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http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/20425/Silicon-Valley-Techno-Capitalism-Low-Wage-Worker-Unions-Facebook-Tesla

 

In one of the nation’s most economically disparate enclaves, the tide of organized labor is rising. Last month, more than 500 Facebook cafeteria workers in Silicon Valley voted to unionize in a move for higher wages, fair hours and secure benefits. Days later, Tesla factory workers demonstrated similar intentions, sending a list of demands to the electric automaker’s board—a product of recent talks with one of labor’s most storied forces, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).

 

Unionization is a momentous feat for any labor sector, and in Silicon Valley it’s downright Herculean. California’s hotbed of technological production is notorious for its antipathy to labor rights—a stance that dates back decades. Couched in an ethos of “utopian” futurism, many of the tech industry’s postwar progenitors positioned their enterprises as avant-garde rejections of the union-oriented labor models of the East Coast and Midwest. They claimed their vision of a post-union future, free of the costs and constraints of formal labor-rights structures, would afford them the ability to innovate at breakneck speed. In the early 1960s, Intel co-founder Robert Noyce famously declared, “remaining non-union is essential for survival for most of our companies. If we had the work rules that unionized companies have, we'd all go out of business.”

 

In unions’ stead, then, came a propagandistic message of unity between labor and management—a paradigm that would breed such perks as high salaries and stock options. Yet the gambit of supplanting steady, controlled hours and collective-bargaining rights with flush rewards hasn’t applied to all workers in Silicon Valley. While programmers and marketing associates receive robust pay, gourmet meals and on-site spas (and soon, company-provided housing) in exchange for the absolute devotion of marathon workdays, low-wage laborers know no such luxuries.

 

Contracted service workers living in precarity abound in Silicon Valley. Warehouse workers, janitors, security guards and shuttle bus drivers who serve the likes of Google, Apple and Intel aren’t employed by these big-name firms. Rather, they’re often recruited as independent contractors through third-party staffing agencies—a common and increasingly transparent stratagem for companies looking to slash labor costs and skirt the obligation to proffer worker benefits.

haruki muracommie and Salem like this

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http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/tdr2017_en.pdf

 

Quote

In sharp contrast to the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world economy remains unbalanced in ways that are not only exclusionary, but also destabilizing and dangerous for the political, social and environmental health of the planet. Even when economic growth has been possible, whether through a domestic consumption binge, a housing boom or exports, the gains have disproportionately accrued to the privileged few.

 

[...]

 

Austerity measures adopted in the wake of the global financial crisis nearly a decade ago have compounded this state of affairs. Such measures have hit the world’s poorest communities the hardest, leading to further polarization and heightening people’s anxieties about what the future might hold. Some political elites have been adamant that there is no alternative, which has proved fertile economic ground for xenophobic rhetoric, inward-looking policies and a beggar-thy-neighbour stance. Others have identified technology or trade as the culprits behind exclusionary hyperglobalization, but this too distracts from an obvious point: without significant,sustainable and coordinated effortsto revive global demand by increasing wages and government spending, the global economy will be condemned to continued sluggish growth, or worse.

 

:jackyes:

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On 10/18/2017 at 6:32 AM, Comrade Skeltal said:

I feel like people could glance at this post and just assume your comment is a joke

 

But that was the actual headline

 

On fuckin Bloomberg

eeeezypeezy likes this

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They're trialling that Universal Basic Income in that Finland. 2,000 random-selected participants.

 

How much, u ask.

€560 a month.

 

Might as well just send poor people to slaughterhouses to be ground up and fed to the rich imo.

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He suggests using estate taxes, capital gains taxes, etc, to buy stocks for a government-owned fund that would pay dividends to every adult in the country. He also proposes that the Fed buy stocks for the fund with its newly created money to juice the economy, rather than buying Treasury bonds.

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After reading it, I think it's a really fantastic idea.

But then I'm coming at this from a very different mindset from you. Which is to say that I believe it's great to have people feel like they have stake, an ownership, in the broader economy. The downside for people of a more revolutionary mindset is that this incentivises support for the staus quo.

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Actually Bruenig is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who runs a socialist think tank, I think it's fantastic as a transitional move. It's a foot in the door for the socialization of financial capital in general, in a way that "buys out" the existing stakeholders rather than expropriating them directly.

