Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

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The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan

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Berlin Wall, Cass Sunstein, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, energy security, Exxon Valdez, IBM and the Holocaust, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, new economy, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl

Every cost it can unload onto someone else is a benefit to itself, a direct route to profit. Patricia Anderson's family's burns-externalities; Wendy D's exploitation and misery-externalities . These and a thousand other points of corporate darkness, from Bhopal and the Exxon Valdez to epidemic levels of worker injury and death and chronic destruction of the environment, are the price we all pay for the corporation's flawed character." The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster stands as a notorious example of a company's callous disregard for its employees. The owners of the factory in lower Manhattan's garment district had kept their employees, mostly young immigrant women, locked in to prevent them from leaving their workstations and thus slowing production . When fire broke out at the factory, the workers had no way to get out. Some of them jumped out of windows to their deaths.

Some of them jumped out of windows to their deaths. Others stayed and were burnt alive. Altogether 146 of them died. Just two years earlier, sixty thousand New York City garment workers, led by the recently formed International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, had taken to the streets to protest sweatshop conditions, low wages, and unsafe workplaces in what came to be known as "The Great Revolt." In the wake of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory blaze, half a million people protested in the streets of New York. The union continued to press for legal protections of workers, though it was not until 1938 that sweatshops, child labor, and industrial homework were finally banned by President Franklin Roosevelt's administration 's Fair Labor Standards Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act, still in force today, is typical of the system of regulatory laws designed to solve, or at least mitigate, the problem of corporate externalities.

 

pages: 256 words: 76,433

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

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big-box store, clean water, East Village, feminist movement, income inequality, informal economy, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, megacity, race to the bottom, Skype, special economic zone, trade liberalization, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile

In 1909, twenty thousand New York City garment workers, many of them teenage girls, went on strike and demanded better pay and working conditions at their jobs. Garment workers at the time worked thirteen-hour days, had no days off, and made about $6 a week, according to historical information collected by the AFL-CIO. Some of the strikers were beaten up and taken to jail; some were even shot. Among the strikers were workers from the doomed Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, which made those ubiquitous turn-of-the-century blouses with the high collar, puffed sleeves, and cinched waists. Two years after the “Strike of 20,000,” the infamous fire at the Triangle factory occurred. The fire caused national outrage, with four hundred thousand people attending the funeral procession in New York. It was the catalyst for quick and wide-reaching social change. A Factory Investigating Commission was set up and more than thirty state workplace safety and employment laws were passed within two years.

