Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stop wage slavery

Rapid technological advances continue to render many jobs obsolete. Globalization has shifted employment to parts of the world with the lowest costs and standards. Most households have gone from one income-earner to at least two. Women have fully integrated into the workforce, albeit often with less-than-equal opportunities, conditions and pay. A lot of our work is unnecessary and often destructive — depleting resources, destroying ecosystems, polluting air, water and soil, and fuelling climate change.
Yet we're still working the same or more hours later into life within the same outdated and destructive system, furiously producing, consuming and disposing on a wheel of endless growth and conspicuous consumption. The gap between rich and poor is widening and working people — and those who can't find work — are falling further behind, crushed by growing debt, increased competition for scarce jobs and declining real wages and benefits.  Many people are tired, too stretched to become politically engaged or even to spend as much time with family and friends as they'd like, and the grinding consumer cycle doesn't bring them real joy or fulfilment. 
 The unions deserve credit for many gains working people have enjoyed over the past century or more, they also merit some criticism. In the face of technological advances and globalization, unions have failed to fight for steadily reduced work hours although lately it's more fighting to prevent drastic cuts to jobs, wages and benefits.
From a management perspective (the only perspective that counts) it is easier to manage one worker doing 60 hours a week than two doing 30 each. It's all about what works best for them and their profits. Nothing else really comes into the picture
A lot needs to be done to our economic systems and to address critical issues like pollution and climate change.  Many reformists are now proposing gradual piece-meal ameliorations but many of those will remain just that – proposals and won't be implemented to any significant degree under capitalism. Capitalism wants you ignorant and desperate, able to work at your job, but not able to see what's at the heart of the system and therefore not able to work at changing it. Under this system people are financially stretched to the limit, tired, worried and fed a steady diet of media and consumerist indoctrination. They are left intentionally confused but always feeling a vague confidence in the system, because they have been told their entire lives that it is fine and fair and "the way it is" and that you only sink or swim based on individual talent and effort. Until people are able to comprehend what is going on behind the curtain of disinformation and deception, they are helpless. The capitalist system is well aware that if you give people security and time, they will start to get ideas that you don't want them to have. These things, along with decent education, are intentionally withheld for the health of the system.

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