Saturday morning reads

workundertime

I am still working on yesterday’s post but to tide you over, here is a couple of articles to ponder as you drink your morning coffee.

The hygge conspiracy: last year I wrote Getting Hygge With It but this article explores the dark side of the Hygge movement.”This year’s most overhyped trend is a wholesome Danish concept of cosiness, used to sell everything from fluffy socks to vegan shepherd’s pie. But the version we’re buying is a British invention – and the real thing is less cuddly than it seems.”

Unskilled workers aren’t falling behind, the world is catching up, “The economies of post-war industrialized countries produced a unique set of circumstances that favoured unskilled men. For one thing, women were still largely excluded from the labour market. And the decline in fertility during the Great Depression meant there was heightened competition for a relatively few men who entered the labour markets of the 1950s. This era of low skills and high wages remains powerful in men’s imaginations, even if its lessons have been flatly contradicted by the experience of the past 40 years.”

What if jobs are not the solution but the problem? (warning: language) As my province starts asking questions about a guaranteed minimum income, I find myself following the conversation quite earnestly. “Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?”

This is an older article that I drag out every year around Black Friday. Black Friday brawl videos are how rich people shame the poor. “It’s hard to avoid the message of those ads. We’ve been bombarded with them for weeks now, from corporations eager to entice shoppers with so-called “door-buster” deals. And then, once the shopping public falls for them, a privileged segment of the population sits back and dehumanizes them for its collective amusement. Look at these hilarious poor people, struggling to take advantage of a deal on something they might not otherwise be able to afford on items that we take for granted, we joke on Twitter. The message is the same: this is shameful, materialistic behavior. And by pointing it out, we differentiate ourselves, reaffirm our class status as being above the fray of the lowly and desperate.”