wage slave

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pages: 346 words: 102,625

Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker

8-hour work day, active transport: walking or cycling, barriers to entry, buy and hold, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, diversification, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, dumpster diving, financial independence, game design, index fund, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, lateral thinking, loose coupling, market bubble, McMansion, passive income, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, psychological pricing, the scientific method, time value of money, transaction costs, wage slave, working poor

Leaving is not easy; it requires much learning and a reorientation of one's values from equating success with identifying shadows to equating success with moving around in the real world. In real life, the prisoners of Plato's Cave are those who are prisoners or slaves to their wages and their culture. A wage slave is a wage earner who is entirely dependent on their wages. While the wage slave is free to leave the current job, he isn't free to leave the job market altogether and he can likely not imagine the possibility of doing so. He is still entirely focused on the wall. The wall shows other people not as who they are, but as what they own. There goes a man in his new sports car--what is not seen is that the car is bought on credit and that the man is stressed because he is having trouble making the payments. Wage slaves have jobs where they can go and spend their most productive hours writing high-powered memos so they can be more productive, while other people spend their time ignoring memos so they can be more productive too.

The lack of return on assets to pay the interest means they must either work harder or longer for their consumption, and so they do. Add lifestyle inflation (see The pursuit of stuff, status, and happiness) and you have a process that inherently demands more and more work while quite possibly providing less and less contentment. This is the definition of a wage slave. Wage slaves are free to change their job, but they're not free to quit their job. Wage slaves are free to choose other products as long as they can afford it, but they're not capable of creating alternatives to buying products, because they're too busy working. The working man A working man is someone who doesn't collect a salary or other associated benefits. His income is uncertain, possibly because he takes on smaller projects that only last days, weeks, or perhaps months, and he knows and plans for this.

However, as people have increased their expenses, households now require two incomes, and thus, as it so often goes in our time, parents have outsourced their children's upbringing and, possibly taking a lesson from their own situation as wage slaves, they now act as managers of their children's lives and careers rather than as role models, signing them up for extracurricular activities that are so very important for their résumé to get into their dream college. What happened to spending all day kicking a rock around or catching frogs in the creek? For that matter, what happened to the frogs?7 Fortunately, most of the skills necessary for success as a consumer and wage slave are taught in the institutions of the public school system. It's not the subjects that are taught so much as it's the way they're taught. During children's typical 12-year stint in the public school system, the most "successful" (read well-adjusted) learn not to question authority, not to ask questions which don't pertain to the task at hand, to follow procedure, that trying is better than doing, to be a team player, and not to stand out.


pages: 354 words: 93,882

How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson

Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deskilling, financial independence, full employment, Gordon Gekko, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Lao Tzu, liberal capitalism, moral panic, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, spinning jenny, Torches of Freedom, trade route, wage slave

Albert Camus, for example, with typical Gallic morbidity, describes illness as ' a remedy against death, because it prepares us for death, creating an apprenticeship whose first step is self-pity. Illness supports man in the great attempt to shirk the fact that he will surely die. ' This is not a view that is useful to society, if one sees society as an efficient organism. You would never see a newspaper report which read, ' spiritual insights and moments of true joy gained by slumbering wage slave while confined to bed ' . But in the far-off days before painkillers and Lemsip, illness and trauma were not to be swept under the carpet and ignored. They were to be respected, listened to and given time to work themselves out. When Samuel Pepys had an immensely painful operation to remove a kidney stone, he did not rush back into the office 36 hours later. No. He had the right to a full 40 days ' recovery period during which time he was not allowed to do anything.

After spending the day either living in the past (regrets, reports) or in the future (anxieties, Powerpoint presentations) , the first drink of the day brings us into the present moment: we become Buddhists. That first drink also has a physically restorative effect. I find I can spend all day complaining about being tired, listless, lacking in energy, desperate for sleep. Then at six, in the pub or at home, with a pint of foaming nut-brown ale before me instead of a computer screen, I will suddenly perk up. Energy will rush back into my body. I am alive. And with one drink, the wage slaves of the day are transformed into thinking, feeling, laughing, independent human beings. We are our own masters once more. You can see it in our faces: just walk round a city at 6 p.m. and look in through the windows of the pubs and bars - you will see smiling people, full of animated chatter. They may be complaining about the boss or their lot in general, but for a little while, and before they return to the realities of home, they are in a delightful suspended reality, where everyone is a little king or queen.

Although I may counsel going with the flow in other areas of life, when it comes to travel and holidays, you are rewarded for going against the flow. Travelling on buses at n a.m. can be immensely pleasurable. If you avoid travelling around when the masses are on the move, you can bring a satisfying measure of control into your life. This would mean, of course, going freelance, a move rarely regretted by the former wage slave. The management guru and friend to the idle Charles Handy invented the idea of chunking. This gives him one huge holiday every year. I went to interview him in 1 993, when he explained the way that he divides his time: ' I worked out that I need 1 00 days a year to make serious money. I do that by teaching at various seminars. I also need 1 00 days to write and read, and roughly 50 days a year for my causes and campaigns.


What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia Themes in Philosophy) by Noam Chomsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, liberation theology, mass incarceration, means of production, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Turing test, wage slave

Rather, they will regain their status as “free American citizens.” The capitalist revolution instituted a crucial change from price to wage. When the producer sold his product for a price, Ware writes, “he retained his person. But when he came to sell his labor, he sold himself” and lost his dignity as a person as he became a slave—a “wage slave,” the term commonly used. Some 170 years ago, a group of skilled workers in New York repeated the common view that a daily wage is a form of slavery and warned, perceptively, that a day might come when wage slaves “will so far forget what is due to manhood as to glory in a system forced on them by their necessity and in opposition to their feelings of independence and self-respect”—a day they hoped would be “far distant.” Labor activists warned of the new “spirit of the age: gain wealth, forgetting all but self.”


pages: 405 words: 103,723

The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism by Ruth Kinna

Berlin Wall, British Empire, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Graeber, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, friendly fire, ghettoisation, Kickstarter, late capitalism, means of production, moral panic, New Journalism, Occupy movement, post scarcity, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, union organizing, wage slave

They say: ‘Now, here, perform this piece of work in a certain length of time’, and if you don’t … why, when you come around for your pay next Saturday, you simply find in the envelope which gives you your money, a note which informs you of the fact that you have been discharged. Now … the leather thong dipped in salt brine, for the chattel slave, had been exchanged under the wage slave system for the lash of hunger, an empty stomach and the ragged back of the wage-slave of free-born American sovereign citizens …17 Parsons’s analysis pointed to a second facet of bourgeois incivility: the force essential to maintain the unequal relations that private ownership created. Protecting the rights of property owners required regiments of police and the institution of elaborate court and prison systems. Workers were not only exploited as labourers, but also forced to relinquish a proportion of their wages in taxation to pay for the institutions that guaranteed bourgeois rights, thus forking out for the privilege of their own oppression or, in Parsons’s case, killing.

Now, the means of life are monopolized; the necessary means for the existence of all has been appropriated and monopolized by a few. The land, the implements of production and communication, the resources of life are now held as private property, and its owners exact tribute from the propertyless. The welcome that former slave-owners gave to the terms of abolition convinced Parsons of the truth of this analysis. He explained: Under the wage slavery system the wage slave selects his master. Formerly the master selected the slave; today the slave selects his master … He is compelled to find one … the change of the industrial system … upon the question of the chattel slave system of the South and that of the so-called ‘free laborer’, and their wages … was a decided benefit to the former chattel slave owners who would not exchange the new system of wage labor at all for chattel labor, because now the dead had to bury themselves and the sick take care of themselves, and now they don’t have to employ overseers to look after them.


pages: 278 words: 82,069

Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, William Greider

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, John Meriwether, kremlinology, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

But if a person from the working class loses her job, she would have to find an equivalent one within the month or it’ll be fast food and junior college for everyone in the family. Working-class people are (excuse the Marxism) wage-slaves. Those in the working class live on the edge of poverty, saying to themselves that they are doing all right. They drink and watch far too much TV. They buy Lotto tickets and live moderate lives that are far beyond their means. The profit they generate flows to the rich, and they borrow to fill out the coffers. Most Americans are working-class wage-slaves, arguing that they’re better off. This fantasy, more than any other confusion, hobbles us. Because we fear to see how delicate our economic state is, we cannot motivate ourselves to demand change. Capitalism, the accrual of wealth from labor, is the religion of America; poverty our cardinal sin.


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

He said that the ‘white price’ for building work in the Netherlands is approaching twice the ‘black price’ because the builders use cash not only to evade VAT but also to pay their staff and suppliers in cash, thus avoiding income and corporate taxes as well. I joked with him saying that €200 and €500 notes were never used for legitimate transactions and he replied, entirely seriously, that he had never used a €100 note in a legitimate transaction either! No wonder the taxes I pay as a middle England wage slave are so high when half the population is on the fiddle. An old acquaintance of mine – who used to work for the police, by the way – happened to mention to me that he was having some work done on his driveway. The contractors had quoted him two grand for the work but offered him a £400 discount for cash. When I bumped into him in the town centre he had just been to the bank and had £1,600 on him.

There is a link between Minsky’s deductions from the technology roadmap and Weatherford’s comments as an anthropologist, but we’ll come back to that later. Minsky, incidentally, goes on to make some comments about the relationship between money and taxation: Taxes will be lower because of the vast amount of uncollected tax today. Given that somewhere in the region of a fifth of the economy in developed countries is untaxed and outside the formal financial system, the tax burden falls heavily on those of us who remain wage slaves, and as the post-crisis tax burden climbs to the point where it falls off the demographic cliff, so will the calls for reform grow. Minsky went on to reinforce my observations above by saying that The system of electronic currency will never be acceptable unless the laws protecting privacy are greatly strengthened. With these final building blocks, then, we have an outline of a plausible narrative for the future of money: distributed, private, community-centric and, in the long run, set to vanish.


pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, fixed income, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Parag Khanna, Pareto efficiency, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K, zero-sum game

Death Takes a Policy: How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges Jake Bernstein ProPublica Part VIII. Brave New World 24. How Companies Learn Your Secrets Charles Duhigg New York Times Magazine 25. Glass Works: How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Material of the Future Bryan Gardiner Wired 26. Skilled Work, Without the Worker John Markoff New York Times 27.I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave Mac McClelland Mother Jones 28. In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad Charles Duhigg and David Barboza New York Times 29. How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking Mat Honan Wired Permissions List of Contributors Introduction Dean Starkman Compiling the Best Business Writing series each year reliably brings the pleasures of the eclectic and unexpected.

The engineers are confident that the robot will soon do much better than that, picking up and setting down one box per second. “We’re on the cusp of completely changing manufacturing and distribution,” said Gary Bradski, a machine-vision scientist who is a founder of Industrial Perception. “I think it’s not as singular an event, but it will ultimately have as big an impact as the Internet.” Mac McClelland 27. I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave Mother Jones When Mother Jones’s Mac McClelland took a temporary warehouse job, she ran into a woman, who offered advice: “You’ll see people dropping all around you. But don’t take it personally and break down or start crying when they yell at you.” The warehouse, designed to get online purchases to customers as quickly as possible, is a worker’s hell—made possible by people’s desperation for jobs.

