[Marxism] Blog Post: Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die (Working)

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Mon Mar 19 11:58:16 MDT 2012

Full at http://cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2012/03/19/whoopee-were-all-gonna-die-working/


We were in a Wal-Mart in Richfield, Utah. The greeters at the door were an elderly man and woman. Both were in wheelchairs. At a grocery store in Colorado, an old man bagging groceries was so bent over that he could barely look up. In our travels, we have begun to notice a new phenomenon: the working aged.


We all know people who continue to work long past what most of us would consider a normal retirement age. My grandfather retired when he was sixty-five, but he kept working as a tipstaff for a local judge and later, at eighty, took a job keeping the books for an auction company. A recent article in USA Today was full of feel-good stories about octogenarians and even nonagenarians still active at work. Ninety-seven-year-old Al Churchill, who still works every day at the company he founded sixty years ago, says, “If I didn't work? There's no such thing. … Work is important, because without work, you're nothing.”


Mr. Churchill’s sentiments are well and good, but something more is going on here. Saying that “without work, you’re nothing,” means one thing when you are the owner of a company or have a job as, say, a tenured professor at a university, but it means something else when you are an ordinary worker. Churchill owns the company where he goes to work every day. The professor has control over his labor. In addition, the power that Churchill and the teacher have overshadows the inevitable loss of “productiveness” that comes with age. The factory owner won’t be told by his employees that he’s not as in touch with things as he thinks he is. The aging professor can use those old lecture notes and tell the same awful jokes year after year, and then go take a nap in his office. He won’t be fired. 		 	   		  

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