Monday, February 25, 2013

Slack or be slacked

Ross Douthat:
the decline of work isn’t actually some wild Marxist scenario. It’s a basic reality of 21st-century American life, one that predates the financial crash and promises to continue apace even as normal economic growth returns. This decline isn’t unemployment in the usual sense, where people look for work and can’t find it. It’s a kind of post-employment, in which people drop out of the work force and find ways to live, more or less permanently, without a steady job. So instead of spreading from the top down, leisure time — wanted or unwanted — is expanding from the bottom up.  Long hours are increasingly the province of the rich.
Sadly, no. Marx called it the reserve army of labor, a mass of people large enough to guarantee that employers would be able to keep wages down at subsistence level forever, or until the collapse of the system.

Naturally it includes short hours—if they keep you under 30 hours they don't have to contribute to your health insurance. So you pick up additional gigs as you can. I wonder how many hours young Ross puts in, and I mean sitting at the keyboard, not standing around at PR functions munching on Danish.
Found by tourist Sophie Nørgaard in San Diego. She remarks: "Danish pastry - Ingen rugbrød, men "PEAR DANISH" ????!"
Thanks to Steve M. for reading it first.

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