A holiday PSA from Papá Noel Chomsky
Plus: a fun challenge for 2024; have US workers been screwed?--we have a verdict!
Consider this your holiday card from your friendly neighborhood antiwork blog:
This here says it all. May you take this righteousness with you into 2024.
(And if you like his fly hat, don’t forget we got all the belated gifts for the antiworker in your life)
Something else I’m taking into 2024? A work-free friendship challenge
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how little Europeans ask each other about work. I think it would be fun to try this in the US. I’m by no means the first–I’ve periodically seen advice floating in the ether for how to de-emphasize work in your conversations. For example, asking someone new “what do you do for fun” instead of “what do you do?” (which, sadly, implies “for work”).
This may not be as hard as I initially thought. At a holiday party the other week, I made it a point to not mention what I do for work, and no one else at the party brought it up either! In America! We did talk about work a lot, such as work-from-home vs the office, but people talked about it while side-stepping what they do to make money. There is hope for us after all.
So, for example, with those particular people (who I’m not sure I’ll ever see again) I’ve logged three hours of acquaintanceship without the exchange of work information. The challenge is to see how long I can go with someone.
I may be giving updates here and there on how this is going, though it supposes I make lots of new friends this year, which is NOT a given. So I may not have that much to share. We’ll see!
If your resolution is to shut down anyone arguing that workers aren’t trampled in America, this video has all you need
This is a great breakdown–if a bit dry–of existing academic literature on whether workers in America have gotten richer or poorer in the last four decades (spoiler: poorer) and whether that’s been caused mainly by technological change or by declining worker power relative to employers (spoiler: it’s the power).
What’s especially cool is that it looks at studies from all sides of the political spectrum, and even the most conservative academics tend to conclude this (ex. Larry Summers!! The same evangelist for crushing employees far and wide). Use this to arm yourself against any spin.
And it goes without saying, don’t hesitate to use any and all leverage you have to squeeze every single last penny from your employer. You owe it to yourself, and to the rest of us.
May 2024 bring you everything you want. Thank you for your readership!
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