Saturday, May 26, 2018

Returning to 19th Century Rules for Workers

There is a concerted effort underway by a diverse group of authorities, deploying a diverse set of strategies, to under-cut worker rights established across the twentieth century.

Unions have mostly disappeared and the remaining public sector unions are under heavy assault. The RedforEd movement has been an example of an effective tactical response to this assault on public sector teachers, who labor under increasingly challenging conditions.

But in general the trajectory has been towards a contraction of worker rights and pay.

The recent Supreme Court ruling allows employers to force employees to sign contacts giving up their right to class action lawsuits individualizes workers and pits them against their corporate masters in a fundamentally unequal relationship.

You can read about the ruling here:

Imagine that your employer stole your time through systematic, incremental wage theft, which is a significant problem that has been made worse by automated programs that "round" time. Although this problem would impact every worker, each would have to submit to arbitration or attempt to battle their employer individually.

Imagine your employer systematically discriminated against women and prevented their promotion. This is a common problem that has in the past been addressed through class action lawsuits, as illustrated in the case of Walmart (e.g., class action suit by workers who said they were discriminated against because of pregnancy here).

Collective action is under attack: this new ruling allows corporations to require you sign away your right to collective representation as a condition of employment.

We are heading fast toward a new form of government where people are dispossessed of hard-won rights


  1. I agree. I think there has been a decline in morals and ethics since the 19th century in America. My grandparents were born in the last decades of the 19th century and were some how more real and social than my parents who grew up during the depression. And had a more selfish outlook. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Democracy In America: "America is great because it is good; if it ceases to be good it will cease to be great." So a hidden side of the slogan MAGA is the need to make America good again. However, what would you expect the man and woman on the street now to say good was? Right after WWII it would be some reference to Christianity. But while that would still be true to some extent I think there would be may other answers and also silence. I doubt there is any agreed upon idea of good now. Actions once considered deadly sins are now considered socially okay like lust, greed and avarice, etc. Both the Greek and Romans of classical times considered abortion a crime and all interest on money loaned--usury which has come to me only excessive interest. So, yes, we are a civilization in decline. What was once considered a very serious crime in Europe, rape especially of under age girls, is no longer so considered if committed by a Muslim. Thus Finland's highest court.
    Thus we really expect employers to cheat employees and for gov officials to be corrupt and buy $70,000 conference tables and to conceal the fact on the basis of national security. Or how many educated people believe that most Congress persons are highly ethical? Why not since surely virtue is its own reward.

  2. This is a great depression, as craig roberts says, real unemployment is 23%.

    It is a rentier economy, as hudson has pointed out. The 1% own more than 50%. Like the last great depression. Like monopoly where the top 1 to 25% own the property, Housing and rent prices are unaffordably fixed ny the rentier clasw so students, young people, elderly, working poor cannot afford places to live. There are 10s of millions squatting, in yhe streets, working poor in vehicles. There are huge numbers in debtors prisons. No one can afford medical. Totally unsafe worwing onditions, cruel child labor and it has been going this way since reagan. Right to work laws in all states.teachers and people with masters degrees wprking at walmart to make ends meet. Many of us have grandparents who were ahot up, tortured murdered during the depression before this, who stood up for workers rights. This country is so insane a coal executive, who murdered 26 miners, went to prison, got out, is rubbing people face init by running for congress.This is such an American story. 1) Medical debt; 2) Working two jobs; 3) Underpaid teacher; 4) Death by school shooting. Thats is what happened to one of the teachers in the school shooting in texas

  3. Ayn Rand Fantasy land and fascism, neofeudalism or whatever you want to call it. Objectivism has little to do with civil lertarianism. It has everything to to with the growing insane, corporate-police state that has no shame or, bounds. It embodies the insanity and schizophrenic psychosis of current american politics
    1. All evil people are unattractive; all good and trustworthy people are handsome.

    The first and most important we learn from Atlas Shrugged is that you can tell good and bad people apart at a glance. All the villains — the "looters," in Rand's terminology — are rotund, fleshy and sweaty, with receding hairlines, sagging jowls and floppy limbs, while her millionaire industrialist heroes are portraits of steely determination, with sharp chins and angular features like people in a Cubist painting. Nearly all of them are conspicuously Aryan. Here's a typical example, the steel magnate Hank Rearden:

    2. The mark of a great businessman is that he sneers at the idea of public safety.

    You can see this in pruitts increase of allowable radiation levels in water by 400%

    3. Bad guys get their way through democracy; good guys get their way through violence

    When the government passes new regulations on his rail shipping that will harm her billionaire 1% protagonist in her book, he retaliates by spitefully blowing up his oil fields, poisoning the land and water for months. But as far as Rand sees it, no vengeance is too harsh for people who commit the terrible crime of interfering with the right of the rich to make more money.

    4. The government has never invented anything or done any good for anyone.

    Of course, in the real world, only minor trifles, like radar, space flight, nuclear power, GPS, computers, and the Internet were brought about by government research

    5. Violent jealousy and degradation are signs of true love. 

    Ayn Rand worshiped and loved a serail killer.

  4. 6. All natural resources are limitless.

