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Stories about Labor and Economics.

Imagining a world with no bullshit jobs

By: 
David Graeber, Chris Brooks

Is your job pointless? Do you feel that your position could be eliminated and everything would continue on just fine? Maybe, you think, society would even be a little better off if your job never existed?

If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then take solace. You are not alone. As much as half the work that the working population engages in every day could be considered pointless, says David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and author of Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.

Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation

By: 
Michael Colby

These are harrowing times for the nearly 1,500 migrant workers laboring on Vermont’s largest dairy farms. These farmworkers, predominantly from Mexico, are forced to live in the shadows, where their farm bosses harbor them in exchange for long hours, low wages, and cheap housing. It’s a human rights stain on the state, allowing these migrant workers to live and be treated this way.

Grapes of Wrath in Rural Venezuela

By: 
Angel Prado and Cira Pascual Marquina

On May 31st, Venezuelanalysis interviewed Angel Prado, a key organizer of El Maizal Commune[1]. The conversation followed hard on the heels of an attempt to jail him and two other local organizers. The conversation sheds light on the current Chavista campesino struggle in Venezuela.

Most Venezuelanalysis readers know about El Maizal, both as an expression of communal popular power and because we covered the conflict in December surrounding your election as mayor of Simon Planas township (position that was subsequently given to another candidate by governmental decree)[2]. Nevertheless, it would be good to open with a brief synthesis of the communal project that you are involved in.

Burgerville fight revives the Wobblies, a radical union from Oregon's industrial past

By: 
Shane Dixon Kavanaugh

The Wobblies emerged more than a century ago, a revolutionary, anti-capitalist union that shook up the nation’s industrialists, including Oregon’s timber barons.

Their political descendants no longer toil in logging camps on the American frontier. Now they’re behind the counters of a beloved fast-food chain in Portland, up to their elbows in burger grease, marionberries and Walla Walla onion rings. 

California Dreaming: Cannabis Cash, Public Banks and the State's Own Mini-Fed?

By: 
Ellen Brown

There is serious consideration of establishing a State Bank in California--the fifth largest economy in the world--to enable the state bank to both serve their population and add income to the state's budget.  Interestingly, this is being advocated by leading politicians in the state, people who have serious popular support.

The Significance of Karl Marx

By: 
Chris Wright

I often have occasion to think that, as an “intellectual,” I’m very lucky to be alive at this time in history, at the end of the long evolution from Herodotus and the pre-Socratic philosophers to Chomsky and modern science. One reason for my gratitude is simply that, as I wrote long ago in a moment of youthful idealism, “the past is a kaleidoscope of cultural achievements, or rather a cornucopian buffet whose fruits I can sample—a kiwi here, a mango there—a few papayas—and then choose which are my favorite delicacies—which are healthiest, which savory and sweet—and invent my own diet tailored to my needs. History can be appropriated by each person as he chooses,” I gushed, “selectively employed in the service of his self-creation. The individual can be more complete than ever in the past!”

India’s Public Banks are its Lifeline: Privatisation will Ruin Them

By: 
Moin Qazi

The world’s investment leader, Warren Buffett, once said, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you realise who has been swimming naked”. When the banking system hit the rocks and the tide turned, the naked were caught disrobed.

Similarly, sometimes it takes a pitch-black economy to reveal who and what in the financial firmament really shines. It is only when darkness falls that one can see the stars twinkle. The moonlight coming from the otherwise bleak sky of the financial world, has been made possible thanks to honest taxpayers, who are transfusing precious blood to the currently bleeding banks.

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