124 Comments
Jan 20, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

"Disrespect and insecurity." Exactly why I took my retirement three weeks ago, not even able to finish my 29th year of teaching. Felt utterly demoralized by a governor who intentionally withheld vaccines from teachers, state legislators who bad-mouth teachers on the assembly floor, school board who listen to to the crazy anti-masker parents without once asking their teachers how they feel about safety during Covid, school admins who barely ever taught making decisions about what I do in my classroom and how I deliver content, laughing at my objections. That was the disrespect. The insecurity came not only from being surrounded by maskless students and faculty who kept getting sick, but from a change in student behavior I'd never seen that actually had me feeling scared at school for the first time ever. I lost a lot of money leaving at this time, but got to where I didn't feel like I had a choice regarding physical and mental health. The quality of my own work was pathetic to me compared to past years, and that killed me more than anything else.

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author

Janet, I'm sorry you had to end your teaching career for the reasons you did. In my book, teachers should be honored. They're doing just about the most important of all jobs. They and nurses deserve more respect, far better pay, and much better working conditions.

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My wife loved her job as librarian in an elementary school in Virginia. At my insistence she resigned in 2009. For the past two decades the unraveling of the teaching profession has followed that of other professions. Janet's issues seem insurmountable to me and are a canary in the coal mine kind of indicator that life in the US coming apart. My hope is that dems wake up and follow the Robert Reich method of getting out positive messaging. At the time I graduated high school in 1965 it was apparent what needed to be done for health care, education and most other pillars of life. We had the means to get it done and I fully expected to be living in a sort of democratic utopia within a decade or two. Looking back I can see the right wing was invisible to me and yet they have been there at critical times to knock back progress.

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This is a sobering and poignant comment. I used to teach in high-school and I am saddened to see the situation only getting direr in so many "developed" countries.

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Janet, embrace and enjoy your freedom, you deserve it.

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Janet, Years ago, I taught (non-tenure track) for two years at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. It was for me a very positive experience with a few downsides. One of those downsides was the realization that the students (most of them, anyway) were in my course for the credits (units) and could have cared less about learning anything. Their focus was far from the humanities and generally on their computer science major--and I was the essence of humanities and arts education. However, my colleagues were great and supportive, my department was the premier one in my field, and I managed to learn a lot myself. When I left Wisconsin, I also left Academe but for a few post-docs and a lot of writing and publishing. Still and all, I had to survive too so I took jobs in retail, generally, and watched retail slide into an appalling and--in the end--dangerous enterprise, one in which people of genuine value and integrity were routinely disregarded and disadvantaged so that those with wealth and power could get ahead. Retail ended up being similar (entirely similar) to Academe--or maybe it was the reverse and the head ceo and his underlings were the inspiration for what happened in the schools. The students who did not care about education and learning new stuff in Madison had become ceos and department managers who denigrated their employees and endangered employee lives. I finally left retail at the very start of the pandemic (not a moment too soon!) as the customers had turned rogue, threatening, shop-lifting, arguing, always trying to get a better deal for cheaper stuff. I would be happier--far happier--but for the financial duress. Still and all, I would choose where I am financially over an environment that imperiled my general well-being. I am sorry you were forced to choose but I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you chose wisely to leave. It sounds as though education lost a fine teacher and great human being in you. And some of us are more than willing to acknowledge that.

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founding

Good for you, Janet!

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Unfortunately, the plutocrat class sees workers only as an entry on the expense side of the ledger, something to be minimized as much as possible. The New York Times posted a video of nurses explaining why so many are quitting. And no, it wasn't because their employers required them to get vaccinated against Covid-19. They said there has been a problem long before the Covid-19 pandemic, that profit-driven hospitals often led by people with no medical background force them to work with inadequate staffing, in order to reduce expenses. Therefore, they are overworked and can't do their jobs to the best of their ability, which they find upsetting. They are not respected or listened to.

