of drought. The vegetation becomes dry and flammable, providing more fuel for fires. Poorly laid electrical lines may start a fire and then Santa Ana winds spread it.
California wildfires are symptoms of a crisis in capitalism. Exploitation and disregard for the land and resources and for poor and working people have created this annual terror residents experience.
Yet, the most oppressed have already provided the answers. In California, vacant homes outnumber the homeless population. Activists demand that we fill the homes we have instead of feeding the real estate bubble.
Activists also call for paying the workers — the poor and incarcerated firefighters — the wages they deserve instead of exploiting their labor and costing them their health and ultimately their lives.