Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class via The Harvard Business Review

“My father-in-law grew up eating blood soup. He hated it, whether because of the taste or the humiliation, I never knew. His alcoholic father regularly drank up the family wage, and the family was often short on food money. They were evicted from apartment after apartment.”

Full text: What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class

A must read for anyone interested in the current dynamics of US politics and society. A number of you have been mentioning class politics lately, so I thought you might find this interesting. Joan Williams has a very interesting take- and although gentle in her phrasing she is fantastically incisive. In a nutshell let’s say the male ego has a lot to answer for. One little caveat, though- the author seems to presume there are no unpleasant alcoholics in the upper classes. LOL 😀

And if you’re visiting the Harvard Business Review for the first time, you get to read 4 free articles. Enjoy.

Advertisements

35 comments on “What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class via The Harvard Business Review

  1. foolsmusings
    November 17, 2016

    I can’t imagine reading it again so 4 articles is just fine. What she doesn’t seem to understand, or refuses to, is that the jobs she speaks about don’t exist. Both Democrats and Republicans refuse to admit that we need a new way of doing business. The only way to get people working again is to find something different for people to do. Manufacturing jobs are gone. What hasn’t been discussed by either side is that education system needs to be reformed to ensure people have skills necessary to thrive in this new reality. What the answer is who knows, but simply ignoring the question means we’ll all be screwed.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Yes, yes and yes!!!! That’s precisely the shift people must understand is simply reality. Butler and scullery maid jobs have also disappeared…! Opening up a scullery maid school is not a *fix*.

      Liked by 5 people

    • belasbrightideas
      November 18, 2016

      Agreed about jobs. The US shipped its economic base overseas years ago. And refuses to upgrade its infrastructure and shift to alternative energy sources. Both would put many to work who otherwise would be both skilled as well as unskilled laborers. And MM is correct, below – no more service jobs – or at least anyone employed in such jobs is either immigrant labor (endangered under the new regime) or someone waiting to get a ‘real job.’ Having recently returned from Ireland, the thing that most struck me is the dignity people hold in their various service professions. Service jobs are taken seriously and are respected in society.

      Like

      • agrudzinsky
        November 18, 2016

        Not only the manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas, they disappear due to automation. Even if you bring steel production back to the US, a steel plant won’t employ as many people as it would 20 years ago. And this is irreversible. It cannot be changed by tariffs on imports.

        Liked by 2 people

      • That seems to be the part people are having a hard time understanding. Coal mining and silver polishing are not the jobs of the future 🙂

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        November 18, 2016

        These days you can go to a discount store and buy, say, a shirt for $5 with original price tag of, say, $50 made in India, Bangladesh, or Guatemala from Egyptian cotton. And I suspect that even at $5 everyone makes a profit – the workers in Guatemala who make 20 shirts a day for $5, the department store who, probably, paid $1 for the shirt, and the discount store who, probably got the shirt from the department store overstock for a little over $1. If those jobs are brought to the U.S., the manufacturer will have to pay the minimum wage to the workers plus the social security tax to the government plus health insurance premiums (thanks, Obama), and there is no way in hell they would be able to sell the shirt for $5. The irony is that those workers will make shirts they will no longer be able to afford buying.

        It’s OK for Trump to promise import tariffs to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., but as a businessman he should understand the economic implications of this. I hope, in reality, this policy will be used with extreme caution if used at all. Trump’s business isn’t manufacturing, though. So, I’m not sure if he fully understands these things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • silenceofmind
        November 19, 2016

        Agrudzinsky,

        In other words you think it’s okay to exploit cheap foreign sweat shop labor so you can have your $5 shirt.

        May I also recommend a basic university course in economics.

        Free markets solve the problem of complication because people acting in their own self interest free of government oppression, are motivated to do so.

        Also, I strongly recommend that basic wage be abolished simply because it causes unemployment and exploitation of workers who are lucky enough to keep their jobs.

