petej + zerohours   67

Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not. - The New York Times
But rather than hold itself accountable, America reverses roles by blaming the poor for their own miseries.

Here is the blueprint. First, valorize work as the ticket out of poverty, and debase caregiving as not work. Look at a single mother without a formal job, and say she is not working; spot one working part time and demand she work more. Transform love into laziness. Next, force the poor to log more hours in a labor market that treats them as expendables. Rest assured that you can pay them little and deny them sick time and health insurance because the American taxpayer will step in, subsidizing programs like the earned-income tax credit and food stamps on which your work force will rely. Watch welfare spending increase while the poverty rate stagnates because, well, you are hoarding profits. When that happens, skirt responsibility by blaming the safety net itself. From there, politicians will invent new ways of denying families relief, like slapping unrealistic work requirements on aid for the poor.

As I watched this young man identify with Smith’s character, it dawned on me that what his parents, preachers, teachers, coaches and guidance counselors had told him for motivation — “Study hard, stick to it, dream big and you will be successful” — had been internalized as a theory of life.


We need a new language for talking about poverty. “Nobody who works should be poor,” we say. That’s not good enough. Nobody in America should be poor, period. No single mother struggling to raise children on her own; no formerly incarcerated man who has served his time; no young heroin user struggling with addiction and pain; no retired bus driver whose pension was squandered; nobody. And if we respect hard work, then we should reward it, instead of deploying this value to shame the poor and justify our unconscionable and growing inequality. “I’ve worked hard to get where I am,” you might say. Well, sure. But Vanessa has worked hard to get where she is, too.
USA  economy  poverty  jobs  pay  wages  employment  outsourcing  zeroHours  insecurity  precarity  socialMobility  workEthic  welfare  workfare  TrumpDonald  blame 
september 2018 by petej
Sorry, you can’t be working class and socialist in the new authentocracy | Phil McDuff | Opinion | The Guardian
Perry’s point that “many people on zero-hours contracts actually choose that level of flexibility” was a carefully picked phrase designed to avoid acknowledging that many workers do not choose zero-hour contracts – and that low, variable incomes can force people to rely on food banks.

Perry’s retort was both remarkable for its absurdity, and unremarkable because it’s such a regular catch-22 of a scam, whose logic goes like this: everyone from a working-class or poor background really cares more about national identity, nuclear weapons and protecting the border than they do about economics – even economics that would materially improve their own circumstances; so caring about this sort of economics automatically disqualifies you from being a credible person to care about it.
UK  USA  politics  SkinnerDennis  PerryClaire  Ocasio-CortezAlexandra  RebelMedia  zeroHours  pay  wages  workingClass  identity  authenticity  aspiration  commonSense  dctagged  dc:creator=McDuffPhil 
july 2018 by petej
Some praise our gig economy flexibility. I call it exploitation | Larry Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian
Language matters. There was a time when these trends would have been described as casualisation or exploitation. They would have been seen as symbolic of a one-sided labour market in which the deck was stacked in favour of employers. These days, though, it is evidence of “flexibility”, and who could object to that?
gigEconomy  zeroHours  underemployment  self-employment  casualisation  exploitation  employment  flexibility  deregulation  pay  wages  interestRates  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
april 2018 by petej
"Can I help?" Emotional labour and precarity | openDemocracy
"Post-crash, the psychological power play between managers and the managed is more fraught than ever, with far more at stake. But employees, especially women, are no longer allowed to separate their working life from their personal life. Much of work now relies on emotional performance and projecting the impression that your working self is your whole self - the long term implications for women are yet to be seen."
work  labour  jobs  zeroHours  precarity  employment  affectiveLabour  emotionalLabour  affect  emotion 
june 2015 by petej

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