Reprinted by permission “Skilled Work, Without the Worker,” by John Markoff, from the New York Times, August 19, 2012. © 2012 The New York Times. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited. www.nytimes.com. “I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave,” by Mac McClelland. First published in Mother Jones March/April 2012. © 2012 by Foundation for National Progress. Reprinted by permission of Foundation for National Progress. “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad,” by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza, from the New York Times, January 26, 2012. © 2012 The New York Times. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States.


pages: 292 words: 81,699

More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, barriers to entry, Black Swan, Build a better mousetrap, business process, call centre, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, George Gilder, Larry Wall, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mars Rover, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, price discrimination, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Oldenburg, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, The Great Good Place, type inference, unpaid internship, wage slave, web application, Y Combinator

and they say yes, and you make them sign the spec in indelible ink, nay, blood, and they do, and then you build that thing they signed off on, promptly, precisely, and exactly, and they see it and they are horrified and shocked, and you spend the rest of the week reading up on whether your E&O insurance is going to cover the legal fees for the lawsuit you’ve gotten yourself into or merely the settlement cost. Or, if you’re really lucky, the customer will smile wanly and put your code in a drawer and never use it again and never call you back. Somewhere in the middle is consultingware, where you pretend to be doing shrink-wrap while really doing custom development. Here’s how consultingware works: 1. You’re working as a wage slave writing code for a shoe company, and 2. The company needs shoe-shining software, so 3. You develop shoe-shining software in VB 3.0 using bits and pieces of JavaScript, Franz Lisp, and a FileMaker database running on an old Mac connected over the network using AppleScript, then 4. Everyone thinks it’s the cat’s whiskers, so, always having dreamed of starting your own software company and maybe being Bill Gates or perhaps even just Larry Ellison 5.

Who finds out that one of your potential customers doesn’t need a shoe-shining thing but he could really use trouserspressing software, and 10. The sales guy, being a sales guy, sells him $100K worth of trousers-pressing software, 11. And now you spend six months writing a one-off “trouserspressing module” for this client, which 12. No other client will ever need, thus, effectively, 13. For all intents and purposes, you’ve just spent a year raising VC so that you could work as a wage slave writing code for a trouser company; GOTO 1. Sparky, I’m gonna have to strongly recommend clinging as strongly as possible to the shrink-wrap side of the equation. That’s because shrink-wrap has no marginal costs for each additional customer, so you can essentially sell the same thing over and over again and make a lot more profit. Not only that, but you can lower the price, because you can spread your development costs out over a lot more customers, and lowering the price gets you more customers because more people will suddenly find your now-cheaper software worthwhile, and life is good and all is sweet.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

Wortham, “Ubering While Black”; Rivoli, Marcius, and Greene, “Taxi Driver Fined $25K for Refusing Ride to Black Family.” 39. Wortham, “Ubering While Black.” 40. Sandvig, “Seeing the Sort: The Aesthetic and Industrial Defense of ‘The Algorithm.’” 41. Carruth, “The Digital Cloud and the Micropolitics of Energy,” 342. 42. Much of the following section is based on McClelland’s remarkable exposé of cloud warehouse labor practices: McClelland, “I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave.” 43. Soper, “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse.” 44. Duhigg and Barboza, “Apple’s iPad and the Human Costs for Workers in China.” 45. “Foxconn Says Underage Workers Used in China Plant.” 46. Blodget, “CEO of Apple Partner Foxconn.” 47. Markoff, Machines of Loving Grace, 97–98. 48. Cf. Bogost, Unit Operations; this sampling of tasks was offered on the site on August 15, 2014. 49. Ipeirotis, “Analyzing the Amazon Mechanical Turk Marketplace,” 21. 50.

Accessed June 18, 2014. http://www.alexandrosmaragos.com/2013/02/andrew-geraci-interview.html. Mark, William, and Raymond C. Perrault. “Cognitive Assistant That Learns and Organizes.” SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center. Accessed May 27, 2014. http://www.ai.sri.com/project/CALO. Markoff, John. Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots. 1st ed. Ecco, 2015. McClell. Mac. “I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave.” Mother Jones, March/April 2012. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/mac-mcclelland-free-online-shipping-warehouses-labor. McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Reprint ed. New York: William Morrow Paperbacks, 1994. McCulloch, Warren S., and Walter Pitts. “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity.” Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 5 (4) (December 1943): 115–133. doi:10.1007/BF02478259.


pages: 102 words: 30,120

Why Wages Rise by F. A. Harper

business cycle, collective bargaining, fixed income, full employment, means of production, wage slave

He can then withhold any part of it he wishes from the laborer — the one who Marx claimed was the rightful owner of all of it because he is the one who created all its value in the first place. So pay for the use of capital is like loot from theft, as Marx saw it. He said that the absolute amount of profit is equal to the absolute amount of surplus value. Persons who hold these Marxian beliefs charge that the laboring man is “exploited” by the capitalist owner; that he is a “wage-slave” of the capitalist. The term surplus value was defined by Marx, then, as the part of production which, under private ownership, is confiscated by the capitalist from its rightful owner, the laborer. That is the part which all Marxians believe can and should be reclaimed by labor. The amount of surplus value, by this concept, measures the amount that wages could rise aside from any increase in hourly output.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

Then working people will no longer be “menials or the humble subjects of a foreign despot, [the absentee owners], slaves in the strictest sense of the word [who] toil … for their masters.” Rather, they will regain their status as “free American citizens.”12 The capitalist revolution instituted a crucial change from price to wage. When the producer sold his product for a price, Ware writes, “he retained his person. But when he came to sell his labor, he sold himself,” and lost his dignity as a person as he became a slave—a “wage slave,” the term commonly used. Wage labor was considered similar to chattel slavery, though differing in that it was temporary—in theory. That understanding was so widespread that it became a slogan of the Republican Party, advocated by its leading figure, Abraham Lincoln.13 The concept that productive enterprises should be owned by the workforce was common coin in the mid-nineteenth century, not just by Marx and the left but also by the most prominent classical liberal figure of the day, John Stuart Mill.

There are serious barriers to overcome in the struggle for justice, freedom, and dignity, even beyond the bitter class war conducted ceaselessly by the highly class-conscious business world with the “indispensable support” of the governments they largely control. Ware discusses some of these insidious threats as they were understood by working people. He reports the thinking of skilled workers in New York 170 years ago, who repeated the common view that a daily wage is a form of slavery and warned perceptively that a day might come when wage slaves “will so far forget what is due to manhood as to glory in a system forced on them by their necessity and in opposition to their feelings of independence and self-respect.”17 They hoped that that day would be “far distant.” Today, signs of it are common, but demands for independence, self-respect, personal dignity, and control of one’s own work and life, like Marx’s old mole, continue to burrow not far from the surface, ready to reappear when awakened by circumstances and militant activism. 13 Whose Security?


pages: 768 words: 291,079

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, full employment, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, wage slave, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

They all trembled before him and ran about whenever he spoke to or called them, because they knew that there were always a lot of other men out of work who would be willing and eager to fill their places if they got the sack. Although it was now summer, and the Distress Committee and all the other committees had suspended operations, there was still always a large number of men hanging about the vicinity of the Fountain on the Parade––The Wage Slave Market. When men finished up for the firm they were working for they usually made for that place. Any master in want of a wage slave for a few hours, days or weeks could always buy one there. The men knew this and they also knew that if they got the sack from one firm it was no easy matter to get another job, and that was why they were terrified. When Misery was gone––to repeat the same performance at some other job––the sub-foreman would have a crawl round to see how the chaps were getting on: to find out if they had used up all their paint yet, or to bring them some putty so that they should not have to leave their work to go to get anything themselves: and then very often Rushton himself would come and stalk quietly about the house or stand silently behind the men, watching them as they worked.

It would be kinder and more merciful.* 35 facing the ‘problem’ Nearly every other firm in the town was in much the same plight as Rushton & Co.; none of them had anything to speak of to do, and the workmen no longer troubled to go to the different shops asking for a job. They knew it was of no use. Most of them just walked about aimlessly or stood talking in groups in the streets, principally in the neighbourhood of the Wage Slave Market near the fountain on the Grand Parade. They congregated here in such numbers that one or two residents wrote to the local papers complaining of the ‘nuisance’, and pointing out that it was calculated to drive the ‘better-class’ visitors out of the town. After this two or three extra policemen were put on duty near the fountain with instructions to ‘move on’ any groups of unemployed that formed.

When Owen quoted statistics to prove that as far as commerce and the quantity produced of commodities of all kinds was concerned, the last year had been a record one, they became more infuriated than ever, and talked threateningly of what they would like to do to those bloody Socialists who were upsetting everything. One day Crass, who was one of these upholders of the existing system, scored off Owen finely. A little group of them were standing talking in the Wage Slave Market near the Fountain. In the course of the argument, Owen made the remark that under existing conditions life was not worth living, and Crass said that if he really thought so, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists there was no compulsion about it; if he wasn’t satisfied––if he didn’t want to live––he could go and die. Why the hell didn’t he go and make a hole in the water, or cut his bloody throat?


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Human surgeons may not be required to check the diagnosis of an AI-powered medical system, and human lawyers may not be needed to interpret the advice of an AI attorney. The moment when we have to accept that most people will never work again can be described as an economic singularity. If all goes well, the AIs and their robot handmaidens will generate an economy of radical abundance, and humans will no longer be wage slaves. We will all enjoy lives of leisure, keeping fit, having fun with friends, expanding our intellectual faculties. No-one will lack a sense of meaning in their lives. We will find just and fair ways to share the munificence of this plenty, and we will make the transition from here to there without upset. Well, we can hope. Better still, we can keep an eye out for the approach of this economic transformation, review the different ways to turn it to our advantage, and work out how to avoid the negative scenarios, of which there are many.


Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit, Susan Schwartzenberg

blue-collar work, Brownian motion, dematerialisation, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, low skilled workers, new economy, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave

Keating goes ruminate, "It's funny to think that been only two there's media attention and there were only two that explains in jargon-free terms horn or anything, but ganda because its I what think gentrification really it is. Not to to posters. All The posters. on first one . . my own blow succeeded as revolutionary propa- message was completely transparent without saying anything about capitalism or bourgeois society or proletariats or Marx. They communicate the message and anybody who knew what on which they class divide people, all wage-slaves, identify with fetishizes the private other good things up —now fell that way. ." . . mentary on the guy who puts is not to say that that's what was on the posters, automobile more than the working that the posters The margins, he posters. I I mean who One of the didn't set explained, allowed people to write "Somebody wrote, this up, he's a working all class? had these wide margins.


pages: 165 words: 48,594

Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism by Richard D. Wolff

asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, feminist movement, financial intermediation, Howard Zinn, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, wage slave, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

Second, they would be democratically and collectively given fully equal participation throughout their term of employment in the design, operation, and change of that division of labor and in the distribution of its outputs. No one could work without engaging in both roles. The ancient divisions between mental and manual laborers, between workplace controller and controlled, between bosses and wage slaves would be overcome, thereby achieving an immense step toward economic and hence social equality. Building Support for the Cure To win social approval for the creation and sustenance of WSDEs inside modern economies, a number of different campaigns could be pursued. A government program of financing and supporting new WSDEs could focus on the unemployed. FDR’s model of federal job creation, for example, could be modified to provide specifically for the unemployed to regain work within self-directed enterprises.


pages: 196 words: 57,974

Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, business process, Charles Lindbergh, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, double entry bookkeeping, Etonian, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, market bubble, mittelstand, new economy, North Sea oil, race to the bottom, railway mania, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Whatever changes should come, whether industry is owned by capitalists, or by the state, or by the workers, it will always have to be managed. Management is the permanent function of business.” Follett’s claim might be taken as a tribal manifesto for one of the unsung heroes of the twentieth century. Company Man has not had a good press. Sinclair Lewis pilloried him as Babbitt (1922), the epitome of self-satisfied philistinism. In Coming Up for Air (1939), George Orwell portrayed him as little more than a wage slave—“never free except when he’s fast asleep and dreaming that he’s got the boss down the bottom of a well and is bunging lumps of coal at him.” Yet he helped to change companies the world over. As early as 1920, Company Man’s character had been formed by two things: professional standards and corporate loyalty. Company Man was defined by his credentials rather than by his lineage (like the upper classes) or his collective muscle (like the workers).


Affluenza: When Too Much Is Never Enough by Clive Hamilton, Richard Denniss

call centre, delayed gratification, experimental subject, full employment, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, mega-rich, Naomi Klein, Own Your Own Home, post-materialism, post-work, purchasing power parity, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, wage slave

On the way, his car morphs into a black stallion, which he rides across the wild plains. Arriving at 43 AFFLUENZA work, the stallion turns back into a car and Stallion Man miraculously finds a parking space right in front of his office. As he steps from the car an attractive woman approaches to brush from his jacket the dust that had accumulated while he was riding his steed to work. The message is clear to the most inattentive of viewers: even a nine-to-five wage slave can live out cowboy fantasies and appeal to attractive women if he buys a large, inefficient and expensive car to crawl through peak hour traffic each day. The role of persuasion and emotion in advertising was described in the following way: One of the striking tendencies of human beings is to act, judge, believe or vote on strictly instinctive, emotional grounds, and then, after the act is committed, to try to justify or defend it by intellectual or logical reasons . . .


pages: 181 words: 62,775

Half Empty by David Rakoff

airport security, Buckminster Fuller, dark matter, double helix, global pandemic, Google Earth, phenotype, RFID, twin studies, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave, Wall-E, Y2K

When I called the fellow who’d written the Five Points novel to make sure the plaque had arrived, his wife told me that the validation of being a finalist had lifted him out of a years-long funk and he was writing again. I would never know, she told me, what a gift that was. She, in turn, would never know that the entire enterprise had been little more than a backfired prank, or that I was an over-entitled wage slave with absolutely no power and too wrapped up in my own aborted fantasies at the time to be of any help to anybody. And that the golden seals on the diplomas were salvaged from the packaging of the bathroom soap I bought in Chinatown for fifty cents a bar. I never saw the author again. Not long after the contest, she found fault with the publishing company as a whole and moved on to more lucrative pastures.


Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood

carbon footprint, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, financial independence, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, trickle-down economics, wage slave

Also, mills herald the coming Industrial Revolution, a thing Quixote intuits; and it, and everything it will bring with it, are bad news for a chivalric romantic like him, just as Vanity Fair is bad news for a religious romantic like John Bunyan. William Blake recognized the same infernal qualities in mills. By the time he wrote his famous poem “Jerusalem,” with its “dark Satanic mills,” those mills were grinding out not only flour but fabric, and in the process gobbling up a lot of sickly wage slaves. But Blake’s mills came with a ready-made Satanic reputation — one they’d inherited through the long hereditary line of mills. That line continued through the nineteenth century, spinning out such testaments to the Industrial Revolution as Elizabeth Gaskell’s mill-town classic Mary Barton, and, in Canada, Frederick Philip Grove’s tycoon-o-drama, The Master of the Mill. Now for millers. When I was in grade three, we still had singing in school.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The Gig Economy is an economy of skills, and skilled workers are the winners who take all. Their talents are in demand, so they can command high wages and have the most opportunity to structure and design their own working lives and craft their own futures. They can take advantage of the chance to create a working life that incorporates flexibility, autonomy, and meaning. Skilled workers have the chance to move from good jobs to great work. Middle managers and corporate wage slaves don’t appear to be winning. Their skills are less in demand and more likely to be automated, contracted, or outsourced. Maybe they’re hanging on to the final dangling remnants of the ladder they were climbing or clinging anxiously to the full-time corporate job they’ve managed to hold on to so far. Their income is stagnating, their benefits are shrinking, and they are too slowly coming to terms with the reality that they no longer have job security.


pages: 200 words: 71,482

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

Buckminster Fuller, Ernest Rutherford, Khartoum Gordon, Murray Gell-Mann, stakhanovite, wage slave

Instead they went to a small house in Peckham, in south London—a marginally better climate than the Scottish Borders, the physicians agreed—and James Murray was obliged to set aside his intellectual pursuits and to take an uninteresting job at the headquarters of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China. He would perch forlornly on a high stool in the Foreign Correspondence department in the very back of the office, wearing starched cuffs and an eye-shade, and write in ledgers in copperplate script while in the company of a host of wage-slaves and Lupin Pooters, all men quite devoid of intellectual curiosity or ambition. Except that through all these travails he did not quite abandon his high-mindedness and his sense of an impending grand purpose. As Maggie slipped closer and closer towards her early death, James kept his intellect busied: he would speak to London policemen and try to determine, from their accents, from where they came; he studied Hindustani and Achaemenid Persian on his daily commute; he lectured on such topics as `The Body and its Architecture' before such groups as the Camberwell Congregational Church and his local Temperance League (he was a confirmed teetotaller).


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

In Chapter 2, I described how we have sacrificed our free time on the altar of consumerism. Keynes certainly didn’t see that coming. But there’s still one puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. Most people play no part in the production of iPhone cases in their panoply of colors, exotic shampoos containing botanical extracts, or Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccinos. Our addiction to consumption is enabled mostly by robots and Third World wage slaves. And although agricultural and manufacturing production capacity have grown exponentially over the past decades, employment in these industries has dropped. So is it really true that our overworked lifestyle all comes down to out-of-control consumerism? David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, believes there’s something else going on. A few years ago he wrote a fascinating piece that pinned the blame not on the stuff we buy but on the work we do.


pages: 225 words: 70,180

Humankind: Solidarity With Nonhuman People by Timothy Morton

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, David Brooks, Georg Cantor, gravity well, invisible hand, means of production, megacity, microbiome, phenotype, planetary scale, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, Turing test, wage slave, zero-sum game

Both the extreme correlationist and the vanilla essentialist arguments are holding two pieces of the Kantian puzzle, the thing in itself and how that thing appears. For the vanilla essentialist, the trouble has to do with how appearances are superficial, that there is an underlying essence that is unaffected by capital, and therefore alienated to the extent that it can’t find expression. We are wage slaves who upon liberation will be fully ourselves, no longer slaves. We will be de-objectified. Liberation strips away false appearances. For the correlationist essentialist, the picture is quite different. What is constantly present are (human) economic relations. The idea that there is a difference between real us and commodified us is the illusion. Liberation means that this illusion collapses.


pages: 624 words: 180,416

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

anti-globalists, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, double helix, Internet Archive, inventory management, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, post-materialism, random walk, RFID, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, union organizing, wage slave

She was staying at something called the Polynesian Resort hotel, and the brochure showed a ticky-tacky tiki-themed set of longhouses set on an ersatz white-sand beach, with a crew of Mexican and Cuban domestic workers in leis, Hawai’ian shirts, and lava-lavas waving and smiling. Her package included a complimentary luau—the pictures made it clear this was nothing like the tourist luaus she’d attended in Maui. On top of that, she was entitled to a “character breakfast” with a wage-slave in an overheated plush costume, and an hour with a “resort counsellor” who’d help her plan her trip for maximal fun. The bullet train came and took on the passengers, families bouncing with anticipation, joking and laughing in every language spoken. These people had just come through a US Customs checkpoint and they were acting like the world was a fine place. She decided there must be something to this Disney business.

You weren’t just happy, you were hysterical. Remember the Boogie-Woogie Elmos? The car they drove?” Perry looked away. “Yeah,” he said softly. There was a hitch in his voice. “All I’m saying is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You could—” “Could what?” he said. He sounded angry, but she thought that he was just upset. “I could go work for Disney, sit in a workshop all day making crap no one cares about? Be the wage-slave for the end of my days, a caged monkey for some corporate sultan’s zoo?” The phrase was Lester’s, and Suzanne knew then that Perry and Lester had been talking about it. Lester, leaning heavily against her on the sofa (they’d pushed it back into the room, moving aside pieces of the Calvinball game), made a warning sound and gave her knee a squeeze. Aha, definitely territory they’d covered before then.


pages: 603 words: 182,826

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership by Andro Linklater

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, light touch regulation, market clearing, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, ultimatum game, wage slave, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, working poor

Monopolies and cartel agreements were necessary to control excessive production, he insisted, and as an example, he praised the monopolistic trust organized by Standard Oil in the 1890s, because it “yielded obvious gains in efficiency, through the integration of divergent refining, marketing, and pipeline operations; it also made the raising of capital easier and cheaper.” The deathblow to the nineteenth century’s free-market ways came from the new, predominantly urban class that suddenly mushroomed in the service of these industrial behemoths. The salary-earning, white-collar employees who worked the interlocking processes that enabled a modern corporation to function were evidently wage slaves, by Marx’s definition, but they tended to own or lease their own homes, suggesting they were members of the bourgeoisie. Even Madison’s more straightforward categories of propertied and unpropertied did not really fit since their homes belonged in large part to the financial institutions funding their mortgages. Reacting against corporate corruption and the self-rewarding greed of big business, many in this hybrid class appeared sympathetic to the claims of the unpropertied and to demands for redistribution and social justice.