    If you pay close attention to Atlas Shrugged, you'll learn that there will always be more land to homestead, more trees to cut, more coal to mine, more fossil fuels to drill. There's never a need for conservation, recycling, or that dreaded word, "sustainability." All environmental laws, just like all safety regulations, are invented by government bureaucrats explicitly for the purpose of punishing and destroying successful businessmen.

    One of the heroes of part I is the tycoon Ellis Wyatt, who's invented an unspecified new technology that allows him to reopen oil wells thought to be tapped out, unlocking what Rand calls an "unlimited supply" of oil. 

    7. Pollution and advertisements are beautiful; pristine wilderness is ugly and useless.

    Rand was enamored of petroleum products, and at one point, she describes New York City as cradled in "sacred fires" from the smokestacks and heavy industrial plants that surround it. It never seems to occur to her that soot and smog cause anything other than pretty sunsets, and no one in Atlas Shrugged gets asthma, much less lung cancer.

    By contrast, Rand informs us that pristine natural habitat is worthless unless it's plastered with ads and billboard. 

    8. Crime doesn't exist, even in areas of extreme poverty. That is because the poor and antisocials are locked away in private prisons like th 3 or 4 million in murica today.
    9. The only thing that matters in life is mony. Rich people are more valuable than poor people.  Mercher says he is 50,000 times more valuable than anyone else which gives him the excuse for criminally fleecing pension funds on walstreet. It also wllows him to committ wholesale bribery, corruption and treason by turning american democracy on its head with dark money for corruption, manipulation schemes and mass lies
    10. Smoking is good for you.

    Almost all of Rand's heroes smoke, and not just for pleasure. In one minor scene, a cigarette vendor tells Dagny that smoking is heroic, even rationally obligatory:

    "I like cigarettes, Miss Taggart. I like to think of fire held in a man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips ... When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind — and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression."

    1. Ayn Rand writes for adolescents. She extols the will. And the will is important but unguided by understanding it can be very destructive. Nonetheless she can be inspiring for people in their teens who need to pursue independence. Today's snow flakes might benefit from her novels.
      Perhaps she is best understood as a survivor of Communism and ethnically Jewish.

    2. You should cut this comment majia. Snowflake is a derogatory, racist vile term. It is trolling

    3. Majia

      Your article is about workers rights. Ayn rand ideologues are the perpetrators of the laws and decisions that are depriving workers of basic human rights and sending america back to the 19th century. A time where men, women and children were seen as slaves and human chattel.

      Unless you are baiting readers, this racist vile comment from this troll, needs to be deleted. This troll has commented with race baiting, misogynist, bigoted, hateful remarks before. Their bigotry and hate talk has boiled over into stalking, murder and violence all over the united states. All of the recent mass school shooters referred to people with different opions, colored skin, gender, appearance, ways of thinking, than theirs, as snowflakes or aomething worse. A racist hate-group in seattle bandished guns at a public school and stalked people on twitter, for criticizing them for it. They too referred to most college as snowflakes, that should not exist.That is not free speech it is threatening baiting, trolling and hate talk.

    4. Ayn Rand is not a very sophisticated thinker. She was very popular with libertarians and may still be so. Alan Greenspan was at one time an enthusiastic supporter of hers. Objectivism came from her and also had its day. In passing I should inform you that I use the term snowflake humorously to indicate especially young men who have grown up in circumstances which have not hardened them enough. I am surprised that any liberal even mentions her as she was strictly right wing. Nonetheless Ayn Rand came out of a very bad situation and was successful so she does deserve credit for persevering. You are very quick to jump to conclusions, Anonymous, very quick.

    5. Racism, bigotry,human dwgredation, proenvironmental exploitation and degradation, is the foundation of koch, ryan, 1% and yur philosophy.

      The rightwing pocorporate-fascist ideology existed long before ayn rand. Fascism and neofeudalism are corporte authoritarianism.

      Yur dissembled apology, does not negate yur pushing trump, jordan peterson, bigotry. You are a trump troll, part of a well-funded and well-manned machine, that pushes bigotry and hating of people to justify your political ends

      You push outlandish chauvanism and bigotry, then disengenuously claims it is not. You push pro-trump , propaganda and anti-women, pronuclear nonsense when u see there is too much truth here.

      Your ilk is all about disrespecting, castigating, subtle and not-so- subtle hating of others, for the the most part to justify the rest of the nasty agend. Mean and jigoistic talk about millenials, women, racism, antinuclear, projustice.

      When the author of this blog, says something that is not politically correct, by your rightwing standards you appear with flowery recitals of rightwing gibberish. When you really do not like, too much truth, you threaten her, and brandish your ilks hate rhetoric against college teachers.

      Why not go to a rightwing site to commen if commenting is all you want.

  5. It is worse than dickensonian, england, in murica now because everyone has to live in a nuclearist, unfettered corporate, and MIC created radioactive, and chemical sewer. Kids and teaches are not safe at schools. There are tens of millions of squatters, people living in vehicles and working, people in shantys, people with no shelter. They have it the worst have to be exposed directly, to the chemical and radioactive sewer in unhygienic conditions! Little or no access to healthcare. Abused and used because of their poverty.They only get shelter when imprisoned. The dystopian nightmare many americans now live in, is far worse than 1984. What is amazing is how many americans who see it, are in denial.


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