Jack Saturday

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations 231-233

The demand that the worth of women's wage labor be recognized puts forth a narrow conception of what is valuable, and obsures the basic worthlessness of so much of our time spent on the job. It is not just that so many workers don't get paid enough, but that the imperative of making money in boring, tedious jobs robs us of the time and energy to do things which are truly valuable to ourselves and others. Nevertheless, demands for comparable worth may prove to be a useful short-term strategy to increase wages for women and minority workers who are victims of wage discrimination.
Helen Highwater,
Compared to What?”,

Processed World magazine

Scholars rarely differentiate between work as what one does for mere
material survival and the romantic (and highly privileged) concept of work as a means of pursuing what one loves. Most scholars tend to ignore the disparity between the number of people who work for survival and those who work for fulfillment…

Professors and graduate students often refuse to acknowledge the privilege they have and the value of the cultural assets they hold. They do not realize how rare it is to get paid doing something one loves, how rare it is to be able to pursue one's interests on the job, not off it. The idea of attaining higher meaning in everyday life is just not one that average
workers have either the time or energy to dwell upon. They have neither the monetary resources nor the cultural capital necessary to pursue a "higher" interest. Their financial and mental resources are spent on survival.
Kim Nicolini,
"Work Without a Face " ,

Bad Subjects magazine (# 32)

Justice dictates that we should not continue to penalise and stigmatise people who cannot find secure, living-wage work, since there is not enough of it to go around. There is plenty of good work that needs doing -- parenting our young, protecting and restoring the environment, providing companionship for the elderly, for example -- but a fixation on the private sector's bottom line prevents society from paying people adequately to do this needed work. And as the cliche now has it, many of us are overworked while others have no paying job at all.

The message here seems clear: we must begin seriously to examine how to implement other mechanisms for allocating work and distributing income. These include a shorter work week, job sharing, earlier retirement, 'sabbatical leaves' and innovative mixes of these ideas. But these ways of sharing work can be viewed as only one component in a strategy to adapt to growing structural unemployment. And no strategy is likely to be successful in equitably addressing the new problems of income distribution without the introduction of some form of adequate and secure guaranteed basic income.
Sally Lerner,
Ensuring Basic Economic Security


Post a Comment

<< Home