The solution was half-apparent in the phrase “conspicuous consumption” used by Thorstein Veblen in his Theory of the Leisure Class published in 1899. Veblen coined the term as a jibe against the bloated plutocrats who flaunted their wealth by their “unremitting demonstration of the ability to pay.” But even at that date, the availability of credit was enabling white-collared, half-propertied wage slaves to do much the same, albeit on a reduced scale. As early as the 1880s, Boston furniture stores had allowed customers to buy expensive items, from beds to dining room tables, by paying in instalments. Sears Roebuck followed suit, and was copied by retailers of mass-produced sewing-machines. Most of the new automobile industry’s products could be purchased in the same way, although not the bestselling Model T Ford.


pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

In order to understand why 2channel was such a raging success, it’s important to know a bit about Japanese culture. We’re talking about a society wherein face-to-face confrontation and emotional expression are actively discouraged. In the United States, straight talk and audacity are prized as character traits. In Japan, they are often interpreted as rudeness or disrespect. It’s the culture of the salaryman, the lonely wage slave who lives to work, with the few social pleasures he allows himself often related to corporate team-building. The image of a salaryman is certainly a stereotype (sleeping in a suit on a subway, late-night corporate-sponsored karaoke), but there’s no question that this socially repressed caricature represented a community that was waiting for a platform like 2channel to come along. Today, the Japanese-only site draws several million daily page views—more than four times the traffic of 4chan, which is global. 2channel gives the people of Japan a place to say what they’re really thinking, with no real-life consequences.


pages: 200 words: 72,182

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

business process, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, McMansion, place-making, post-work, sexual politics, telemarketer, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, zero day

In my own family, the low-wage way of life had never been many degrees of separation away; it was close enough, in any case, to make me treasure the gloriously autonomous, if not always well-paid, writing life. My sister has been through one low-paid job after another—phone company business rep, factory worker, receptionist—constantly struggling against what she calls “the hopelessness of being a wage slave.” My husband and companion of seventeen years was a $4.50-an-hour warehouse worker when I fell in with him, escaping eventually and with huge relief to become an organizer for the Teamsters. My father had been a copper miner; uncles and grandfathers worked in the mines or for the Union Pacific. So to me, sitting at a desk all day was not only a privilege but a duty: something I owed to all those people in my life, living and dead, who'd had so much more to say than anyone ever got to hear.


pages: 255 words: 77,849

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart

banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Donald Trump, ghettoisation, Live Aid, mail merge, period drama, Rubik’s Cube, wage slave

Can’t fathom it myself, but she flies like a swallow, hardly makes a ripple on the pool when she goes in. She says it centres her and gives her perspective. Yes, Miranda’s inspirational. She’s got an incredible work–life balance.”’ Suddenly, just as you’ve given up on ever really having one, it would be good to have a hobby again. You panic. ‘My life is meaningless,’ you think. ‘I’m just a shallow little pizza-eating wage-slave.’ So you begin to cast around for a hobby. You suddenly appear – for a fleeting moment – at a hula-hooping class. You phone the Martial Arts School then hang up in fear as soon as they answer. You start to pay a little more attention to yellowing cards in newsagents’ windows inviting you to join Nigel and Ceri and their group of aspiring vegan cooks for a demonstration at the community centre, Tuesdays at 7.30 p.m.


pages: 224 words: 73,737

Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain's Underclass by Darren McGarvey

basic income, British Empire, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, impulse control, means of production, side project, universal basic income, urban decay, wage slave

Having just fallen into a bin, helped up by my friend, we were now waiting in a close, next to the off-sales, having arrived ten minutes early. We continued drinking and smoking, all the while believing ourselves to be upstanding members of the community. I think I even pissed in the close before we left. While we were all wrapped up in our fantasy of being two nonconformist renegades, valiantly swimming against a stream of wage slaves, we couldn’t see that we were really the walking dead. We had no insight into what we had become. There we were, stood in someone else’s property, having forced the door to gain access, talking loudly, smoking cigarettes and urinating, just to pass the time before getting our next cargo. Had I walked past people doing the exact same thing, my first reaction would be to judge them harshly and assume they were just junkies.


pages: 296 words: 78,227

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch

Albert Einstein, always be closing, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, delayed gratification, fear of failure, income inequality, inventory management, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, profit maximization, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave

Use outside contractors for everything but your core skill 10. Exploit capital leverage Specialize in a very small niche Specialization is one of the great, universal laws of life. This is how life itself evolved, with each species seeking out new ecological niches and developing unique characteristics. A small business that does not specialize will die. An individual who does not specialize will be doomed to life as a wage slave. In the natural world the number of species is unknown, but it is almost certainly an astonishingly large number. The number of niches in the business world is very much larger than generally appreciated; hence many small businesses, apparently in competition in a broad market, can actually all be leaders in their own niches and avoid head-to-head competition.4 For the individual, too, it is better to know a few things well, or preferably one thing exceptionally well, than it is to know many things superficially.


pages: 302 words: 74,350

I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek

Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog

Life was both random death and decades of suffering. Life was a trickle of days that dripped away with no meaning and no purpose. She had been raised to think that her identity was hers and hers alone. But Ashley Nelson had taught Ellen a lesson. A person’s identity wasn’t just about what they wanted or how they lived or the choices they made. Life wasn’t made of self-determination. Life was the Chinese wage slave manacled to a factory line, building iPhones. Life was a $130 cheque in 1938. Life was about trying to salve the wounds inflicted by other people, fixing the damage done by strangers and friends. And thanks to the corporations headquartered in, around and near San Francisco, the capacity for that damage was infinite. chapter thirty Christine was out with her friend Denise. Denise was one of Christine’s bridesmaids.


pages: 279 words: 87,910

How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life by Robert Skidelsky, Edward Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", banking crisis, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Paul Samuelson, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, union organizing, University of East Anglia, Veblen good, wage slave, wealth creators, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Still, our ability to respect a human being presupposes that there is something in him worthy of respect, and this something could, if desired, be called dignity. * Sherman McCoy, the “master of the universe” in Tom Wolfe’s novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, consumes his salary in rents, school fees, etc., with the result that bankruptcy follows within a few weeks of his losing his job. He is in effect a wage-slave, if a rather well-heeled one. * Lord Turner admits this possibility. In his third lecture, he writes that the ends of change and economic freedom “need to be balanced against other potentially desirable objectives.” But he should add that this undermines the utility of growth as an indicator of economic health. * The precise dimensions of the British underclass are perennially hard to establish, but the trebling of incapacity benefit claimants from the late 1970s to 2.7 million in 2006 is telling (Carol Black, Working for a Healthier tomorrow [London: Department for Work and Pensions, 2008], p. 34). 7 Exits from the Rat Race What is the meaning of this never-ending, breathless pursuit of a progress that always eludes one just when one believes one has conquered it sufficiently in order to enjoy it in peace?


pages: 241 words: 83,523

A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria's Oil Frontier by Michael Peel

banking crisis, British Empire, colonial rule, energy security, informal economy, Kickstarter, megacity, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, trade route, UNCLOS, wage slave

The rest were simply ignored by drivers, turning the green men into lethal false friends of the unwary pedestrian. This Lagosian entropy was a great equalizer in an otherwise divided city. The craters on some roads were so large that they would swallow up a Nissan four-by-four and a battered old taxi equally voraciously and without discrimination, like a great whale sifting for krill. On the Third Mainland Bridge, which led to the airport, executives and commuter wage slaves alike would have to be on the lookout for cars driving on the wrong carriageway to avoid night-time traffic jams. Not for nothing did road-safety signs warn in pidgin English that ‘Life no get duplicate’. In the hands of skilful operators, Lagos’s disorder and disorientation can be turned to financial advantage. The stop-start geography of the roads is well suited to the army of street sellers who underpin the city’s dynamic informal economy.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

In 2014 Kevin Kelly, a founding editor of Wired magazine, asked his Twitter followers to compose a “100-word description of a plausible technological future in 100 years” that they or he would want to live in. The responses he published had a certain commonality, envisioning a postscarcity, leisure-rich economy and a society trending toward some form or another of transhumanism. One example: 2030: The last of the unsustainable energy and fiscal policy edifices crumbles just as embedded intelligence emerges. We’ve got the wind in our sails. Billions of people rapidly move from wage slaves to participating in a decentralized, sustainable, opt-in economy which affords them the time to innovate and crowdsource a tsunami of solutions. 2060: Biodiversity blossoms. Consciousness comes under direct control. You can physically live on Mars, Antarctica, New Atlantis, or in the asteroid belt. Many choose life in distributed mind servers and live centuries in a week. 2090: Boredom unthinkable.


pages: 372 words: 96,474

Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) by Pete Jordan

big-box store, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Haight Ashbury, index card, Kickstarter, Mason jar, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, wage slave

His desire to be on TV seemed to outweigh my desire to not be, so I said, “All right.” “You mean that?” he asked. “You promise?” 142 Dishwasher I couldn’t really foresee any further TV invites so it seemed harmless to give him my word. “Sure,” I said. “I promise.” Before I even arrived in Portland, Oregon, I pretty much knew it was a prodishwasher town. After all, I’d traveled there the year before to attend the Dish Fest—a “wage slave rave” at the old X-Ray Café. Dish Mistress Melody hosted a gathering of pearl divers who played music to dish by, competed in dish Olympics and tested their knowledge in a dish-trivia competition (which, for the record, I won by answering the final question correctly: “What is the proper temperature for a rinse cycle?” 180 degrees Fahrenheit, of course). I’d left town after the Dish Fest knowing that Portland was a place I needed to return to work.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, 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, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, 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, Sam Peltzman, 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

Kenneth Kann, “The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker,” Labor History vol. 18 no 1 (1977): 49–70. 30. Pole, Pursuit of Equality, 207; White, Railroaded, 301. 31. Robert E. Weir, “A Fragile Alliance: Henry George and the Knights of Labor,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology vol. 56 no. 4 (October 1997): 421–439, at 430. 32. White, Railroaded, 342, 343; Oestreicher, “A Note on Knights of Labor Membership Statistics,” 106. 33. Helga Kristin Hallgrimsdottir and Cecelia Benoit, “From Wage Slaves to Wage Workers: Cultural Opportunity Structures and the Evolution of the Wage Demands of the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor, 1880–1900,” Social Forces vol. 85 no. 3 (March 2007): 1393–1411. 34. Julie Greene, Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881–1917 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 21–27. 35. See Jefferson Cowie and Nick Salvatore, “The Long Exception: Rethinking the Place of the New Deal in American History,” International Labor and Working-Class History No. 74 (Fall 2008): 3–32, at 6–7. 36.


pages: 326 words: 88,905

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Howard Zinn, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban decay, wage slave, white flight, women in the workforce

At the end of the story the grandfather, Little Thunder, takes the medals and awards of his two grandsons, lays them in a pile on a hillside, lights them on fire, and in his prayer to the Great Spirit says that they “have no meaning to me without my grandsons.” The old conflict between Indians and Euro-Americans, between colonizers and colonized, between masters and serfs, is the template for the last act of the corporate state. The tyranny we imposed on others is now being imposed upon us. We too are wage slaves. We, too, no longer know how to sustain ourselves. We, too, do not grow our own food or make our own clothes. We are as dependent on the state as the Indians who were herded into the agencies and stripped of their self-sufficiency. Once trapped on reservations, once the buffalo herds no longer existed, once Indians could no longer move in bands to gather wild potatoes, wild turnips, berries, medicines, and cottonwood bark for their horses in the middle of winter, once they could no longer hunt in different places to prevent exhausting the game supply, they became what most of us have become—prisoners.


pages: 282 words: 89,266

Content Provider: Selected Short Prose Pieces, 2011–2016 by Stewart Lee

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, David Attenborough, Etonian, James Dyson, Livingstone, I presume, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Socratic dialogue, trickle-down economics, wage slave, young professional