One government policy relevant to this discussion is access to healthcare. Many workers have stayed in jobs they dislike because they needed the health insurance the employer provided. The Affordable Care Act was a step in the direction of freeing employees from that bondage, but more needs to be done. Single payer would be the best option. There is no reason that healthcare should be inextricably linked to employment. Maybe one reason the plutocrat class opposes universal healthcare is that they embrace using employer-(sort of)provided health insurance as a means to enslave their employees.

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We must de-couple health insurance from jobs and create Medicare for All. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, and among all modern countries the worst healthcare outcomes.

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If health care is a right (which is something even some Republicans profess to believe), then it has to be a right for everyone in society, regardless of whether they are employed or not, no matter what their health issues are, no matter the color of their skin or their educational level or their income, no matter their citizenship status. It is part of what you receive automatically as your due. (I studied in Denmark and Norway for about five years altogether. To live in Denmark, you were required to enroll in state health plan--no ifs, ands, or buts. I never had need for health care during my stays but it was a comfort to know it was there if I did need it. But--unlike the USA--Denmark is an advanced country and a very democratic one.) If you link health care to employment, what you will have is a company that will try to force the expense of health care onto you and limit your care to save $$$$. And since the company is not really in the business of providing you with health care, you will suffer. Profits are everything to companies, you are nothing. This is sad but we need to break the link between health care and profit-making companies that do not care what happens to their workers.

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Yes, so many people continue to work in poor conditions and suffer belittlement just to hold on to "employer-provided" health care through private insurance companies that bilk workers.

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founding

Can you imagine what freedom people would have and how work would change if we uncoupled it from health insurance? We have to do this. California has got a bill under consideration right now that would do just that and its prospects look good!

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That is one thing that seems to escape small business employers — without having to provide health insurance for their employees would be a boon to their businesses.

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founding

Yes, excellent point!

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I wish more people would understand this and realize what a historical accident the current system is and the health, quality of life and economic costs. I have seen the problems first hand as a primary care physician.

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The plutocrats oppose universal health care for two reasons. Their primary motivation in life is to maximize their wealth, typically achieved by profiting at the expense of others. The single payer system would constrain opportunity for profit making. Secondly, they are viscerally opposed to paying taxes, or funding any kind of socialized benefits. You don’t get uber-rich by caring for others. Quite the opposite.

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Wealth maximization has been a dangerous trend for decades. As companies systematically engineered out non-essential capacity and expenses the obvious result has been fragile supply chains and employment. What I noticed in my own experience is that our pensions were replaced by 401K plans with institutional investment funds. These funds have no other reason to exist than wealth maximization. The financial services sector has taken over an ever larger part of the economy.

Ultimately we need satisfaction in meeting human needs (including our own) to replace wealth maximization as the primary human motivation and organizing principle. There's enough for everyone. A truly wealthy nation would be everyone having enough and a little more to share with others.

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There are still people in this country who regard caring for others as having far more value than getting uber-rich. They are perhaps a solid number that are slightly hidden in our glorious Gilded Age when those at the top assure the rest of us that the goal of all life is to acquire monetary wealth by any means fair or foul. The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco recently hosted an interview with two authors (Mark Bowden & Matthew Teague) whose book (Inside Trump's Attempted Election Steal) studied and interviewed 60-odd election workers who actually helped run the 2020 election. What they discovered was that election workers (generally older Americans who believed in the system and thought they were performing their civic duty, many Republicans) followed the procedures to the letter and took pride in doing their duty. They ended up threatened and harassed by those who bought into the steal but the amazing thing was that these people generally told the authors that they would (will) turn out again. The system worked and the election was valid because the people in the trenches did their jobs. I know first hand because, for several years, I was one such worker....as was my father before me.

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Some large hospitals received PPP funds and shortly after laid off nursing staff. Good grief.

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Jan 20, 2022·edited Jan 20, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

I’m old enough to remember when employers valued their workforce and provided a means to move up the so called “corporate ladder” though training, increased responsibilities, great benefits and higher salaries. They knew that their success was a direct correlation of a highly trained, happy and loyal workforce. At the time employers were also competing with union jobs, they knew what they had to do to keep workers from leaving for often better union positions.

