Control is the Name of the Game

The writer William Burroughs made the theme of “control” central to his work. He spent most of his life obsessed with the idea that he was under the insidious control of outside forces, and by extension, so were we all. His life can be seen as a quest to free himself from control: through drugs, […]

Continue Reading 14
In and Out of the Working Class

Old Soldiers

In the August 14, 2009 New York Times there is an article about Albert Perdeck, an eighty-four year old veteran of the Second World War who has never fully recovered from the trauma of having the aircraft carrier on which he served in the South Pacific struck by a Japanese kamikaze attack. He still has […]

Continue Reading 1
Crozier Mountain Meadow

Rise and Shine and Shout for Glory

On a recent Friday, the morning opened with bright sun and blue sky. Boulder had had its wettest spring in one hundred years, and this had put a crimp in our hiking regimen. Tornadoes had touched down nearby, and we had seen rainbows several times a week. Boulder Creek was running fast and deep, which […]

Continue Reading 3

The Disconnects in the Minds of Workers

Clarity of thought is rare in the United States. This is not surprising given the constant barrage of propaganda to which we are subjected during every waking hour. Nowhere are systematic falsehoods presented as truth more than with respect to the nature of our economic system. I have discussed this before, but here I want […]

Continue Reading 18

Work is Hell

Economists never say much about work. They talk about the supply of and the demand for labor, but they have very little to say about the nature of the work we do. Like most commentators, they seem to believe that modern economies will require ever more skilled work, which will be done in clean and […]

Continue Reading 3

Indianapolis Hotel Workers Rising Up

At the request of an organizer from the union, UNITE/HERE (see comment on last post), I am posting this interesting video. Hotel workers are notoriously overworked and underpaid. Karen and I have talked to many motel workers in our years of travel, and I can say from experience that this is the case. We both […]

Continue Reading 0

What if the United Auto Workers Owned a Car Company?

The troubles in the U.S. automobile industry have taken an interesting turn. In return for considerable concessions to Chrysler and General Motors, the United Auto Workers may become a majority shareholder in Chrysler and a large stakeholder in General Motors. The federal government will also own a large fraction of the shares of the two […]

Continue Reading 2