Monday, March 26, 2018

Working: a tweet sums it up quite well

This tweet from the Dalai Lama came out a couple of weeks ago; on March 12th, to be precise.

And I think it speaks volumes about where we are in the U.S. as far as issues of money, work and the relationship of people to our economic system is concerned. Here is that tweet:

"In today's materialistic world there is a risk of people becoming slaves to money, as though they were simply cogs in a huge money-making machine. This does nothing for human dignity, freedom, and genuine well-being. Wealth should serve humanity, and not the other way around."

The sad truth is that in America, the term free enterprise has become code language for a flavor of unfettered, laissez-faire capitalism where there are zero safeguards or regulations of any kind and the working class just does whatever they're told by their corporate masters.

This is a terrible, shitty, no good situation for people who depend on a paycheck and it's simply not sustainable.

Corporations have had the upper hand in matters affecting those of us who work for a living for quite a few years. It's a bad situation and is likely to keep getting worse.

There are many ways in which recent technologies and business practices have made this very difficult situation for working people much worse.  On-demand services and the use of smart phone apps for virtually everything have forever changed the way people earn a living.

Even before the advent of the "gig economy", the off-shoring of jobs, the conversion of almost all workers to part-timers and the explosion of executive salaries all made financial survival way more difficult than it should ever have been. (The concerted effort to strangle unions is another whole facet of this sad story but that could easily be material for a different post on a different day.)

So many working Americans now clearly see that our lives and our jobs are nothing at all like they were a generation ago, when our parents took their turn.

This is especially true for the millions who're toiling away in a part time job (or three) with no job security, no retirement, no healthcare and no hope that any of this is going to change.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

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