That changed in the 80’s and 90’s, when corporate focus was outsourcing, shareholder profits and globalization of the workforce. Corporate excuses for mass layoffs and reduced benefits was called “Right Sizing,” which basically meant, more profits for CEO’s and shareholders at the cost of American worker. Corporate conservatives used, and still do, rhetoric like “be happy to have a job,” if you aren’t we have a hundred other people who are waiting in line to take yours.

Employees at my workforce were given the book “Who Moved my Cheese,” which really was a warning of what happens if one doesn’t conform, though disguised as a read of teamwork and self-motivation. Sigh, so obvious.

Change is overdue and I’m very happy to see what’s happening today in the workforce. People are taking back their choices, they’re no longer allowing profit hungry companies to threaten, dictate and abuse. Unions are now being recognized again for the enormous benefit they provide to workers. This is a good and necessary change, kudos to this generation, they will move the pendulum back to where it should be.

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One of the issues in the US is the extraordinarily low number of public holidays, the extremely small personal holiday allowance, the derisory maternity / paternity leave.

Paid holiday leave in France - 32 days, UK and others 26, for example. Public holidays: Austria 13, France & Denmark 10 and so on.

Maternity leave: Czech Republic – 28 weeks; Hungary – 24 weeks; Italy – 5 months; Canada – 17 weeks; Spain and Romania – 16 weeks each. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden all provide extensive PAID leave which may be taken by either parent, although a portion is reserved for the mother.

This all shows a degree of respect for the worker that the US system seems to lack.

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I totally agree with. The stingy time workers get allotted for vacation and personal time off from work contributes to low worker morale as does very short times off for maternity/paternity leave. People could put up with some of the less than adequate treatment by higher ups and co-workers if they could get some time off to get out of Dodge so to speak. We are very low on the totem pole in industrialized countries when it comes to these things.

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This shift was needed and frankly, I’m happy to see it. It’s easy to follow the 60 hour work model because the US culture idolizes it. The younger generations are figuring out that there is more to life and I applaud them. When people feel highly valued, money is always secondary. But many people don’t have the luxury of finding something new when there is a chance they’ll go without medical coverage, especially those who have dependents.

I think we need to change the way medical staff are forced to be placed in danger due to the mask-holes out there. We cannot continue to encourage the anti- vax/ mask types with $ incentives. Pay all the people who followed medical advice instead. If these dangerous people want the $, they need the vaccine. Fat chance of getting this if/when we’re stuck with fascist republiCon rule.

We must now figure out something far more important. What are our options to save democracy after this near fatal blow last night with voting rights. The republicans clearly cannot win without suppression. What kind of party votes AGAINST Voting RIGHTS!

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founding

Yes! Separate work from health insurance and everything will change.

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I spent my entire working life as an employee of the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, a division, at that time, of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Pay was never a major problem at Bettis; engineers are well paid compared to most workers. Many years ago, a "toxic culture" developed at Bettis due to the actions of several managers who were "anuses". Morale was very low. The usual response of the local human resources department to our complaints was "It's not OUR fault if you are unhappy here, it's YOUR fault". Finally, we were fed up and decided to unionize all the engineers and scientists!

The effect was immediate! Suddenly, the local human resources department was pushed aside and various vice presidents of Westinghouse were privately interviewing Bettis employees about working conditions. Numerous surveys were sent out to all employees to find out what was the matter with working at Bettis. Even though the unionization effort failed, it was worth it. The "anus" managers were transferred or fired, and the entire local human resources department was replaced and overhauled. Working conditions dramatically improved. If you have a problem with conditions where you work, I strongly suggest you consider trying this approach.

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Good for you, Tim! What an excellent story.