Mick Jones from The Clash was Grant’s cousin, and we’d blast his tapes from the tinny stereo, singing along to the words while debating the sentiment. “How can you like The Clash”, I asked Grant, “when you’re obviously a Tory entrepreneur?” “Easy,” he answered. “A protest group like The Clash? They’re extremely valuable. The disgruntled proles go and see them on a Saturday night, get drunk, jump around, and feel like their grievances have been addressed. Then they’re much happier going back to being wage slaves for the rest of the week.” I laughed. Back then I assumed Grant was joking. “Out you get,” he continued, “and don’t forget to feed the maggots.” One night, as I was topping up a maggot machine in a lay-by near Thetford, an angler arrived to fill a Tupperware box with comatose larvae. While he made small talk he threaded the fattest maggots onto a succession of hooks, spiking them between two black, eye-like markings on one end.


pages: 487 words: 95,085

JPod by Douglas Coupland

Asperger Syndrome, Drosophila, finite state, G4S, game design, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, neurotypical, pez dispenser, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, wage slave, Y2K

Nobody's answering the phones or dressed properly or doing anything productive. If I ruled the world, every day would be a Thursday." "Huh?" "Look at it this way: Mondays suck because you're resentful that you can't sleep in, and it's also the day on which sixty percent of life-sucking meetings occur. Tuesdays suck because the week has four more workdays left; you hate yourself and the world because you're trapped in this wage-slave hamster wheel called life. Wednesdays are bad because you realize around noon that the work week is half over, but the fact that you're viewing your life in this manner means that you're nothing more or less than the third panel of that old, unfunny comic strip Cathy, where she realizes she's a fat lonely spinster and her hair flies out and she makes the augghhhhhh! noise. Fridays are bad because you feel like a rat waiting for a food pellet to come down the chute, the food pellet being the weekend.


pages: 292 words: 99,273

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman

Berlin Wall, Downton Abbey, lateral thinking, Mason jar, telemarketer, wage slave, Wall-E

If memory serves, they would insert it down in the thigh, I suppose utilizing the femoral artery, and snake this catheter up into blocked regions around the actual heart, whereupon the balloon would be inflated, effectively opening up the blockage. How crazy is that shit? And how bizarre for a bunch of barely employed actors to sit around discussing it over the phone with these surgeons who utilized the technology every day. The upshot of that tedious gig was that we fired up a fun competition going amongst a few of us wage slaves. One chap would go into the bathroom, right there at the side of the room, and commit the sin of Onan (beat off), then, upon exiting, he would strike the glass light sconce on the wall next to the bathroom door with the eraser end of his pencil, which would cause it to ring like the bell at a boxing match, signifying a tally of exactly one successfully blown load. We would all keep score, each adding to his/her total at every possible opportunity throughout the day, until at the end of an eight-hour shift, the winner would be feted with beers by the other participants.


Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

British Empire, delayed gratification, European colonialism, lateral thinking, neurotypical, urban sprawl, wage slave

Crake had also located Uncle Pete’s stash of high-grade Vancouver skunkweed, kept in orange-juice cans in the freezer; he’d take out about a quarter of the can, then mix in some of the low-octane carpet sweepings you could buy at the school tuck shop for fifty bucks a baggie. He said Uncle Pete would never know because he never smoked except when he wanted to have sex with Crake’s mother, which – judging from the number of orange-juice cans and the rate at which they were getting used up – wasn’t often. Crake said Uncle Pete got his real kicks at the office, bossing people around, whipping the wage slaves. He used to be a scientist, but now he was a large managerial ultra-cheese at HelthWyzer, on the financial end of things. So they’d roll a few joints and smoke them while watching the executions and the porn – the body parts moving around on the screen in slow motion, an underwater ballet of flesh and blood under stress, hard and soft joining and separating, groans and screams, close-ups of clenched eyes and clenched teeth, spurts of this or that.


pages: 305 words: 101,743

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, big-box store, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Norman Mailer, obamacare, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, rent control, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, wage slave, white picket fence

New York Times Magazine, May 16, 2017. Craig, Scott. “Mast Brothers: What Lies Beneath the Beards.” Dallas Food, 2015. Harris, Malcolm. Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials. Little, Brown, 2017. Konnikova, Maria. The Confidence Game. Penguin, 2017. Lewis, Michael. Liar’s Poker. W.W. Norton, 1989. ———. The Big Short. W.W. Norton, 2010. McClelland, Mac. “I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave.” Mother Jones, March–April 2012. Pressler, Jessica. “Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It.” New York, May 28, 2018. Stone, Brad. The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World. Little, Brown, 2017. We Come from Old Virginia Coronel, Sheila, Steve Coll, and Derek Kravitz. “Rolling Stone’s Investigation: ‘A Failure That Was Avoidable.’ ” Columbia Journalism Review, April 5, 2015.


pages: 375 words: 105,067

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen

American ideology, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, post-work, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stocks for the long run, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise

—they will begin to learn the secrets of Robert Kiyosaki, the creator of the highly popular Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of books, DVDs, board games, and other assorted products designed to teach us a new way of thinking about money and real estate, a way guaranteed to ensure that we will never need to rely on a traditional nine-to-five job again. Robert Kiyosaki is only here via a prepared video, but we have a host, a young southerner named Brent, with an incredibly engaging, sincere, and enthusiastic manner, and impossibly boyish face. He’s telling us there is a way for us to go from wage slave, living paycheck to paycheck, to mega mogul, flying off on our dream vacations on a private jet. Real estate. There are, Brent says, “massive opportunities” in real estate, even in 2011 when prices are bottoming out all over the country. You just need to learn how to convince a bank to sell to you. “Being rich is a mindset,” he tells those assembled. “You tell me you’re broke and you have no credit, you’re lazy, that’s what you are!”


pages: 410 words: 106,931

Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, informal economy, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, Republic of Letters, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

In the 1890s, as the first phase of economic globalization accelerated, xenophobic politicians in France demanded protectionism while targeting foreign workers – angry Frenchmen massacred dozens of Italian immigrant labourers in 1893. White supremacists in the United States had already stigmatized Chinese workers with explicitly racist laws and rhetoric; these were meant, along with segregationist policies against African-Americans, to restore the dignity of a growing number of white ‘wage slaves’. Demagogues in Austria-Hungary, who scapegoated Jews for the mass suffering inflicted by the anonymous forces of global capitalism, sought to copy anti-immigrant legislation introduced in America. The Western scramble for Asia and Africa in the late nineteenth century revealed that the political therapy offered by Cecil Rhodes – ‘he who would avoid civil war must be an imperialist’ – had become increasingly seductive, especially in Germany, which, though successfully industrialized and wealthy, had fostered many angry malcontents and proto-imperialists.


pages: 274 words: 93,758

Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B Resor Professor Of Economics Robert J Shiller

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, desegregation, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equity premium, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, publication bias, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave

The League inspected working conditions, as Kelley had been doing for the state of Illinois, and it awarded its “White Label” to the products that passed its inspections.19 That label further vouched for the safety of the product itself. Buying White Label would thus kill two birds: commitment to civil society and safety for the buyer’s family. In chapter 6, we saw another example of this symbiosis between concerns for workers’ conditions and for product safety. Recall that Upton Sinclair had set out in The Jungle to expose the wage-slave labor of the Chicago meatpacking houses. But the public was especially shocked by the book’s exposé of what was going into their own stomachs. To this day, the “shopping for a better world” movement still underlies one wing of consumer activism. Think our Priusbuying friends; purchasers of free-range meat and poultry; and United Students against Sweat Shops. And in 2015 the National Consumers League is alive and well, continuing Kelley’s vision: currently fighting, among other things, against child labor with nicotine abuse in the tobacco fields of the US South.20 Business Heroes Businessmen of conscience with good products have both moral and economic reasons to out the phishermen.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

Before the revote, large signs were posted threatening that anyone who voted for the ten-hour slate would be fired. And yet the slate won again. Once seated, the legislators were able to pass a ten-hour bill through the state House, but as usually happens with progressive legislation, it was killed in the state Senate. But their writing in the Voice shows that they wanted much more than simply better working conditions. They saw themselves as slaves—wage slaves—and concluded that the solution was not simply to demand that the bosses be nicer to them or pay them more, but to abolish the bosses entirely. The laborer does not yet know what terrible odds he contends with. Concentrated skill in the form of machinery and accumulated labor in the shape of capital, both directed by superior intelligence, are arrayed against him. These powerful forces, which should be on his side, should be his servants, his tools, are crushing them. . . .


pages: 426 words: 105,423

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, fixed income, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

PRAISE FOR The 4-Hour Workweek “It’s about time this book was written. It is a long-overdue manifesto for the mobile lifestyle, and Tim Ferriss is the ideal ambassador. This will be huge.” —JACK CANFIELD, cocreator of Chicken Soup for the Soul®, 100+ million copies sold “Stunning and amazing. From mini-retirements to outsourcing your life, it’s all here. Whether you’re a wage slave or a Fortune 500 CEO, this book will change your life!” —PHIL TOWN, New York Times bestselling author of Rule #1 “The 4-Hour Workweek is a new way of solving a very old problem: just how can we work to live and prevent our lives from being all about work? A world of infinite options awaits those who would read this book and be inspired by it!” —MICHAEL E. GERBER, founder and chairman of E-Myth Worldwide and the world’s #1 small business guru “This is a whole new ball game.


pages: 265 words: 15,515

Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland

business cycle, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, price mechanism, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, slashdot, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wage slave, working poor

Lest we get misled by M arx’s invocation of the “self-positing and selfrealization of exchange-value” once it circulates as capital in such a multi­ cycle system, we should remember the so-called secret of primitive accumu­ lation: that despite appearances and terminology, primitive accumulation is fundamentally about the forcible dispossession of the working poor and their ensuing consignment to the status of wage slaves. In making this point about the relative importance of money and labor to the forma­ tion of capital, in one of the few passages in the early chapters of Capital, volume 1 (chapter 6) that refers explicitly to history, Marx insists that the historical conditions of [capital’s] existence are by no means given with the mere circulation of money and commodities. It can spring into life, only when the owner of means of production and subsistence finds the free worker available, on the market, as seller of his own labor-power.


pages: 369 words: 121,161

Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke

Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, 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 brains were undoubtedly those of the colonial Establishment, yet these men varied greatly from state to state – being Quakers or freethinkers or yeoman farmers in Pennsylvania, Congregational divines in Massachusetts, Anglican lawyers and landowners in Virginia, heathen shippers and merchants in New York, and so on. We should also remember that it was comparatively easier in the eighteenth century for a man of energy and talent, or energy and cunning, to ‘establish’ himself than in the great era of the industrial wage slave. Their purpose was to invent a national government that would still leave the states with the sovereign powers they had grown used to. A laudable aim that proved, as we shall see, to be a practical impossibility. The Revolutionary War did not end quite so summarily as we might gather from the pictures of Lord Cornwallis, the British commander, surrendering his sword at Yorktown on October 19,1781.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

