THE END OF THE 8 HOUR DAY: THE ENSLAVEMENT OF THE AMERICAN WORKER
Wise-Ass Tom Friedman earned his bona fides with the Lordly caste by arguing for the need to flatten the world. By that he, and they, meant that working conditions and social standards around the world should be reduced until all plebian-types, in the West, in the Americas, in Africa and in China, all “enjoy” the same lowered standard of living. The work of the Democans and Republicrats have been in service to that goal.
This is what that looks like:
CHRYLSER MOTORS enjoyed the largess of the U.S. taxpayers who bailed their sorry ass out from under their own managerial incompetence. The American taxpayer was assisted in this endeavor by Chrysler’s own workers who gave up wage and benefit concessions so as to heighten profit margins and maximize returns to the Lordly Caste. The bailout was successful and Chrysler’s profits jumped 80% in ONE QUARTER.
Time to give back to the workers? Hell no, time to crush the workers even further.
The auto industry in which the 8-hour day was first established where time-and-a-half for Saturday labor became the norm has now abolished those outworn niceties. Workers are now required to work ten hour days and overtime pay is but a memory of a fargone era. Increasingly, more and more workers are assigned to six-day 60-hour schedules without additional compensation.
This is what one female worker had to say,
“This is a global thing. The companies are trying to bring conditions here like in Mexico, China or Indonesia. They’re telling us ‘be happy you got a damn job.’ Well, with all the unemployment in Detroit a lot of young workers feel that way. It’s like the system is keeping us as slaves or indentured servants. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Democrats or Republicans. They’re letting people starve; there aren’t any full time jobs and young people are coming out of college with huge debt. Capitalism has gone way too far. I’ll be glad when the revolution starts.”
This is what Tom Friedman envisioned when he hawked his book to the Owners, the Lordly Caste, and its why they bestow upon him speaking fees and book advances. He tells them what they want to hear, he gives them the appearance that the crimes they commit are merely the natural result of globalization.
This isn’t the result of a neutral Invisible Hand, this isn’t a natural process, this is the collective crime of the 1% and their hangers-on committed against the rest of us.