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I forgot about an incident that may give us all pause. A few days ago, I walked down to the local Whole Foods to buy a single item. (I can't afford WF for everything but that's okay since I shy away from anything to do with amazon.com) I picked up my item and got in line. The check-out cashier was a man about my age, probably hired to fill the many gaps in retail, pleasant but reserved. I asked him after handing him my debit card: "Do people still pay with checks? Does WF even take checks anymore?" (It's been years since I've written a check to any retail establishment and--who knows--they may have been relegated to "past banking practices." We got to talking about checks, a congenial chat between two complete strangers. At the end of which, he looked me in the eye and said: "Thanks so much for talking to me," I thought at the time: "Is this what we've come to, with covid-19 but long before covid--our emphasis on profits and forcing people to surrender their basic decency and friendship to others to make it?" I can remember when people who didn't know each other would strike up conversations in all sorts of settings, to pass the time and learn from each other. Young people don't know this and they don't know that everyone engaged in conversations with strangers. We now live in an age in which congeniality and respect for others has been surrendered to profits and greater income for the few at the expense of what was one of the perks of being an American. "Thanks so much for talking to me" reveals how very much we've lost...and we were well on the way to losing it before covid-19. Now the loss is nearly complete.

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Lanae ; That is true. Many times when I spoke with a clerk, there was this feeling that I was breaking a rule. People would look at you like you were rude to have a short conversation, even if they had just walked up and were not waiting at all. In a hurry, I guess! 'time is money'.

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I am sorry to say but my recent experience in the grocery store and with reference to casual conversation in the work place is not the only case where chatting and making conversation is frowned upon in the extreme. Most of us have probably seen the current Netflix film, "Don't look up." In the film Dr Randall Mindy (played by Leo DiCaprio) and Kate (played by Jennifer Lawrence) are waiting to be interviewed on tv and announce that the earth is to be destroyed by a huge comet. Sitting opposite Dr M and Kate is a pop-star Riley and a couple of her friends; Riley has recently broken up with her boyfriend D. Cello and that is what the general population is focused on, that and the Trumpy president, Janie (played by Meryl Street). Dr M begins a casual, friendly, neutral conversation with Riley, someone he knows nothing about. She promptly responds: "Why don't you mind your own business, you old f...ck?" This is essentially where we are in social interaction these days, in work contexts and every other context. Makes some of us want to run and hide. (It is also alarming that we seem to have lost a grip of reality and what is really important.) Of course, 'Don't look up' is satire but it's too near reality to be really funny.

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Democrats must take back the word socialism, which has been conceded as to the Republicans for over a century as a scare tactic.

Some ad ideas/themes.

1) Convey what socialism is--public or collective ownership of factories and businesses.

2) Democrats oppose socialism

3) Explaining that the following is not socialism: Child care, Health care for all, paid parental leave, negotiating drug prices, strong consumer protection laws, CFPB, etc

4) Note which of the above are available in other nations and that having such in the US will make America as great as other nations.

Have ads in which citizens from other nations mock the US for not having these things

5) Have real people from other countries appear in ads extol the non-socialist items above.

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founding

Not entirely sure about this. Democratic socialism can be a very good thing. It works in Scandinavia. Bernie Sanders and AOC are both democratic socialists. If you try to demonize the word you could end up demonizing them. Better to point out the good things about democratic socialism, i.e., an effective safety net.

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Every person using the terms "democratic socialism" and/or "socialism" have their own definition.

As Harry Truman explained in an October 1952 speech:

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"Republicans have been misusing the word socialism for decades to characterize anything they oppose:

"Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power.

Socialism is what they called social security.

Socialism is what they called farm price supports.

Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.

Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.

Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.

When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan Down With Socialism on the banner of his 'great crusade,' that is really not what he means at all.

What he really means is, 'Down with Progress down with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal,' and 'down with Harry Truman's fair Deal.' That is what he means."

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Source (one of several) :

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/truman-socialism-scare-word/

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This article explains what socialism is, and how the word has been misused to the detriment of all Americans: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019/03/07/what-is-socialism-socialist

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Once again be careful with any textbook definition of socialism. The unresolved battle in the US has always been between a social Democratic form of state capitalism and laissez-faire classical capitalism.