., 210 recycling: of clothing, 122–23, 125, 128 of textiles, 128–31, 133, 135–37, 212 Reebok, 154 Refashion Co-Op, 201 refashioning, 134, 200–202, 206 ReFashionista, 200 Reference, 46 Reid, Sally, 44, 149–50, 165 Reilly, Joan, 75 repair: of clothing, 132, 193–94, 197, 201, 220 of shoes, 132–33, 218–19 Rice, Paul, 159 Richford, Rhonda, 31 Riley, Robert, 74–75 Rinaldi, Don, 132–33 Roark Collective, 211 Rock & Republic, 66 Ross, Robert, 144 Rucci, Ralph, 71–72, 75 Rudes, Jeff, 43 Rue 21, 2 Rykiel, Sonia, 68, 73 Saipan, 146 Salvation Army, 10, 119–20, 126–27, 130, 136–37 Sanchez, Julio Cesar, 138–39, 140 Sarazcloset.com, 202 Save the Garment Center, 87, 214 Scafidi, Susan, 105–9, 111, 112 Schenkenberg, Marcus, 30 Schrader, Abe, 39, 66, 85 Schullström, Ingrid, 145 Schultz, Lisa, 18 Schwartz, David, 98 Scott, Tristan, 207–12, 215, 217 Ship ’n Shore, 87 shopping malls, 26 ShopSmart, 121 seamstresses and tailors, 9, 10, 42, 58, 80–81, 87, 194 Searching for Style, 65 Sears, 21, 53, 81 Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART), 130 secondhand clothing, 201–2 exporting of, 135–36, 137 refashioning of, 134, 200–202, 206 thrift stores, 9–10, 119–21, 126–28, 130–32, 136–37, 188–89, 199, 204 see also vintage clothing Service and Style: How Department Stores Fashioned the Middle Class (Whitaker), 20, 80–81, 93 Seventeen, 23, 85–86 Sex and the City, 33, 64, 65, 76 sewing machines, 42, 138–39, 192–96 sergers, 82 sewing your own clothes, 9, 80–81, 85–87, 187–88, 190–200, 206 refashioning used items, 134, 200–201, 206 Sheen, Charlie, 19 shoedazzle.com, 122 shoes, 122, 132 repairing of, 132–33, 218–19 shopping hauls, 13–15, 122 Siegle, Lucy, 125, 135, 136 Simmel, Georg, 115 Single, 213 Six Items or Less, 191 slow fashion, 190, 208–10, 216, 220 slow food, 190, 208 Sonia Rykiel, 68, 73 South China Morning Post, 173 sportswear, 45 Sprigman, Chris, 110 Starbuck, Eliza, 60–61, 73, 89–90, 191, 203–6, 212 Starr, Malcolm, 39 Steele, Valerie, 80, 86, 103–4 Stone, Sharon, 19 Stubin, Eric, 129–31, 133 Sussman, Nadia, 55–56 Swapaholics, The, 202 sweaters, 214 Swimmer, Susan, 19–20 Syracuse University, 146–47 tailors and seamstresses, 9, 10, 42, 58, 80–81, 87, 194 Talbots, 146 Target, 2, 6, 15, 19, 22–24, 30–34, 69, 70, 77, 78, 91, 113, 131, 146, 213, 221 Isaac Mizrahi and, 24, 28, 33, 70 Missoni and, 69–71 Tech Talk, 71 textile manufacturing: in China, 123–24, 165 environmental impact of, 123–25 factories, 48–51, 123–24 with man-made fibers, 83–85, 124–25 textile recycling, 128–31, 133, 135–37, 212 Textile World, 84 Theory, 114 Thomas, Dana, 67, 68 thrift stores, 9–10, 119–21, 126–28, 130–32, 136–37, 188–89, 199, 204 Time, 22, 76, 98, 196 Times (London), 101 T.J. Maxx, 2, 8, 13, 30 TNS Mills, 50 Today Show, The, 19 Tommy Hilfiger, 18, 23, 24, 67, 91, 141, 146 Topshop, 100 Trans-Americas Trading Co., 129–30, 133 Trebay, Guy, 110 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, 44, 142–43 Trovata, 109 Tucker, 114 Ullman, Myron, 95–96 Umbro, 40, 148, 181 Uniform Project, 191 unions, 38, 44, 48, 51, 140–44, 154, 155, 163 UNIQLO, 2, 33, 70 UNIS, 60 UNITE HERE, 48 Universal Studios, 40 Urban Outfitters, 13, 43, 60–61, 73, 204, 205 USA Today, 202 Usigan, Ysolt, 71 Valentino, 62, 63 Van Meter, Jonathan, 17, 19 Variety, 31 Varsity, 148 Veblen goods, 77 Versace, 6 Very Sweet Life, 187–88 Very Sweet Life, 190 VF, 181 Victoria’s Secret, 189 videos, YouTube, 12, 13–15, 122 Vietnam, 165, 180 vintage clothing, 133–34, 135, 201–2, 204 designs copied from, 112–13, 120 refashioning of, 134, 200–202, 206 Vogue, 17, 22, 30, 31, 34, 64, 65, 114, 171 Vogue.com, 113 von Furstenberg, Diane, 62, 110, 171 Wagner, Robert, 143 Wagner, Stacy, 158 Wall Street Journal, 43, 92, 93, 95 Walmart, 2, 12, 13, 15, 18, 23, 24, 26–27, 30, 31, 70, 95, 96, 100, 131, 144, 181 factories and, 144–48, 151, 159 Walton, Sam, 95 Wanamaker’s, 1 Ward, Andy, 36–38, 41, 43, 45, 52, 53, 142, 214 Warner Brothers, 148 Washington Monthly, 53, 148 Washington Post, 132, 185 well-spent.com, 60 What’s in a Dress?

 

pages: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks

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Cass Sunstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

Perkins spoke in the upper-crust tones befitting her upbringing—like Margaret Dumont in the old Marx Brothers movies or Mrs. Thurston Howell III—with long flat a’s, dropped r’s, and rounded vowels, “tomaahhhto” for “tomato.” A butler rushed in and announced that there was a fire near the square. The ladies ran out. Perkins lifted up her skirts and sprinted toward it. They had stumbled upon the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, one of the most famous fires in American history. Perkins could see the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the building ablaze and dozens of workers crowding around the open windows. She joined the throng of horrified onlookers on the sidewalk below. Some saw what they thought were bundles of fabric falling from the windows. They thought the factory owners were saving their best material.

