Job Quality Under Capitalism
While acknowledging that many aspects of life have improved over generations, the unfortunate reality is that there is a disconcerting trend in the realm of work. New jobs are declining in quality across various critical metrics, and chances are, your job might not be as fulfilling as you think.
A 4 Day Workweek
In the timeless words of philosopher Tom DeLonge, "work sucks, I know." Ever wondered what life would be like if we worked less? That mid-week feeling of realizing you still have half a week left at work has been a universal struggle for about a century. Back in 1926, the Ford Motor Company initiated a groundbreaking move by implementing a five-day, 40-hour workweek. This decision, influenced by pressure from labor movements and Henry Ford's strategy to improve work-life balance and offer higher wages, set a standard. Over a decade later, the Fair Labor Standards Act solidified a 44-hour workweek in federal law, later adjusted to the current 40 hours per week. This marked a pivotal moment in labor history, but why has there been minimal change since the World War II era?
Why do Managers Exist?
Earlier this year, a paper published by the NBER gained national attention. In essence, it revealed that many companies were classifying their minimum wage workers as managers, despite lacking any managerial responsibilities. This classification allowed companies to avoid paying overtime. Notable companies like Panera, Verizon, JPMorgan, Publix, Walmart, Facebook, Staples, Lowe's, McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut were all implicated in this practice at some point.