 

I mean yeah, I'm ready to rev up the guillotines whenever, but this is a concrete step that could be realistically fought for in the existing sociopolitical climate.

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4 minutes ago, Salem said:

After reading it, I think it's a really fantastic idea.

But then I'm coming at this from a very different mindset from you. Which is to say that I believe it's great to have people feel like they have stake, an ownership, in the broader economy. The downside for people of a more revolutionary mindset is that this incentivises support for the staus quo.

 

I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it, I li-li-li-like it

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15 minutes ago, Salem said:

Which is to say that I believe it's great to have people feel like they have stake, an ownership, in the broader economy.

 

Also this point is a little weird in light of the fact that socialism is the desire for people to literally own the broader economy, not just feel like they have a stake in it.

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8 minutes ago, eeeezypeezy said:

 

Also this point is a little weird in light of the fact that socialism is the desire for people to literally own the broader economy, not just feel like they have a stake in it.

 

1. We have a stake in it either way. A collapsing economy sinks all ships*. But definitely during the run-up to Brexit, the general public felt that the consequences of economic collapse would not be felt by them.

2. The article advocates SOME ownership. Realistically a very minor, almost insignificant level of ownership. If there is some sort of endgame of total ownership, it's... pretty far away. It can't be won this way. It will, however, make people feel much more connected to politics, to the economy, to industry, to production. This is a bad thing if you want revolution. It's a good thing if all you want is rational engagement and a slightly fairer society.

 

*As we discovered during the recession, the very rich have lifeboats, tho...

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2 minutes ago, Salem said:

This is a bad thing if you want revolution.

 

Eh, I'm not an accelerationist and I think capitalism is doomed due to its own internal contradictions regardless of any social welfare apparatus that might be constructed. I support anything that reduces the misery in the world.

 

"Rational engagement and a slightly fairer society" aren't things I'm opposed to but it's like, whoa dream big buddy.

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Bruenig's think tank, People's Policy Project, releases their first formal paper:

 

Destruction of Black Wealth During the Obama Presidency

 

 

The paper finds that while President Obama had wide discretion and appropriated funds to relieve homeowners caught in the economic crisis, the policy design his administration chose for his housing program was a disaster. Instead of helping homeowners, at every turn the administration was obsessed with protecting the financial system — and so homeowners were left to drown.

As a result, the percentage of black homeowners who were underwater on their mortgage exploded 20-fold from 2007 to 2013.

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At a 2010 hearing, Damon Silvers, vice chairman of the independent Congressional Oversight Panel, which was created to monitor the bailouts, told Obama’s Treasury Department: “We can either have a rational resolution to the foreclosure crisis, or we can preserve the capital structure of the banks. We can’t do both.”

Second, Obama’s administration let big-bank executives off the hook for their roles in the crisis. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) referred criminal cases to the Justice Department and was ignored. Whistleblowers from the government and from large banks noted a lack of appetite among prosecutors. In 2012, then-Attorney General Eric Holder ordered prosecutors not to go after mega-bank HSBC for money laundering. Using prosecutorial discretion to not take bank executives to task, while legal, was neither moral nor politically wise; in a 2013 poll, more than half of Americans still said they wanted the bankers behind the crisis punished. But the Obama administration failed to act, and this pattern seems to be continuing. No one, for instance, from Wells Fargo has been indicted for mass fraud in opening fake accounts.

Third, Obama enabled and encouraged roughly 9 million foreclosures. This was Geithner’s explicit policy at Treasury. The Obama administration put together a foreclosure program that it marketed as a way to help homeowners, but when Elizabeth Warren, then chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, grilled Geithner on why the program wasn’t stopping foreclosures, he said that really wasn’t the point. The program, in his view, was working. “We estimate that they can handle 10 million foreclosures, over time,” Geithner said — referring to the banks. “This program will help foam the runway for them.” For Geithner, the most productive economic policy was to get banks back to business as usual.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/12/democrats-cant-win-until-they-recognize-how-bad-obamas-financial-policies-were/?utm_term=.b3dedf8b324b

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there's no incentive to not rip people off 

 

everyone who says otherwise is a cop 

 

The last refuge finance bros go to is that there's incentive to maintain a good company reputation 

 

Then you say the boards are all temporary and there's plenty of incentive to get in and get out with a haul, and zero reason to care what's left when you're gone 

 

And they just end the discussion 

magnets☮ likes this

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