Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

There is now a widely held belief that those working unskilled jobs are getting the pay they deserve. Rather than acknowledging the demands of such work, or appreciating the psychological toll exacted by such labor, the prevailing view is that if these workers had an aptitude for something greater and more worthwhile, they would be unable to tolerate such miserable monotony. “It’s a weird thing,” says Spring, of the cultural connotations that attach to long term work in retail. “It’s like a charitable stigma.” Spring compares this to an aspect of the way people often respond to sex workers: perceiving them as people who couldn’t possibly choose this life, as people without autonomy who need to be rescued. This stigma has political consequences. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently spoke about her time in hospitality working twelve-hour days. She earned less than a living wage and was without health insurance. “I didn’t think that I deserved any of those things,” she said. When the dominant cultural thinking is that unskilled jobs contribute little (if anything) of value, is it any wonder that many who perform them feel the same about themselves?

Unskilled jobs are the ideological insignia of a society founded on industrial alienation and philosophical indignity. Another way of looking at them is simply as work that is undervalued and underpaid. These are jobs in which the downward pressure applied on all cost inputs—labor, safety, management— has been largely successful. In the same way that care workers are underpaid because they draw on skills that the market has not traditionally valued, the skills required of workers to cope in unskilled jobs are considered unimportant. This framing allows employers to monopolize the gains of intense exploitation and defray the emotional, physical, and spiritual costs of it back onto the workers. “Capitalism has no interest in improving the lives of workers,” Cullinan reminds me. It’s the logical practice of a system that values money more than people.

—p.22 We Keep You Alive (14) by Lizzie O'Shea 3 years, 11 months ago