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founding

Thank you!

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Okay so don’t get socialism confused with social democracy. The latter is what progressives were aiming for in the Roosevelt administration. It was a combination of Keynesian economics with State planning. See Roosevelt’s 1944 State of the Union speech. This was also the basis of Bernie’s platform. It isn’t socialism which is something that has never been realized because it involves a different method for allocating capital, it was a form of state capitalism and was not what we have now as a result of all the post WW2 Republican red baiting.

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The accepted "official" definitions lack relevance. Republicans are using their invented definition to their advantage

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I am an RN with over 45 years of experience in many settings. I left my most recent position in a large DC internal medicine practice where I worked as a phone triage RN. I was very involved with establishing our Covid team from the start of the pandemic. This was in addition to usual calls from patients. I was extremely proud of the work we did establishing protocols and providing patients with guidance as the pandemic unfolded. However, it became apparent that my role as support to the docs was getting increasingly more demanding and impossible to meet. I am tired of not being brought to the table to discuss processes and design change. Quit 2 months ago to work as part time consultant for an overseas technology company. A very bold move with economic impact for husband and I but a very wise decision!!!! Enough is enough. Thanks for providing the forum to discuss! Elisss, RN

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Elissa, I think you nailed it -- "tired of not being brought to the table to discuss processes and design change." I don't think it's a coincidence that nurses and teachers, jobs still mainly done by women, are leaving in droves over the lack of input and total absence of respect. Good for you for making a change!

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Ellissa good luck to you with your new chapter.

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founding

Good for you! I hope it works out beautifully for you.

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After listening to your video question answering the other day I heard two messages to young people—- run for office and change takes a long time. These are not valid assessments of what either young people are facing or how change happens. An enormous amount of youthful energy went into the Bernie electoral campaign and the outcome was nothing. The disenchantment of the people who volunteered, had high expectations and watched them crash was quite evident post campaign. These young people will feel quite skeptical about further entreaties to participate in electoral politics and wait a long time. The failure here is one of strategy and program and frankly leadership.

Several posts ago you outlined a program for protecting voter rights. It was what the leadership of such a political movement could embrace but your follow up was vague and disappointing. Somehow young people will run for office and it will all happen in some far off future date.

As I pointed out, that isn’t the way change happens. In our form of government the basic way change happens democratically is that intellectuals develop a strategy to address a social problem. The model here is the Civil Rights Movement. The leadership armed with a program goes forward to organize a mass movement. This movement then pressures our elected representatives and eventually produces its own candidates for office. You jumped the stage of organizing a mass movement. This was also what Bernie did. If for example on MLK day there were 100,000 demonstrators in Washington demanding their electoral rights in an organized campaign then you would find Manchin and Sinema isolated.

Your advocacy for gradualism is a contradiction with what actually happens in union organizing. The workers get fed up with their situation. They want to do something. Without a plan and an organization they fail. The company wins. DEmocratic change only happens with an organized movement. To put it simply, with activists having politically conscious people covering their back in such numbers that the system must give way to their demands.

But let’s talk about gradualism. The right has successfully used every vanguard party tactic backed by money to undermine and destroy our rights. This wasn’t done gradually it was done systematically and effectively. Sitting around and waiting for gradual change to happen when the right is destroying democracy before our eyes doesn’t seem like much of a strategy.

I am not suggesting we emulate their minority tactics. We are the majority. We have to take a page from MLK and from the mass mobilizations against the Vietnam war to show Washington we are the majority and they better listen.

As a long veteran of political movements what I say to young people is understand what is happening, get politically educated, learn from the past. In a crisis the mass of people will demand change. If you are not there with a plan they will listen to some demagogue like Trump. If you are not organized you will fail. The model of organization is the Civil Rights Movement. We need mass mobilizations.