On the day I visited, top bosses, including Hsieh, had posed in a dunk tank, allowing themselves to be dumped in a pool in the parking lot to raise money for charity. There are no corner offices at Zappos. The executives sit in the same rows of cubicles as everyone else; Hsieh and his then CFO, Alfred Lin, had decorated their row of desks with streamers and stuffed animals chosen to evoke a jungle theme. For wage slaves from elsewhere, Zappos exerts a powerful appeal. “I’m moving here. I’m done,” said Greg, the Virginia father, who works as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., and was in Las Vegas for a law conference. “I love that—the CFO just has a desk on the floor.” “Yeah, it’s like that at your firm, isn’t it,” Joanne, his wife, said sarcastically. Hsieh and his team have performed a miracle humanizing what can be one of the most alienating jobs in the service economy.


pages: 385 words: 123,168

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

1960s counterculture, active measures, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, David Graeber, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, full employment, global supply chain, High speed trading, hiring and firing, informal economy, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge worker, moral panic, post-work, precariat, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software as a service, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, unpaid internship, wage slave, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, éminence grise

“Work, Identity and Self: How We Are Formed by the Work We Do.” Journal of Business Ethics 17 (1998): 707–14. ________. My Job, My Self: Work and the Creation of the Modern Individual. London: Routledge, 2012. Gini, Al, and Terry Sullivan. “Work: The Process and the Person.” Journal of Business Ethics 6 (1987): 649–55. Ginsberg, Benjamin. The Fall of the Faculty. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Glenn, Joshua, and Mark Kingwell. The Wage Slave’s Glossary. Windsor, Can.: Biblioasis, 2011. Gorz, Andre. Farewell to the Working Class: An Essay on Post-industrial Socialism. London: Pluto, 1997. ________. Critique of Economic Reason. London: Verso, 2010. Graeber, David. “Manners, Deference, and Private Property.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 39, no. 4 (1997): 694–728. ________. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, 2011. ________.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, Zipcar

.* In America, the advent of the automobile prompted innovators from Henry Ford to Frank Lloyd Wright to declare that liberation lay at the end of a highway. Private automobiles would free people to escape the central city to build their own self-sufficient compounds in a new kind of urban-rural utopia. In Wright’s planned Broadacre City, citizens would drive their own cars to all the means of production, distribution, self-improvement, and recreation that would be within minutes of their miniature homesteads. “Why should not he, the poor wage-slave, go forward, not backward, to his native birthright?” Wright wrote. “Go to the good ground and grow his family in a free city.” Together, technology and dispersal would produce true freedom, democracy, and self-sufficiency. The pursuit of happiness has never delivered anything like Wright’s Broadacre City. Instead, it has led millions of people to detached houses with modest lawns—houses purchased with loans from huge financial institutions—far from employment, in the landscape now commonly known as suburban sprawl.


pages: 400 words: 123,770

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. le Guin

means of production, plutocrats, Plutocrats, wage slave

They sat in the middle seat of the big Government limousine that Pae always had on call, the same one that had brought Shevek from the space port last summer. He now lay as they had dumped him on the back seat. “Was he with your sister all day, Demaere?” “Since noon, apparently.” “Thank God!” “Why are you so worried about his getting into the slums? Any Odonian’s already convinced we’re a lot of oppressed wage slaves, what’s the difference if he sees a bit of corroboration?” “I don’t care what he sees. We don’t want him seen. Have you been reading the birdseed papers? Or the broadsheets that were circulating last week in Old Town, about the ‘Forerunner’? The myth—the one who comes before the millennium—‘a stranger, an outcast, an exile, bearing in empty hands the time to come.’ They quoted that. The rabble are in one of their damned apocalyptic moods.


The Regency Revolution: Jane Austen, Napoleon, Lord Byron and the Making of the Modern World by Robert Morrison

British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, financial independence, full employment, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, New Urbanism, railway mania, stem cell, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, wage slave

The threat of violence did not bother him. He wanted the current system overthrown, and he believed that oppressed Jamaicans, like oppressed Britons, were ready to act. “Before Six Months were over there would be Slaughter in England,” he declared in the autumn of 1819, and he was confident that following the uprising there would be a comprehensive redistribution of property and that both West India slaves and British wage-slaves would soon “hail the Kingdom of Christ . . . and experience the new birth.” In Cobbett, nationalism leads to bigotry. In Wedderburn, it leads to universalism. “The earth was given to the children of men, making no difference for colour or character,” Wedderburn declared in 1817, anticipating the rhetoric of some of the most powerful black leaders of the next two centuries. “I am a West-Indian,” he added, “a lover of liberty, and would dishonour human nature if I did not shew myself a friend to the liberty of others.” 73 X John Barrow was a keen traveler, a powerful figure within the Admiralty as its second secretary, and a hugely prolific contributor to the Tory Quarterly Review.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

Airbnb, Akira Okazaki, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, British Empire, business cycle, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Costa Concordia, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Ferguson, Missouri, fundamental attribution error, Georg Cantor, George Akerlof, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, immigration reform, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Harrison: Longitude, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, land reform, liberation theology, lone genius, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, open economy, out of africa, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, rent control, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spinning jenny, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, very high income, wage slave, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yogi Berra

Let us, a guilty because privileged clerisy, take care of you, you sadly childlike darkies or poor folk or Indonesian shoe-factory workers. If poverty were slavery, there would be identifiable people responsible for such a terrible condition, namely, the slave owners—as there are in the surviving cases of, say, sexual slavery of Southeast Asian and Eastern European girls. Then we could all join in stopping the slavery and making the former wage slaves thirty to one hundred times better off if they were set free in the United States or the Netherlands. But for mutually advantageous wage deals there is no such class of evil slave drivers to be punished and expropriated, at any rate if we care about the welfare of the poor who lose the jobs. Stopping people from taking terrible jobs—through prohibitions or protections or minimums, justified by the warm if mistaken feeling over one’s second cappuccino that one is thereby being generous to the poor (at gratifyingly little expense to oneself)—takes away from the poor what the poor themselves regard as a bettering option.

It is made for example by the political philosopher John Tomasi—that we should in ethics care about not merely the people on the scene in the first act (supposing that the faux policies do benefit them, which is a mistaken supposition) but future generations too.7 Yet of course even in the first act the sweatshops of New York were better than leaving Friedman’s parents to dig for food in the city dump, or to sit back in Russia waiting for the next pogrom. That’s why people lined up to get the sweatshop jobs. The leftish usage and its politics echo down to the present, as in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of 1999, in which “wage slave” is defined coolly as “a person who is wholly dependent on income from employment,” with the notation “informal”—but not “ironic” or “jocular” or, better, “economically illiterate.”8 Thus Judy Pearsall, the editor of the Concise Oxford, who lives, it may be, in a nice semidetached in London NW6 and drives an old Volvo, is a “slave.” You yourself are probably a slave. I certainly am a slave. We are all “slaves”—though all of us are paid in proportion to the traded value of goods and services we produce for others and none of us owes unpaid service to any boss (except, as Higgs and I would observe, to the state through taxation or draft, an actual slavery admired by most of the left and much of the right).


pages: 509 words: 137,315

Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling

back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, industrial robot, Malacca Straits, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, South China Sea, wage slave

This was the first time Sticky had used such a thick patois. “I noticed you sleep up in the castle tower.” Sticky pointed upstairs. “While they sleep down here by the kitchen.” “Oh, you reckon so?” David drawled, stung. “You want those old folks to walk up two flights of stairs, I guess. While we keep the baby down here to wake our guests.” “I see what I see,” Sticky said. “You say, no more wage slaves, equal rights in the big mother Rizome. Everybody votes. No bosses—coordinators. No board—a Central Committee. But your wife still give orders and they still cook and clean.” “Sure,” Laura broke in. “But not for us, Sticky. For you.” “That’s a good one,” Sticky said, riveting his hot eyes on Laura. “You talk a good line after those P.R. courses at the university. Diplomatic, like your mother.”


The Hour of Fate by Susan Berfield

bank run, buy and hold, capital controls, collective bargaining, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, income inequality, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, the market place, transcontinental railway, wage slave, working poor

Encouraged by railroad executives and his own attorney general, Richard Olney, Cleveland declared the strike a federal crime under the Sherman Antitrust and Interstate Commerce Acts. He deployed troops to end it. Simmering violence42 turned into riots and fires and gunshots and at least thirty dead. By August the strikers had been beaten down. Workers who weren’t blacklisted returned to their jobs. The railway union had to disband, and one of its founders, Eugene Debs, went to jail, proclaiming that the union “put forth its efforts43 to rescue Pullman’s famine-cursed wage slaves from the grasp of an employer as heartless as a stone, as remorseless as a savage and as unpitying as an incarnate fiend.” That summer a weary President Cleveland made a symbolic gesture. He established a federal holiday in honor of workers. On Monday, September 3, 1894, the country celebrated the first national Labor Day. Where others saw only turmoil, Morgan also saw opportunity. He had tried cajoling the railroad executives to view the industry as he did.


pages: 510 words: 138,000

The Future Won't Be Long by Jarett Kobek

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban decay, wage slave, War on Poverty, working poor, young professional

He graduated high school in Fairfax, Virginia, then ended up at college in Bloomington-Normal, where he’d studied computer science, graduating with his BS and then heading out for the Bay Area. Everyone was making noise about the prominence of the region, about the development of new technologies, about Steve Jobs and NeXT. He picked up work and learned that he couldn’t stand employment at a normal corporation, that he’d dedicated his life to an intolerable industry. He quit his job with every intention of becoming a retail wage-slave, but then a friend suggested that he apply at LucasArts. They were looking for quality-assurance cogs. A week into this position and Nash Mac realized his passion for the material. He pushed his way up, functioning as an intermediary between the technology people and the designers. Initially, that line had been blurry, as the original designers were the people who created SCUMM, the primary scripting language of the LucasArts adventures.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

But the Industrial Revolution would not have begun in Britain and spread to the rest of West without the simultaneous development of a dynamic consumer society, characterized by an almost infinitely elastic demand for cheap clothes. The magic of industrialization, though it was something contemporary critics generally overlooked, was that the worker was at one and the same time a consumer. The ‘wage slave’ also went shopping; the lowliest proletarian had more than one shirt, and aspired to have more than two. The consumer society is so all-pervasive today that it is easy to assume it has always existed. Yet in reality it is one of the more recent innovations that propelled the West ahead of the Rest. Its most striking characteristic is its seemingly irresistible appeal. Unlike modern medicine, which (as we saw in the previous chapter) was often imposed by force on Western colonies, the consumer society is a killer application the rest of the world has generally yearned to download.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The putters-out were clothiers with a reputation for loan sharking who made a living mostly by supplying raw wool to workers in their cottage homes and paying to collect finished cloth later, minus any interest on loans. The wives and daughters of farmers, and their menfolk in certain seasons, were in effect prepared to add to family income by selling labour as well as produce. Sometimes they found themselves in debt, because they borrowed money from the putters-out to equip themselves. You can see these folk as desperate wage slaves driven off communal land by enclosure acts, the division of common land into private plots that gradually spread across most of England between about 1550 and 1800. But this is misleading. It is more accurate to see the rural textile workers as taking the first step on the ladder of producing and consuming, of specialisation and exchange. They were escaping self-sufficiency into the cash economy.


