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Poverty

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  • Harry Pollard
    This is an excerpt from Michael Hudson s new piece. It is a good definition of poverty. Alan Greenspan famously bragged that what has caused quiescence among
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 3, 2010

      This is an excerpt from Michael Hudson's new piece. It is a good definition of poverty.

       

      Alan Greenspan famously bragged that what has caused quiescence among labor

      union members when it comes to striking for higher wages   or even for better

      working conditions   is the fear of being fired and being unable to meet their

      mortgage and credit card payments.  One paycheck away from homelessness,  or a

      downgraded credit rating leading to soaring interest charges, has become a

      formula for labor management.

       

      We have used in the High School Program as a definition of poverty a condition where one cannot take a month off from work without pay. In both cases, the emphasis is on the closeness to trouble that even the most (apparently) secure family is. Indeed, this is very evident in the present economic circumstances.

       

      Harry

       

    • DavidH
      Harry, This reminds me of a corporate job that I left last year. (Yes, I knw that sounds crazy in this economy, but the situation was grinding me down
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 3, 2010
        Harry,

        This reminds me of a corporate job that I left last year. (Yes, I knw that sounds crazy in this economy, but the situation was grinding me down mentally, physically and spiritually -- I didn't have a choice.)

        This was a sales position and, although it was ostensibly an independent contractorship, the company could end the contract at will. When the recession kicked in and the unemployment lines began to lengthen, the company got more and more arrogant about its treatment of the sales force. They lengthened our hours by demanding more meetings for "training" (brainwashing) and increased micromanagement to an Orwellian extent. Meanwhile we were expected to increase sales. "Push weeks" (i.e., push everything out of your life except for making more money for the company) began to occur more often. Saturdays became "mandatory" (despite the contract explicitly stating the company could not mandate hours) and increasingly, people were being hounded to work Sundays.

        Our manager and the occasional bigwigs visiting from HQ began to regularly refer to the growing unemployment in a thinly veiled threat that we had all better get with the program. They loved telling us (especially those without four-year degrees) that this job was our only salvation from having to work minimum wage at Burger King or Wal-Mart. Before these changes began to be implemented, one of the bigwigs who came down to lecture us even dropped in some union-bashing into his lecture; warning us to not adopt the "union mentality of bitching and whining" and "laziness." I thought, "why would he be bashing unions?" Then when the screws started to tighten on us, I saw why.

        Our local manager became more and more paranoid, to the point of making us sit there for an hour and a half while he lectured us about "negative thinking" and complaining and talking about him behind his back. It was unreal. You had to be there. Fear was used pretty crassly and openly.


        david harrell .



        is the fear of being fired and being unable to meet
        > their
        >
        > mortgage and credit card payments. One paycheck away from homelessness, or
        > a
        >
        > downgraded credit rating leading to soaring interest charges, has become a
        >
        > formula for labor management.
        >
        >
        >
        > We have used in the High School Program as a definition of poverty a
        > condition where one cannot take a month off from work without pay. In both
        > cases, the emphasis is on the closeness to trouble that even the most
        > (apparently) secure family is. Indeed, this is very evident in the present
        > economic circumstances.
        >
        >
        >
        > Harry
        >
      • Harry Pollard
        David, you are well out of that snake pit. But, you make the point well. I hope things are now going well for you. Harry From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 4, 2010

          David, you are well out of that snake pit. But, you make the point well.

           

          I hope things are now going well for you.

           

          Harry

           

           

          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of DavidH
          Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 6:50 PM
          To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Poverty

           

           



          Harry,

          This reminds me of a corporate job that I left last year. (Yes, I knw that sounds crazy in this economy, but the situation was grinding me down mentally, physically and spiritually -- I didn't have a choice.)

          This was a sales position and, although it was ostensibly an independent contractorship, the company could end the contract at will. When the recession kicked in and the unemployment lines began to lengthen, the company got more and more arrogant about its treatment of the sales force. They lengthened our hours by demanding more meetings for "training" (brainwashing) and increased micromanagement to an Orwellian extent. Meanwhile we were expected to increase sales. "Push weeks" (i.e., push everything out of your life except for making more money for the company) began to occur more often. Saturdays became "mandatory" (despite the contract explicitly stating the company could not mandate hours) and increasingly, people were being hounded to work Sundays.

          Our manager and the occasional bigwigs visiting from HQ began to regularly refer to the growing unemployment in a thinly veiled threat that we had all better get with the program. They loved telling us (especially those without four-year degrees) that this job was our only salvation from having to work minimum wage at Burger King or Wal-Mart. Before these changes began to be implemented, one of the bigwigs who came down to lecture us even dropped in some union-bashing into his lecture; warning us to not adopt the "union mentality of bitching and whining" and "laziness." I thought, "why would he be bashing unions?" Then when the screws started to tighten on us, I saw why.

          Our local manager became more and more paranoid, to the point of making us sit there for an hour and a half while he lectured us about "negative thinking" and complaining and talking about him behind his back. It was unreal. You had to be there. Fear was used pretty crassly and openly.

          david harrell .

          is the fear of being fired and being unable to meet

          > their
          >
          > mortgage and credit card payments. One paycheck away from homelessness, or
          > a
          >
          > downgraded credit rating leading to soaring interest charges, has become a
          >
          > formula for labor management.
          >
          >
          >
          > We have used in the High School Program as a definition of poverty a
          > condition where one cannot take a month off from work without pay. In both
          > cases, the emphasis is on the closeness to trouble that even the most
          > (apparently) secure family is. Indeed, this is very evident in the present
          > economic circumstances.
          >
          >
          >
          > Harry
          >

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