Professor Reich certainly outlined a program for voter rights that every faction of the Democratic Party could embrace but he did not point his students in a direction to accomplish that program. It it isn’t running for office, it is organizing a mass movement.

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founding

I suspect there would be a lot more of this if not for the pandemic. It’s dangerous getting out there.

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I’m old but I get out there. I wear two n95 masks not those cloth things. If I participate in an outdoor event I keep my distance. I also have a respirator for really large crowd events.

Mass movements will be organized by young people both because they are socially more active and more exposed intellectually to creative solutions and can learn faster.

Biggest danger is letting the violence prone types into a position to sabotage the effectiveness of a mass movement. The Weathermen destroyed the prospects of the student anti war movement achieving structural change.

There is nothing scary about the coronavirus if you are vaccinated, properly masked, stay home when you suspect you are infected, and observe social distancing.

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Another contributor to whatever is going on is likely seething resentment regarding the disproportionate compensations, wealth, and political power of executives and stock-holders of many businesses with the burning desire to say F you!

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I have been retired for 6 1/2 years, and it was the best decision I ever made. It wasn't that I didn't care about the work, or that I was underpaid, I just got sick and tired of the lack of respect, the backroom deals, the outdated technology (and I worked in IT!), and the penny pinching where it hurt the most. I loved my work and (most of) my coworkers, but the rest was just too much!

It helped that I had been planning for some years, paid off the mortgage and cars, and had a pension, 401(k), and money set aside so we would not be financially stretched. Too many do not have those advantages, so I consider myself fortunate that I was able to work towards that goal.

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I consider myself completely and totally blessed. I was a Labor/Employment Attorney for forty years. mostly here in Colorado. I had a series of great jobs: Senior Trial Attorney for the EEOC. Regional Attorney for an EEOC-MALDEF program, Employment Law Counsel for Continental Airlines, and City Attorney for the small town of Craig, Colorado. In each position, I was treated with dignity and respect and allowed to do my job. However, I did have two horrible jobs in my career: I wan an Unemployment Insurance Hearing Officer in Tucson where the boss screamed at me and called me Anti-Semitic slurs (I quit after six months) and was in a nightmare position in private practice (I quit after three months), so I know what Employment Hell can be like. My heart goes out to all those good people who suffer under the yoke of nightmare employers. I'm so glad that many of you can afford to quit and go elsewhere: to those who are still trapped: quit before you damage your health and your life!!! My subjective advice is this: if you are still an undergraduate, consider going to Law School and into the Legal Profession and working in positions where You can help other people and improve our society (like a guy named Robert Reich!).

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I am a supposedly retired senior citizen who put in 25 years plus in retail, 15 of it with Macy*s. This was not the academic career I had hoped for as I prepared to teach literature and folklore at the college level. However, I entered (or tried to enter) the academic world when it was (still is) a bastion of traditional views on its own workforce. (Colleges and universities are employers too and resemble employers more than you like to think and I ever imagined.) What Macy's taught me was that I only had value as a worker and precious little at that. But what Macy*s also taught me was that--all palaver aside--it did not value customers either. What was important was $$$ for the ceo and the big-wigs and shares of stock. Everything and everyone else had no value and could be used and discarded on a whim. We workers (some of us accountants, lawyers, teachers) were in a difficult situation, laboring for years in jobs we did not like, at risk to our own well-being and health. What I decided to do was build another secret (or semi-secret) life and just work at Macy*s for that life. The secret life took over completely and really took over with covid-19. Unfortunately lives--even secret lives--require money and this one is particularly pricey. I think more and more of us are opting for secret lives and we are not waiting to retire to give it our full attention. My own secret life is wonderful: I pursue my single discretionary activity with intensity; I do a lot of writing (and publishing); and I have even converted a simple past-time into an activity that helps with my secret life. But still I am hard-pressed to make it. I believe that what we need to consider is UBI (universal basic income). It is my belief that the city of Stockton tried this for a year and found that--contrary to what the big-wigs assert--the recipients of UBI did not squander their income but used it to pay for essentials (mortgage, food, health-care, education, transportation). I do not believe we will get past the negative responses from those in comfy situations to UBI but I also believe something has to be done for people to enable them to pursue worthy and productive lives with or without work. That might release a good many people to explore the passions they have buried away so they could survive.

