labour aristocracy, cont.

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Tue Feb 4 19:13:48 MST 2003


Hey, ease up David; Jose's analysis seems plausible as far as it goes, and
he argues with detailed evidence. What you say is also compelling, but
there is room for dialogue about how it all fits.

But my questions to Jose would be: What about increased amounts of unpaid
overtime, what about stress levels and environmental degradation and other
non-dollarised aspects to living standards. And above all what about
workers' expectations? Workers measure their situation against expectations
set in the post-war era, when living standards rose dramatically. Now they
feel cheated.* This leaves plenty of space for a sense of grievance -- so
if the left has failed to make an impact, I don't think it's because
workers feel better off.

(*As for 20" flat screens, I suggest they soon take that as normal. They
say: "My dad got a modern TV for so and so much, but for me to get today's
modern TV, it costs so and so much.")

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