        If you can’t reason out why the basic wage is an economic, social boondoggle that only favors politicians, I would be glad to explain it to you.

        Like

      • Do you realize your comment contradicts itself? You can’t be against the $5 shirt and for a free market. One exists because of the other.

        Like

  2. NeuroNotes
    November 17, 2016

    I read this article last week. I agree with foolsmusings, although I think Republicans have been more resistant to transitioning than Democrats. An archaic, white male culture is in the throes of death, and not happy by the fact that women no longer “know their place.” *pulls out a tissue*

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Curious Mother
    November 17, 2016

    Yeah. This got shared a lot on my page last week too. It seemed a tad self-righteous but then the person who posted it first did so quite self-righteously, so I don’t know. Two weeks ago I was all for listening and trying to understand but at the moment I’m more for getting all these multi-flavoured bigots in the bin already. And I don’t care what kind of fucking soup they ate. I may recover some level of graciousness in time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you. Every newspaper of record is going out of its way to justify what’s happened. Blame Walmart, blame soup, blame anything but the actual overt racism, misogyny and homophobia we’ve all been witnessing for months.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carmen
    November 17, 2016

    Mr. M, I don’t know if you read Emma’s blog (good marriage central*) but she’s been online since January, writing in-depth pieces about Trump’s toxic personality. What alerted her to this ‘dark’ undercurrent in society was her foray into the MRA world. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t yet but suddenly a whole lot of things make sense to me. When you mentioned this in regards to someone I didn’t really understand the reference, but now it’s soooo obvious. Everything that person writes is straight out of this odd movement. This week they’re furious over safety pins 😀

      Like

      • Carmen
        November 17, 2016

        Have you heard the line about, “If feminists care so much about women, why aren’t they doing anything about FGM?”

        That one’s straight out of the MRA playbook.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My goodness. Yes, I read that and I all I could do was shake my head. I mean, seriously- who do they think created a movement (at all) to stop FGM? Somali male clerics? North American men?

        Liked by 2 people

  5. silenceofmind
    November 19, 2016

    Mr. Merveilleux,

    Mr. Merveilleux,

    Sweat shop labor that produces $5 shirts is not free market economics.

    Such exploitation ruins free markets by enslaving the poor and destroying the middle class through unemployment.

    I highly recommend watching President Trump as he reestablishes free markets with balanced trade and free market economic principles.

    Like

    • Where do you think Trump has his clothing line produced? You obviously don’t understand the concept of free trade. In the free trade model the most efficient producer value:money wins. That almost always involves some level of exploitation.

      Like

      • silenceofmind
        November 19, 2016

        Mr. Merveilleux.

        Blaming THE Donald for living in the same system that every else does is ridiculous.

        Also, the cheapest producer is not necessarily the most efficient producer.

        A single factory in China employs around 300,000 people, all employed under horrific, dehumanizing conditions.

        As long as China is allowed to treat its workers like beasts of burden and house them like industrial-bred chickens the trade playing field will never be equal.

        Good economic policy means fair trade, not slave trade.

        One of THE Donald’s campaign promises is to reestablish fair trade so that slave traders like Mexico and China don’t laugh all the way to the bank at the expense of countries that treat their workers like human beings.

        Like

  6. Diane G.
    November 19, 2016

    I don’t think there’s anyway the US can ultimately solve the problem by itself. Our corporations are all globalized and we need a strong, international union movement to work for the employees. Bringing that about would probably take a long time and some bloodshed, just as getting to the heyday of the national unions did, but it appears to be the only ultimate solution.

    Like

    • acflory
      November 20, 2016

      Yes. The US can hardly turn around and force it’s multinational corporations to bring their manufacturing back onshore. That boat went a very long time ago.

      I am curious though, why is it that no one in the US blames the corporations for taking their business off shore in the first place?

      Like

  7. Pingback: What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class via The Harvard Business Review — Just Merveilleux – Guinea Conakry Presidential Election 2020.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on November 17, 2016 by in activism and tagged , , , .
%d bloggers like this: