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Subjects Archives: Labor

Robots

The robot, unemployment, and immigrants

For every industrial robot introduced into the workforce, six jobs are eliminated. – Since a few days, Amazon has started Amazon Go. The idea is simple: a shop where you go in, take whatever you want from the shelves, and the cost goes automatically to a magnetic card that you carry.

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Union

Janus and fair share fees

Over the last decade, a number of cases attacking the rights of public-sector union members have been quietly working their way through the courts and, finally, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Detail from Jean-François Millet, Des glaneuses, 1857. via Wikimedia Commons.

Mapping social reproduction theory

Let us slightly modify the question “who teaches the teacher?” and ask this of Marxism: If workers’ labor produces all the wealth in society, who then produces the worker? Put another way: What kinds of processes enable the worker to arrive at the doors of her place of work every day so that she can […]

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Trucks Automoation

Driverless trucks are wiping out jobs

Driverless trucks are on the way sooner than most workers realize, as corporations seek to raise profits by cutting labour costs. Media reports indicate that investors and researchers agree that tech change in the trucking industry will soon replace 1.7 million jobs in the U.S., where trucking was the most common job in 28 states […]

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Utopia and the right to be lazy

Utopia and the right to be lazy

Students are much too busy to think these days. So, when a junior comes to talk with me about the possibility of my directing their senior thesis, I ask them about their topic—and then their schedule. I explain to them that, if they really want to do a good project, they’re going to have to […]

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Demonstrators in Zurich this week. While many are poised to recoil at President Trump’s arrival in Davos this week, much of the moneyed elite there are willing to overlook what they portray as the president’s rhetorical foibles in favor of the additional wealth he has delivered to their coffers. (Ennio Leanza/European Pressphoto Agency)

Dutiful dirges of Davos

Thousands of people will gather next week in Davos. Their combined wealth will reach several hundred billion dollars, perhaps even close to a trillion. Never in world history will be the amount of wealth per square foot so high. And this year, for the sixth or seventh consecutive time, what would be one of the […]

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Berlin Bulletin by Victor Grossman

Crisis in Germany?

The impasse in forming a government in Germany has dragged on since election day, September 24th—often like a traffic gridlock, hardly moving forward. But Germany is Europe’s main central power—and with no proper government!

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Originally published in Puck magazine in 1883, “The Protectors of Our Industries” shows Cyrus Field, Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Russell Sage. (Photo credit: ProMarket.org)

The precariat under rentier capitalism

The Precariat under Rentier Capitalism Guy Standing We are in the midst of a Global Transformation, analogous to Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation described in his seminal 1944 book. Whereas Polanyi’s Transformation was about constructing national market systems, today’s is about the painful construction of a global market system. To use Polanyi’s term, the ‘dis-embedded’ phase […]

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