But if you serve the work—if you perform each task to its utmost perfection—then you will experience the deep satisfaction of craftsmanship and you will end up serving the community more richly than you could have consciously planned. And one sees this in people with a vocation—a certain rapt expression, a hungry desire to perform a dance or run an organization to its utmost perfection. They feel the joy of having their values in deep harmony with their behavior. They experience a wonderful certainty of action that banishes weariness from even the hardest days. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire wasn’t the only event that defined Frances Perkins’s purpose in life, but it was a major one. This horror had been put in front of her. And like many people, she found a fiercer resolve amid a flood of righteous rage. It wasn’t just that so many people had died—after all, they could not be brought back to life; it was also the “ongoing assault on the common order that the fire came to symbolize.”

 

pages: 369 words: 121,161

Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke

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Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, interchangeable parts, joint-stock company, Maui Hawaii, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

The country must stop talking about German-Americans and Italian-Americans and Polish-Americans: ‘We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans.’ There must be no more ‘hyphenated Americans.’ Roosevelt’s aim was a double one: to liberate the immigrant from his daily grind in a polyglot compound, and to set him free from the hampering liabilities of his native tongue. The first aim did not begin to be achieved until 1911, when there was an appalling fire in New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It took a hundred and forty lives, roused the needle workers to go on strike, and wakened the public conscience. And at the end of it, the airless sweatshop, with its two exits leading to one rickety staircase, was abolished by New York State law. So was the peddling out of piecework to the immigrant’s home. It took this trauma to start the Jewish garment workers organizing in unions for decent hours and tolerable wages, and it marked the fiery beginning of their emergence into New York politics.

John 51, 52–3 Smith, Sir Thomas 49 Smithsonian Institution 288 Spanish explorations 20–37. see also New Spain Spice Islands 21 Staël, Mme de 205 Stamp Act 78, 92 Standard Oil Company of Ohio 195 Stanford, Leland 174 steamboats 151, 152 steel industry 196–7 Stevenson, Adlai E. 225 stock market crash (1929) 245–6 stockyards 176 Strategic Air Command 272–6 suburbs 283–5, 286 Supreme Court 113–16, 155, 156, 164, 222, 223, 249, 289, 290 Sutherland, Justice George 115 Sutter, Johann August 135–6 Szilard, Leo 263 Taft, William Howard 224, 225 Talleyrand, Charles 129 Tammany organization 217, 230 taxation of the colonies 77–9, 81–2 Tecumseh (Shawnee chief) 132 telegraph, invention of 190 Teller, Edward 263 Thoroughgood, Adam 55 Tippecanoe, battle of 132 tobacco 52–3, 55, 56 Tocqueville, Alexis de 13, 15, 153 Tojo, Gen. Hideki 259 Torrio, Johnny 245 Toussaint L’Ouverture, Pierre 128 Townsend, Charles 79 Tracy, Marquis de 40–41 transcontinental railroad 171–5 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory 225 Truman, Harry 164, 235, 247, 266, 290 Tudor, Frederic 282–3 Turkey Red wheat 11, 178 Turner, Nat 291 Twain, Mark 1, 4, 7 Tweed, William Marcy “Boss” 217 United Nations 102, 266–8, 271, 293 United States Steel Corp. 197, 223 Ustinov, Peter 71 Valley Forge, Pa. 89, 293 Vanderbilt, Cornelius 200 Vanderbilt, William K. 201 Verrazano, Giovanni 37 Versailles, Treaty of 231, 231–2, 234 Vespucci, Amerigo 19 Victoria (queen) 119, 178, 181, 206 Vietnam War 269–70 Vinci, Leonardo da 22 Voltaire 46 wagon trains 137–43, 145 Walker, Thomas 123 War of 181–2, 132 Warren, Chief Justice Earl 116, 290 Warren Joseph 80 Washington, George 74, 78, 87–90, 91, 99, 102, 103, 105, 107, 108, no, 132, 162, 209, 253, 254, 258, 293 Washington, Martha 88, 89 Wells, H.

