W speaks

kelley kwalker2 at gte.net
Sat Aug 19 13:12:45 PDT 2000

we were just having a convo about this elsewhere in relationship to the war on drugs, rising prison population, and doug piece on jails and jobs, which i had forwarded as a good example of left scholarship (kiss kiss; doug i also shilled for you at teachsoc the other day. i think we need to talk some kind of bonus here :). so michael, i think a participant in the convo would find this interesting. do you have any pointes as to where i could find out more about this, as well as about the privatization of prisons issue?



speaking of the suppression of wage labor, please note that idiotic typhos in the above are the result of staying up nearly 24 hours to get work done and trying to type after four hours of sleep so i can finish a project in our increasingly project oriented labor process, for some in the service economy, that is.

whine, whine.

i kiss ass, though, to keep the job because i consider myself lucky to be paid far less than i deserve given the relative flexibility of the job but also because, like michael says, i grew up in the deindustrializing rust belt and i know what it's like when a community is devastated over and over again by plant closings and layoffs. once you've been without work for months with no hope and, indeed, homeless for a few months too, you don't *ever* want to go there again.

personally, like i said to max back in february when we were having this discussion of the tightness of the labor market, i think the tightness of the labor market isn't distributed evenly at all. there are pockets of despairing unemployment and impoverishment dotting the nation that aren't feeling the IT boom and likely never will. in upstate ny, the difference in atmosphere or feel between a city like syracuse (old industrial based) and rochester is incredibly stark. here in florida, now, i can recall commuting between coastal uni where i taught and inland uni and being struck by the sharp contrast between the booming prosperity of coastal area and the seemingly dire depression or perhaps complacency of those in inland florida which wasn't experiencing much of an economic flush. drive two hours, walk across a bridge, whatever--it's a kind of tale of two cities it seems to me.

also, doug, it'snot surprising to me that ppl feel job insecurity. as you note, that sort of thing hit sectors of the labor market that it hadn't typically hit in the past -- among people who'd felt they were isolated from the vagaries of the economy.

so when the "white colloar" downsizing struck during early 80s and again in early to mid 90s there was massive talk about the "new rules of work" and the "breakdown of the social contract". it seems to me that people are constantly reminded that their work may simply be *always* tenuous. that it may last as long as the project and the next one but be prepared tohit the streets if need be, etc etc. it was all over the biz lit for awhile, as you know.


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