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Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five

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Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons

  • For all his (Campbell's) outlandish presentation, he is a complicated figure---something of an amalgam of the far right’s showmen and hucksters and its cynical intellectuals, who often understand very well how the stark divisions of race and class are maintained in the U.S., and exploit that knowledge for political gain.
  • Related: From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

Josh Jones, Open Culture 

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May 25th, 2017 | Amidst what is now an ordinary day’s chaos and turmoil in the news, you may have noticed some outrage circulating over comments made by erstwhile brain surgeon, former presidential candidate, and current Secretary of HUD Ben Carson. Poverty, he said, is a “state of mind.” The idea fits squarely in the wheelhouse of Carson’s brand of magical thinking, as well as into what has always been a self-help tradition in the U.S. since Poor Richard's Almanac.

Consider, for example, the immense popularity of a book written during the Great Depression, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 Think and Grow Rich, which has increased every year since its publication. By 2015, the book had sold around 100 million copies worldwide. Hill’s prolific self-help cottage industry occupies a prominent place in a distinctly American genre, and an economy unto itself. Books, videos, seminars, and megachurches promise the faithful that they need only to change themselves to change their economic outcomes, in order not only thrive but to “grow rich.”

http://www.zuccottiparkpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/occupy.jpgJosh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. 

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Related:

From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor, Chris Steele, AlterNet  / Zuccotti Park Press 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeff Nygaard <>.

Sat, 03/29/2014 | 

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

 

 

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Sold for Parts: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

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  • Part 1: Sold for Parts
    • One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.
  • Part 2: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?
    • Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Sold for Parts

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.

Michael Grabell, ProPublica

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/generated/story-opener-A-8x10-1200*960-9a4cdc.jpgMay 1, 2017 | By late afternoon, the smell from the Case Farms chicken plant in Canton, Ohio, is like a pungent fog, drifting over a highway lined with dollar stores and auto parts shops. When the stink is at its ripest, it means that the day’s 180,000 chickens have been slaughtered, drained of blood, stripped of feathers and carved into pieces — and it’s time for workers like Osiel López Pérez to clean up. On April 7, 2015, Osiel put on bulky rubber boots and a white hard hat, and trained a pressurized hose on the plant’s stainless steel machines, blasting off the leftover grease, meat and blood.

A Guatemalan immigrant, Osiel was just weeks past his 17th birthday, too young by law to work in a factory. A year earlier, after gang members shot his mother and tried to kidnap his sisters, he left his home, in the mountainous village of Tectitán, and sought asylum in the United States. He got the job at Case Farms with a driver’s license that said his name was Francisco Sepulveda, age 28. The photograph on the ID was of his older brother, who looked nothing like him, but nobody asked any questions.

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/michael-grabell-200x200.jpg Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Full story … 



Part 2: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Michael Grabell, ProPublica 

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/generated/case-farms-spot-illo-02-900*549-3952a8.pngMay 5, 2017 | One afternoon this fall, I knocked on the door of a redbrick apartment building in Akron, Ohio, looking for a Bhutanese refugee who’d lost the tips of his fingers at a Case Farms chicken plant in a vacuum-pressure machine known as a “fat sucker.”

In the apartment’s tiny living room, a young man told his story in halting English. As he spoke, I realized that his name was different from the one I had, and, instead of losing his fingertips in a fat sucker at the company’s Canton plant, he’d lost his pinkie to a saw at its plant in nearby Winesburg. I had the wrong guy, but I’d stumbled on yet another Bhutanese refugee who’d sacrificed part of his body for the company.

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/michael-grabell-200x200.jpg Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Full story … 

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Empire of the Sun

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Solar Jobs Are Booming

 

Nathanael Johnson, Grist

 

 

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Feb 7, 2017 | The number of people employed by the solar power industry in the U.S. surged 25 percent last year, to 260,000 workers, according to a count by the Solar Foundation, a pro-industry group. Twenty-five percent is huge. For comparison, the rest of the economy added jobs at a rate of 1.45 percent.

This stratospheric trend will probably start to level off this year: The Solar Foundation predicts the industry will add another 25,000 jobs in 2017. That’s about a 10 percent growth rate — a lot less than 25 percent, but still freaking impressive.

Nathanael Johnson is Grist's food writer and the author of All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier.

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Special Report | Yanis Varoufakis: Why the Universal Basic Income is a Necessity

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  • Yanis Varoufakis, argues why the Basic Income is a necessity today. His arguments take into account a macro socio-economic, psychological, philosophical and moral perspective. In addition after the speech Varoufakis addresses a wide range of questions from the public.
  • Related: Universal Basic Income Is Our Best Weapon Against The Rising Far Right

Zain Raza, acTVism

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30 April 2017 | In this video former finance minister of Greece, professor of economics, author and founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), Yanis Varoufakis, argues why the Basic Income is a necessity today. His arguments take into account a macro socio-economic, psychological, philosophical and moral perspective. In addition after the speech Varoufakis addresses a wide range of questions from the public.

  • What is the social democratic tradition about? And how did influence Capitalism in the 20th century?
  • Why is Social Democracy coming to an end? And how is the process of financialization & the rise of technology contributing to its demise?
  • What is Bankruptocracy? What problems is it posing to our society?
  • What is the current narrative on the relationship between the markets & state in terms of wealth generation? And how and why is a change required in this narrative in order to make the Basic Income a reality?
  • What are the arguments are against a Basic Income? And how should they be confronted?
  • How is a Basic Income aligned with the Libertarian philosophy? Will it promote freedom of choice and self-determination?
  • How will a Basic Income promote creativity in our society?

All of these questions and many more are addressed in this video.

Zain Raza is a contributor to acTVism Munich, an independent, grassroots and nonprofit media outlet that broadcasts in multiple languages regularly from Munich.

Yanis Varoufakis: former finance minister of Greece, professor of economics, author and founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25).

Full story (video) … 

To read this speech, click here: Transcript: Varoufakis – Basic Income is a Necessity

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Universal Basic Income Is Our Best Weapon Against The Rising Far Right, Guy Standing, Huffington Post 

Without basic economic security, people often behave selfishly and vote irresponsibly.

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