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

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Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Donner party, East Village, illegal immigration, index card, medical residency, pre–internet, rent control, Saturday Night Live, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Right and trying to find jobs—but who also bust ghosts. I’m not an idiot, though. I know the demographic for Ghostbusters is teenage boys, and I know they would kill themselves if two ghostbusters had a makeover at Sephora. I just have always wanted to see a cool girl having her first kiss with a guy she’s had a crush on, and then have to excuse herself to go trap the pissed-off ghosts of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire or something. In my imagination, I am, of course, one of the ghostbusters, with the likes of say, Emily Blunt, Taraji Henson, and Natalie Portman. Even if I’m not the ringleader, I’m definitely the one who gets to say “I ain’t afraid a no ghost.” At least the first time. Contributing Nothing at Saturday Night Live I WAS A dreadful guest writer on Saturday Night Live. Not like, destructively bad or anything, just a useless, friendly extra body in the SNL offices eating hamburgers for free, like Wimpy from Popeye.

 

pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management

Though garment making might seem a safe occupation, particularly when contrasted with laboring in a steel mill or coal mine, conditions in the industry were not pleasant. The female immigrant workers who dominated work in the apparel industry, in addition to receiving low wages and working long hours, suffered from unsafe working conditions. Needles could pierce fingers and sometimes require finger amputations. Workers were typically locked in the rooms. Perhaps the best-known disaster in U.S. manufacturing history was the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in March 1911, in which 148 employees died, most of them young women, in conditions very similar to those of the Bangladesh clothing factory fires of 2012–13: As flames spread throughout the eighth floor, workers jumped to their deaths. Scores of charred bodies were found piled against closed doors. They had been kept bolted, a newspaper reported, to safeguard employers from the loss of goods by the departure of workers.57 There were fire escapes, but they could not handle the 700 fleeing workers.

., 196, 414 music, 411; digital media for, 435–38; on phonograph records, 186–90, 204, 411; post-World War II, 427–29, 439; on radio, 192, 195, 196, 421 Myspace (social network), 456 Nader, Ralph, 400 nails, 110 narcotic drugs, 222–23 National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 194, 413 National Bureau of Casualty and Surety Underwriters, 309 National Bureau of Standards, 562 National Cancer Act (1971), 470 National Industrial Recovery Act (1933–1935), 542 National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act; 1935), 543 natural gas, 634 NBC Symphony, 196 Nelson, Richard, 573 Netflix, 436–37 net investment, 586–87 networks: for cell phones, 430–31; Internet as, 442–43, 453–57; for medical care, 494–95; radio, 194; social, 456–57; television, 416–17, 425–26 Newcomen,, Thomas, 568 New Deal, 15, 18; legislation and programs of, 315–17; Social Security during, 516; wages increased during, 541–43, 548 new molecular entities (NMEs), 479 New Orleans, Battle of, 4 news, 433–35; Internet for, 443; movie newsreels, 200; post-World War II broadcasting of, 411; radio broadcasting of, 196; World War II broadcasts of, 413–14 newspapers, 172, 174–77; in 1870, 49; decline of, 433–35 Newsweek (magazine), 434 New York (New York): air travel between Chicago and, 396–97; air travel between Los Angeles and, 398; bacteriological laboratory in, 218; buses in, 160; early television in, 415–16; elevated trains in, 147; General Slocum disaster in, 239; housing in, 102–3; Ladies’ Protective Health Association in, 221; long-distance telephone service for, 183, 185; omnibus service in, 143–44; rail transport between Chicago and, 133, 135, 136, 140; subways in, 130, 148; tenements in, 97; Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in, 272; World’s Fair (1939–1940) in, 356, 363, 413, 592 New York Stock Exchange, 582 nickelodeons, 198–99, 205 Nixon, Richard, 357, 419 nonwhites: life expectancy of, 212; See also blacks Nordhaus, William: on global warming, 634; on Moore’s Law, 446; on price of light, 119; on value of health and life expectancy, 242–44, 323 nursing schools, 230 nutrition. See diet; food Obama, Barack, 628–29 Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; 2010), 493–95, 496–97 obesity, 345–47, 371, 469 O’Brien, Jeffrey, 479 occupations: from 1870 to 2009, 254–56; distribution of, 52–54; gender differences in, 509–10; licensing of, 649; polarization hypothesis on, 615–16; transformations in, 249 O’Conner, Sandra Day, 505–6 The Official Guide of the Railways, 138 oil changes, for automobiles, 386 old age.