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founding

What a great forum this is. It's what the world needs more of. I scrolled through all of this to see if anyone else mentioned UBI and you are the only one. That could be THE game changer and I'd like to hear Robert's take. I produced "A WORLD WITHOUT WORK," introducing UBI before there was common knowledge about it. I was most impressed by the fact that thanks to automation there aren't going be enough jobs no matter what, and UBI to the rescue.

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Suzanne...Then again UBI might encourage people to do what they feel passionate about and that might make for a more productive, more innovative and creative, more caring and empathetic society. The artists, musicians, thespians, writers and poets, might have a chance to enrich us all rather than waste their time in jobs where they are unappreciated and their talents squandered. Your point about automation doing away with work may be inaccurate; it may be that because of automation people are freed to pursue meaningful work--and we will be a better society for it. I do not shy away from UBI at all, it may give us opportunities to be the people we were meant to be and the country, indeed the world, may be better for all of us.

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founding

Work for pay will be in short supply and some freeing up for arts and the like is one benefit of UBI. I was commenting that you were the only one to mention UBI, which I am very much in favor of.

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Suzanne...Do you belong to a group? Is there a group for UBI supporters. Can you contact me via facebook/private messages? Lanae

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Suzanne, I am a supporter of UBI in theory as I think it may give people more options and possibilities in designing lives that work for them and take their own passions, interests, families, and communities into account. The fact is that companies are taking the most valuable and most limited resource we all have--that is our time, and what they offer in return just doesn't correspond. Your point about the decrease in viable jobs due to tech is valid enough and should warrant restructuring our own lives. I guess I am essentially in favor of UBI as I want people to be free to pursue lives and careers and causes they choose. Too many people go through lives (their time) wishing they were somewhere else, doing something they really care about.

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I feel so sad for the people that have to work more than 40 hours or have to jungle more than one job, with the extra commutes etc, every single week. both of these cut into their personal time , which is where every person actually get to enjoy life. this situation sounds like live to work, instead of work to live. I think a min of $15 per hour would help a lot. the gops to be so uncaring and greedy to oppose others even having a better life is soooo selfish. sooo selfish that they might have to spen 50 cents more on a hamburger because the fast food emps actually get to have a much better life every day. micheal and robert are awesome with big hearts. I hope that they can work together to make many changes.

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founding

In California it’s impossible to live on $15 an hour. The minimum wage needs to be much higher than that.

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Been reading this thread, whenever possible all day. Great subject and responses. And just a thought of the traditional work ethic, grind and compensation therefor. When I was a child dad's occupation(family business) supported a wife(stay-at-home),six kids and extended family. Home at six p.m., sitting down at the dinner table to a home cooked meal. He usually got up and went back to work or gap napped til the phone rang at mid-nite for someone's

'emergency'. Their combined efforts produced a somewhat normal working bunch of off-spring. And not to hold that up as anything better than most. But it was a somewhat cohesive family structure. The traditional corporate employ has usually turned a deaf ear to the maintenance, both economically and socially of that somewhat healthy family unit. This is an age old struggle. Perhaps we as a society have moved beyond the need for organized labor. And are responding in a sub-consciously united manner in response to our unified feeling that 'enough is enough !'.

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I agree, Mark. Many businesses don't support people with families. Worse though, our public policies don't require it of them. The United States is one of the only industrialized countries that doesn't have paid family or sick leave. The expanded Child Tax Credit during the pandemic was hugely successful at addressing child poverty, but the policy has not been renewed. With so many parents working, our government needs to require better from businesses.

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I'm quite sure Gov Gianforte, here in Montana would be right in step with paid family sick leave and The Child Tax Credit .

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