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Links 1 through 10 of 23 by Shaun Green tagged employment

All kinds of workers in all kinds of jobs are now encouraged to create an experience out of an ordinary transaction – the smiling and fucking that the Wages for Housework campaign identified as worthy of payment – and we are only just beginning to understand what sort of experience of work the service economy allows. The way emotions are used at work is something sex workers understand better than most of us. Ina is used to changing the way others feel: judging the emotional state of the customer, calming him down, relaxing him. She does this part of the work by taking another name, putting on a costume and acting a role: ‘I can be a man: so I have a strap-on and wear leather, you know, trying to be rough and stuff like that. I could be a little angel sometimes. Sometimes you need to pretend you are a schoolgirl. I’m good at uniforms, you know, playing a role.’

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A great deal of modern economic discourse takes it as axiomatic that economic forces are the only ones that matter. This idea has bled into politics too, at least in the Western world: economic forces have been awarded the status of inexorable truths. The idea that a wave of economic change is so disruptive to the social order that a society might rebel against it – that has, it seems, disappeared from the realms of the possible. But the disappearance of 47 per cent of jobs in two decades (as per Frey and Osborne) must be right on the edge of what a society can bear, not so much because of that 47 per cent, as because of the timeframe. Jobs do go away; it’s happened many times. For jobs to go away with that speed, however, is a new thing, and the search for historical precedents, for examples from which we can learn, won’t take us far. How would this speed of job disappearance, combined with extensive deflation, play out? The truth is nobody knows. In the absence of any template or precedent, the idea that the economic process will just roll ahead like a juggernaut, unopposed by any social or political counter-forces, is a stretch. The robots will only eat all the jobs if we decide to let them.

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rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones. These are what I propose to call “bullshit jobs.”

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The United States is a dangerous place, and the workplace in particular is far too dangerous for far too many. But if you want to thank someone for bravely facing down danger in order to make your way of life possible, thank your garbage collector or your taxi driver. When it comes to the cops, they’re mostly a danger to others.

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On Wednesday afternoon, Djamel Chaab, 43, an unemployed Algerian worker, doused himself with petrol and died by self-immolation in front of the state employment agency (Pôle emploi) in Nantes in western France, which had cancelled his eligibility for unemployment benefit.

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So get this. James Knight is a dentist in Fort Dodge, Iowa. For about ten years, he employed a female assistant named Melissa Nelson. Then he fired her for being too irresistibly attractive.

No one denies that she did her job with utmost professionalism and competence. Indeed, she coped with a great deal more than the job itself ought to have demanded, as Knight was a persistent lech. He bombarded her with lewd suggestions, once remarking that for someone with her body not to have lots of sex was like someone owning a Lamborghini and never driving it. He commented that if she saw his pants bulging, she would know she was dressing inappropriately. He would routinely complain that her clothing was too tight or provocative. He texted her at one point to ask how often she experienced orgasm.

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Retired people should work for their pensions, says Lord Bichard. The fact that pensioners already have worked for their pension, by definition, doesn't detain him. Pensioners are a "negative burden" on the state, who need to be "incentivised" into doing jobs that young people could do for a wage.

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Not only are workers trapped in positions with limited opportunity for advancement, but they’re also forced into poverty. This is a very different narrative than the one presented by supporters of sheltered workshops, who seem to think they provide workers with ‘independence’ and ‘self-confidence.’

Furthermore, such environments are also ripe for abuse. A particularly vile case was uncovered in 2010, when intellectually disabled workers at a meatpacking plant were discovered living in dangerous ‘employee housing,’ working excessively long hours and earning approximately $0.41 an hour courtesy of the contracting agency that oversaw their employment. Many disabled workers in such environments are not aware of their rights, aren’t sure about how to report abuses, or may not understand how to identify and discuss abuse. Employers can keep disabled workers in a state of fear, ensuring that unsafe, dangerous, and hostile conditions are allowed to persist for years. Not all sheltered workshops are like this, of course, but the system is structured in a way that makes it easy for them to become so.

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Pachter also attacked the idea of unions within game development, saying that people who earn a lot of money don’t need any protection, apparently because money provides them with a cloak of impenetrable entitlement: “I think unions are in business to protect workers from, I think, dangerous working conditions and unfair labor practices. Sweatshops should have unions but games studios, which tend to pay people a lot of money, shouldn’t. I just don’t think people who make over $100,000 a year need a whole lot of protection cause they might have to work overtime.”

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