See labor unions Traffic Service Position System (TSPS), 430 transistors, 430, 571 transportation: air travel, 393–400; automobiles replace horses for, 149–52; driverless cars for, 599–601; horses for, 143–45; internal combustion engines invented for, 374; Interstate Highway System for, 389–93; inventions in, during and after Civil War, 4; paved roads for, 157–59; post-World War II, 376–78, 525; railroads for, 47–48; steam-powered railroads for, 132–42; streetcars for, 146–47; transition in, 129–32; See also automobiles travel: Internet for, 456; See also air travel; personal travel; transportation traveling salesmen, 290 Treaty of Ghent (1814), 4 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 272 trolley cars (streetcars), 146–47 Trollope, Anthony, 40–41 Trout, Robert, 196 trucks, 376; driverless, 599–600 True Story (magazine), 177 tuberculosis, 466 Turner, Damian, 483 Turner, Frederick Jackson, 112 turnpikes, 159 Twain, Mark, 126, 419 typewriters, 452 Uchitelle, Louis, 498 underemployment, 626 Underwood, William, 72 unemployment, 272–73, 328, 643; benefits for, 315; decline in, 604; education and, 513–14; New Deal programs and, 316 unions.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Furthermore, he argues, “Having slipped catastrophes like the 1914–1945 worldwide conflicts (with 100 million dead), or the nuclear threat of the 44 cold war years that followed, there are also reasonable grounds to believe we can work out our problems. The daily advances in science and technology lend hope that on balance things can be even better.”17. Unfortunately for them, the nineteen-year-olds whose futures were blown to pieces at Verdun, Iwo Jima, or Khe Sanh; the young immigrant women incinerated in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; and the kidnapped slaves from Africa worked to death on cotton plantations did not “slip the catastrophes” of history. We cannot ask them if their sacrifices were worth it. If we could, it is unlikely that most of them would have volunteered to die or suffer in order to produce our world. People will sacrifice—though not nearly as much as our mythology teaches—for their living children or grandchildren, but hardly ever for descendants unborn, and never for someone else’s unborn progeny.

 

pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

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Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Walter Mischel

John Patterson, the head of National Cash Register, toyed with his senior employees like a cat with a yarn ball, firing top executives and then rehiring them, simply to break their spirits. Clothing makers Max Blanck and Isaac Harris were so concerned with cutting losses at their sweatshop on the upper floors of a building near Washington Square Park in Manhattan that they locked the doors from the outside to prevent their workers—mostly young women and girls—from making off with the merchandise. The company was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, and when a fire broke out there on March 25, 1911, many of the trapped girls had no choice but to jump to their deaths on the sidewalk below. Ultimately, 146 of them perished. The workplace has never been a democracy, and it wasn’t designed to be. Companies without a clear organizational chart and well-defined lines of power sound wonderfully collaborative, except for the fact that they almost always fail.

 

pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Members of the IWW worked toward the elimination of the capitalist state, which they thought to be incompatible with democracy.40 They also campaigned in favor of free speech, suing state and local governments, and their radicalism left them open to state repression.41 In New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, garment workers’ unions, supported by the Socialist Party, mounted great strikes under the aegis of the Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL).42 White, male craft union leaders asserted that employees could negotiate fair contracts with their employers; women employees, who were paid less as a matter of course, did not agree.43 The WTUL supported “protective legislation” that used assumptions about women’s greater physical weakness or their importance as mothers to target women for shorter hours and for minimum wages. Protective legislation established entities like wages boards and arbitration tribunals and supported the appointment of female factory inspectors, interposing the power of the state between employer and employee.44 The sacrifice of 146 women to industrial excess in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire showed just how necessary these protections were. The employers of these young, immigrant workers had locked the exit doors of the building in order to deter theft, so that women had a choice between flinging themselves from the ninth-floor windows of the ten-story Asch building or burning to death.45 Democrats and Republicans attempted to appeal to workers by claiming that their platforms promoted economic prosperity for all.

 

pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

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bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

The largest single industrial accident in the United States was directly caused by smoking: in 1947 careless handling of cigarettes was blamed for igniting 2,600 tons of ammonium nitrate on a ship in the harbor of Texas City, Texas, killing six hundred people and causing an explosion so powerful it knocked planes from the sky. Smoking caused the crash of a Russian-made Ilyushin-18 plane on Christmas Eve 1987 at Canton, killing twenty-three passengers. And cigarettes caused the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, killing 146 New York City garment workers. Tobacco fires don’t get a lot of attention, but in the United States alone from 1970 through 2000, fires killed about four thousand people per year, with about a quarter of these being traceable to cigarettes.11 The tragedy is magnified by the fact that it is not that hard to make (relatively) fire-safe cigarettes: all you have to do is wrap a few tiny bands of thickened paper around the rod; these bands extinguish the cigarette unless a smoker is actively pulling on it, preventing a dropped cigarette from kindling a fire.