pages: 570 words: 158,139

Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker

airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise

“I have no idea, honestly, what goes on there”: Author interview with Wolfgang Weinz, June 3, 2011. In the seminal investigation: “Building Towers, Cheating Workers: Exploitation of Migrant Construction Workers in the United Arab Emirates,” Human Rights Watch, November 2006. A British report was even harsher: Nick Meo, “How Dubai, the Playground of Businessmen and Warlords, Is Built by Asian Wage Slaves,” The Independent (London), March 1, 2005. considering the UAE has a per capita income: UAE per capita income was $48,821 in 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund, http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2011/01/weodata/index.aspx. Bangladeshi maid who cut off: Wafa Issa, “Maid Cuts Off Employer’s Penis After Being Sexually Harassed,” The National, April 13, 2011. Tourists have heard the stories: The National staff, “Hotel Encounter Costs Unmarried Couple a Year in Prison,” The National, June 16, 2011.


pages: 482 words: 147,281

A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, butterfly effect, California gold rush, Golden Gate Park, index card, indoor plumbing, lateral thinking, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, place-making, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, supervolcano, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

When James Marshall spotted those flakes of gold late in the afternoon of 24 January 1848,* the population of California was not much more than 18,000 – a five-fold increase from ten years before, to be sure, but an increase that was by no means suggestive of the gold-struck migrant invasion that was about to begin. Come the Gold Rush, however, everything precipitously and dramatically changed. It was by the purest coincidence that just nine days after the find, the territory on which the gold was discovered changed hands, and what had been Mexican became, indubitably and eternally, American. Yet when thousands upon thousands abandoned their roles as wretches and wage-slaves in faraway factories and headed off to California, they found a country that, though technically American, still had no constitution, no settled system of law, no firm notion of statehood or any timetable for it, no reliable system of justice – not even a fixed eastern boundary.* This was America raw and unprepared, and it was about to undergo as profound a change of nature as it is possible to imagine.


pages: 514 words: 153,092

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Frederick Winslow Taylor, invisible hand, jobless men, Mahatma Gandhi, plutocrats, Plutocrats, short selling, Upton Sinclair, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Meanwhile her family turns to questionable behavior—the appropriation of a company-developed glue recipe, and borrowing without asking from the till at work. In the end Alice prevails as the wealthy members of her town, led by her beau, recognize the error of their own ways. The employer of Alice’s father shares the wealth—Huey Long sprang to mind—by making Alice’s father more of a partner and less a wage slave. The Republicans, comprehending at least some of their own failures, were seriously considering as presidential candidate a governor from the middle of the country—Alf Landon of Kansas—to help them reconnect with citizens. But even as they planned, they doubted whether Landon was a match for the incumbent. MEANWHILE, THE ADMINISTRATION CONTINUED to craft the recovery story line. That winter Roy Stryker, Tugwell’s staffer, sent his photographer Dorothea Lange on her first RA assignment, to photograph the before-and-after experiences of families at a federal camp in Marysville, California.


pages: 668 words: 159,523

Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, European colonialism, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, Food sovereignty, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Honoré de Balzac, imperial preference, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Philip Mirowski, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

“The most widely discussed topic today in Europe, and to some extent in Russia, is the ‘system’ of the American engineer, Frederick Taylor . . . [which] Taylor himself has described . . . [as] ‘scientific,’” Lenin wrote in Pravda in 1913. “What is this ‘scientific system’? Its purpose is to squeeze out of the worker three times more labour. . . . They . . . mercilessly drain him of all his strength, and are three times faster in sucking out every drop of the wage slave’s nervous and physical energy. . . . In capitalist society, progress in science and technology means progress in the art of sweating.”49 Revolution, Lenin predicted, would come when capitalism’s opponents took the same aggressive approach—when “a few professionals, as highly trained and experienced as the imperial security police, were allowed to organize it.”50 When the leaders of the Salvadoran Communist Party realized that they would have to fight for power, they wrote to Moscow to ask for money and weapons.51 * * * — PREPARATIONS WERE ALSO under way on the volcano.


The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History by Derek S. Hoff

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, feminist movement, full employment, garden city movement, George Gilder, Gunnar Myrdal, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, New Economic Geography, new economy, old age dependency ratio, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, War on Poverty, white flight, zero-sum game

A few Southerners denied that slavery put pressure on white population growth, but the majority admitted a demographic drag, and, in Malthusian terms, identified social advantages arising from it. According to a classic study of proslavery ideology, “the slaveholder concluded that slavery was the best answer to the gloomy speculation advanced under the Malthusian law.”128 In this vein, the South’s languid demographics and slow pace of life compared favorably to the rapid population growth in northern industrial cities, which pauperized workers and created a permanent class of urban wage slaves. One contributor to the widely read southern journal De Bow’s Review declared, “Great cities are beginning to be plague-centers in the social system.”129 (Editor James De Bow was a prominent Malthusian.) Southern theorists in this camp usually opposed white immigration as well, and, in a further rebuke of free labor doctrine, 36 chapter 1 branded European immigrants “white slaves” who could not be assimilated into American society.130 Although some proslavery voices suggested that the slave system would eventually triumph over free labor because it retarded Malthusian pressure on wages and kept society harmonious, others used Malthusian arguments to predict the eventual demise of slavery!


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

The technologies that were built out so giddily and fast, steam-powered railroads and electric telegraphy, kept our frontier line moving west, allowed more millions of people, new immigrants and descendants of former immigrants, to fashion new lives in new towns and cities closer to the frontier. In less than twenty years, from the early 1840s to 1860, America’s railroads grew from about 3,000 miles to 30,000, and its telegraph lines from 38 miles to 50,000. If an American disliked being a factory worker or any other kind of wage slave, he could light out for the territory ahead of the rest, or at least sustain himself with the fantasy of doing so, to homestead or build the railroad or hunt for gold or silver or for suckers to grift. He or even she could leave an overfamiliar old hometown for some new place to become someone new, with a reworked or fictitious identity. In the early 1900s, for instance, one of my grandfathers escaped his strict Mennonite community in Pennsylvania, where his family had lived for a century after arriving from Germany; moved by himself twelve hundred miles west to Nebraska, where he’d never been and knew nobody; became a lawyer, an occupation for which he hadn’t been educated, and a Unitarian, a religion previously unknown to him; and met a socialist and suffragist, probably his first ever, whom he married just as women won the right to vote.


pages: 571 words: 162,958

Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology by James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel

back-to-the-land, Columbine, dark matter, Extropian, Firefox, gravity well, haute couture, Internet Archive, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, price stability, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, technological singularity, telepresence, the scientific method, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Y2K, zero day

You grew me from a zygote when you were fifty-five.” He shrugged. “I’m too busy for romance now. I just want to learn about bikes.” “You were working with bikes when you lived here with me. You had a real job and a safe home where you could take regular showers.” “Sure, I was working, but I never said I wanted a job, Mom. I said I wanted to learn about bikes. There’s a big difference! I can’t be a loser wage-slave for some lousy bike franchise.” His mother said nothing. “Mom, I’m not asking you for any favors. I don’t need any bosses, or any teachers, or any landlords, or any cops. It’s just me and my bike work down here. I know that people in authority can’t stand it that a twenty-four-year-old man lives an independent life and does exactly what he wants, but I’m being very quiet and discreet about it, so nobody needs to bother about me.”


pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Thorstein Veblen, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

Friedman, adviser to Jack Welch and former director of the Work/Life Integration Program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania “It’s about time this book was written. It is a long-overdue manifesto for the mobile lifestyle, and Tim Ferriss is the ideal ambassador. This will be huge.” —Jack Canfield, cocreator of Chicken Soup for the Soul®, 100+ million copies sold “Stunning and amazing. From mini-retirements to outsourcing your life, it’s all here. Whether you’re a wage slave or a Fortune 500 CEO, this book will change your life!” —Phil Town, New York Times bestselling author of Rule #1 “The 4-Hour Workweek is a new way of solving a very old problem: just how can we work to live and prevent our lives from being all about work? A world of infinite options awaits those who would read this book and be inspired by it!” —Michael E. Gerber, founder and chairman of E-Myth Worldwide and the world’s #1 small business guru “Timothy has packed more lives into his 29 years than Steve Jobs has in his 51.”


pages: 611 words: 186,716

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

British Empire, clean water, dark matter, defense in depth, digital map, edge city, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Mason jar, pattern recognition, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, the scientific method, Turing machine, wage slave

She was dressed in a hand-sewn frock of woven cotton, whose crispness betrayed its recent provenance in a milliner's atelier in Dovetail. If the gathering had included more veterans of that elongated state of low-intensity warfare known as Society, this observation would have been keenly made by those soi-disant sentries who stood upon the battlements, keeping vigil against bounders who would struggle their way up the vast glacis separating wage slaves from Equity Participants. It would have been duly noted and set forth in the oral tradition that Gwendolyn Hackworth, though attractive, hard-waisted, and poised, lacked the confidence to visit Lord Finkle-McGraw's house in anything other than a new dress made for the occasion. The gray light suffusing the drawing room through its high windows was as gentle as mist. As Mrs. Hackworth stood enveloped in that light, sipping beige tea from a cup of translucent bone china, her face let down its guard and betrayed some evidence of her true state of mind.


pages: 618 words: 180,430

The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business climate, Corn Laws, Etonian, garden city movement, illegal immigration, imperial preference, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, New Journalism, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Red Clydeside, rent control, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, V2 rocket, wage slave, women in the workforce

The twenty-year-old Bennie Rothman and five others were arrested, tried at Derby assizes by juries including two brigadier generals, three colonels, two majors, three captains, two aldermen and eleven country gentlemen, and sent to prison. Another man on the trespass was a teenage Salford communist who would later become famous as the folk singer Ewan MacColl: his song ‘The Manchester Rambler’ gives some of the spirit of the time. Its chorus celebrates the ‘wage slave on Monday’ who is a ‘free man on Sunday’ but who is confronted by a furious gamekeeper: He called me a louse and said ‘Think of the grouse’. Well I thought, but I still couldn’t see Why old Kinder Scout and the moors round about Couldn’t take both the poor grouse and me. He said ‘All this land is my master’s’. At that I stood shaking my head, No man has the right to own mountains Any more than the deep ocean bed.


pages: 612 words: 187,431

The Art of UNIX Programming by Eric S. Raymond

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, combinatorial explosion, commoditize, correlation coefficient, David Brooks, Debian, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, finite state, general-purpose programming language, George Santayana, Innovator's Dilemma, job automation, Larry Wall, MVC pattern, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, premature optimization, pre–internet, publish or perish, revision control, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Steven Levy, transaction costs, Turing complete, Valgrind, wage slave, web application

They miss an important point: in general, open-source software is written by people who care about it, need it, use it themselves, and are putting their individual reputations among their peers on the line by publishing it. They also tend to have less of their time consumed by meetings, retroactive design changes, and bureaucratic overhead. They are therefore both more strongly motivated and better positioned to do excellent work than wage slaves toiling Dilbert-like to meet impossible deadlines in the cubicles of proprietary software houses. Furthermore, the open-source user community (those peers) is not shy about nailing bugs, and its standards are high. Authors who put out substandard work experience a lot of social pressure to fix their code or withdraw it, and can get a lot of skilled help fixing it if they choose. As a result, mature open-source packages are generally of high quality and often functionally superior to any proprietary equivalent.


Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima by James Mahaffey

clean water, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Google Earth, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, loose coupling, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, uranium enrichment, wage slave, wikimedia commons

Unfortunately, the modified Hallum-type pumps used in the rebuilt SRE had undersized overflow loops which produced a serious gas-entrapment problem. The Hallum reactor operated only briefly, from 1962 to 1964. The graphite moderator cans were clad in stainless steel, and stress cracking and corrosion caused irreducible problems. By 1969, evidence of the Hallum reactor was erased from the prairie, but the Hallum-type pump remains as a credible means of moving liquid sodium. 145 Walter worked as a “wage slave” at the Ford Motor Company starting in 1927. Henry Ford sent him to Nizhny, Novgorod, Soviet Union to help build a tractor factory, but he became overly interested in the proletarian industrial democracy, and Ford fired him in 1932. After working for a few years at an auto plant in Gorky, Reuther returned to the U.S. and became a very active member of the UAW. On May 26, 1937, at 2:00 P.M., he and Richard Frankensteen were in the middle of a leaflet campaign (“Unionism, Not Fordism”) and they were asked by a news photographer to pose on the pedestrian overpass in front of the Ford sign.


pages: 695 words: 194,693

Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible by William N. Goetzmann

Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, delayed gratification, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invention of the steam engine, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, stochastic process, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, wage slave

But as a matter of fact the capitalist threads, which in thousands of different intercrossings bind these enterprises with private property in the means of production in general, have converted this railway construction into an instrument for oppressing a thousand million people (in the colonies and semicolonies), that is, more than half the population of the globe that inhabits the dependent countries, as well as the wage-slaves of capital in the “civilised” countries. Capitalism has grown into a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the population of the world by a handful of “advanced” countries. And this “booty” is shared between two or three powerful world plunderers armed to the teeth (America, Great Britain, Japan), who are drawing the whole world into their war over the division of their booty.3 The inclusion of Japan in the list of imperialistic powers is significant.


pages: 823 words: 220,581

Debunking Economics - Revised, Expanded and Integrated Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned? by Steve Keen

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, central bank independence, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, collective bargaining, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Henri Poincaré, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market microstructure, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, place-making, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, seigniorage, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, stochastic process, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, total factor productivity, tulip mania, wage slave, zero-sum game

For that choice to be a reality, workers need something else: capital, his own means of production. Some workers are so endowed. Some farmers can be enticed into working as farm laborers if the wage is high enough, and if it’s not, then they can work their own land. Some office workers have the alternative of working for a wage, or operating as independent consultants out of their home offices. Some ‘wage slaves’ can make the transition from employee to employer by an innovative idea, hard work, good luck, skill or good timing – or fraud. But the majority do not have that choice – or rather don’t have it to the degree that they could avoid bankruptcy or starvation by turning to self-employment. For this majority, work is not an option but – in the absence of a very generous social security system – a necessity.


Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Paul Samuelson, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce

For instance, the slave owners argued, “You take better care of a slave if you own it than if you rent it.” Like, you take better care of your car if you own it than if you rent it, so you take better care of your worker if you own it than if you rent it—so slavery’s benevolent and “free market” is morally atrocious. And the slave owners in fact said, “Look, we’re a lot more benevolent than you guys with your capitalist wage-slave system.” And if you look back at the literature by workers who organized into, say, the Knights of Labor and other working-class organizations of the late nineteenth century, you’ll also see a strain running through their position which said: “We fought to end slavery, not to impose it” [i.e. the industrial wage-labor system became dominant after the Civil War]. 43 So the point is, on all sides of debates like these, people understand that they have to appeal to the same basic moral principles, even if what they’re doing is totally venal.


pages: 756 words: 228,797

Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American ideology, anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, greed is good, laissez-faire capitalism, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, New Journalism, open borders, price stability, profit motive, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, wage slave, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, young professional

On this trip or another, she smoked so heavily that the curmudgeonly old architect reportedly grabbed her cigarette, threw it in the fireplace, and ordered her to leave the lodge; afterward, he imposed a permanent smoking ban at Taliesin. When later asked if he was the model for Howard Roark, he answered, “I deny the paternity and refuse to marry the mother.” Rand’s self-confidence as a writer was at a peak. From her office in Paramount’s Art Deco—style studio lot in Hollywood, Hal Wallis became her affectionately nicknamed “Boss” and she his jocular “loyal wage-slave.” She worked for him uncomplainingly on a series of B movies that the Oscar-nominated director now, for some reason, chose to produce in the company that bore his name. During her first work term, extending from summer 1944 until late spring 1945, she wrote three screenplays. The best known is Love Letters, adapted from a novel by British writer Christopher Massie. Rand’s lifelong fondness for Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac came in handy here; the plot features an American soldier who writes a second soldier’s love letters and eventually marries the woman to whom they are addressed (although she is an amnesiac and possibly a murderess).


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all,” Marx and Engels concluded, “are its own gravediggers … Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!” Marx and Engels believed that capitalists had brought this on themselves by fencing off the countryside and driving the dispossessed into cities to be wage slaves, but they had the facts wrong. Rich landlords did not drive country folk off the land; sex did. The nineteenth century’s intensive agriculture actually needed more field hands, not fewer, and the real reason people exchanged farms for cities was reproduction. Life expectancy increased by about three years between 1750 and 1850, and although historians cannot agree why this happened (Fewer outbreaks of plague?


pages: 870 words: 259,362

Austerity Britain: 1945-51 by David Kynaston

Alistair Cooke, anti-communist, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, continuous integration, deindustrialization, deskilling, Etonian, full employment, garden city movement, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labour mobility, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, occupational segregation, price mechanism, rent control, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional

‘By the 1950s some of the major skilled crafts, like hand tin-hammering and wooden joinery body building, had effectively vanished,’ he writes. ‘Even in the most conservative firms, moving assembly lines were now the normal practice.’ It was, in short, a deskilled world of what one former car worker described as ‘very monotonous, terribly monotonous, repetitive work’. Or, in the words of another, ‘It was just pure drudgery. You became a wage slave, nothing else – the only thing you could see at the end of the week was your wages and that was it.’ Nevertheless, Thompson contends that this potentially dispiriting, deskilled reality co-existed in Coventry – above all at Standard – with a culture that owed much to earlier craft traditions. ‘The essential aim,’ he argues, ‘was to recapture traditional craft discretion in planning work’ – an objective made possible only through the post-war strength of the gang system, whereby ‘for more than twenty years’ there was ‘re-created in the context of mass production something of the old spirit of pride and mastery in skilled work, fused with a particular group solidarity’.


pages: 964 words: 296,182

Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones

anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fixed income, invention of the sewing machine, joint-stock company, land reform, land tenure, means of production, New Journalism, New Urbanism, night-watchman state, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, unemployed young men, wage slave

They represent the party of the self-conscious Bourgeoisie, of industrial capital striving to make available its social power as a political power as well, and to eradicate the last arrogant remnants of feudal society … By Free Trade they mean the unfettered movement of capital, freed from all national or religious shackles.140 The ‘unparalleled growth’ of commerce and manufacture in the following few years appeared to reinforce this conclusion. In relation to Britain’s social development, Karl felt able to reiterate, almost word for word, his description of the development of modern industry in the Communist Manifesto: In no other country have the intermediate stations between the millionaire commanding whole industrial armies and the wages slave living only from hand to mouth so gradually been swept away from the soil. There exist here no longer, as in continental countries, large classes of peasants and artisans almost equally dependent on their own property and their own labour. A complete divorce of property from labour has been effected in Great Britain. In no other country, therefore, the war between the two classes that constitute modern society has assumed so colossal dimensions and features so distinct and palpable.141 In contrast to past revolutions, Karl was pleased to claim that: ‘The so-called revolutions of 1848 were but poor incidents … Steam, electricity, and the self-acting mule were revolutionists of a rather more dangerous character than even Barbès, Raspail and Blanqui.’142 Karl was also keen to demonstrate that the impersonal brutality of laissez-faire Britain was as visible in the countryside as in the towns.


Hawaii by Jeff Campbell

airport security, big-box store, California gold rush, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, commoditize, creative destruction, Drosophila, G4S, haute couture, land reform, lateral thinking, low-wage service sector, Maui Hawaii, polynesian navigation, risk/return, sustainable-tourism, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence

Aku Bone Lounge (Map; 589-2020; 1201 Kona St; 5pm-2am) This down-home dive bar with a tasty pupu menu and a rubbah-slippah (rubber flip-flops) crowd believes in ‘keeping Old Hawaii alive, one beer at a time.’ Weekends are for karaoke, sung by patrons from the comfort of their own tables. Live Hawaiian music takes over on weeknights. Smith’s Union Bar (Map; 538-9145; 19 N Hotel St; 6pm-midnight) You have to be a dive-bar aficionado to appreciate Smith’s Union, which first opened in 1935 when this section of Chinatown was a red-light district and playground for merchant seamen. For wage-slave hipsters, it’s a cheap front-loading hangout before hitting the clubs. Live Music If it is traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music you want, look no further than Waikiki (Click here). But if it’s jazz, alt-rock and punk sounds you’re after, then venture outside the tourist zone in Honolulu’s other neighborhoods. Chai’s Island Bistro (Map; 585-0011; Aloha Tower Marketplace, 1 Aloha Tower Dr; 11am-10pm Tue-Fri, 4-10pm Sat-Mon) When the sun sets over Honolulu Harbor, you’ll find some of Hawaii’s top contemporary musicians performing here, including the Brothers Cazimero and Jerry Santos.


The Transformation Of Ireland 1900-2000 by Diarmaid Ferriter

anti-communist, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, collective bargaining, deliberate practice, edge city, falling living standards, financial independence, ghettoisation, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, immigration reform, income per capita, land reform, manufacturing employment, moral panic, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, postnationalism / post nation state, sensible shoes, the market place, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, women in the workforce

It was also composed of educated women who wrote copiously.178 Almost 700,000 Irish women emigrated from Ireland between 1885 and 1920, 82,000 more than males; while between 1906 and 1914 only one tenth of those leaving were married.179 For those not in the home, secure employment was scarce. Larkin had noted that poverty had made prostitution a fixture of city life, particularly on one side of O’Connell Street, owing to the fact that ‘girl wage slaves’ were driven to it; indeed, venereal disease became such an issue in the city that a special hospital for its treatment was built.180 For those intent on increasing the economic, political and social rights of women there was an abundance of obstacles, but it would be inaccurate to view politicised women as a homogeneous mass, as their politics frequently differed according to class. A Dublin Women’s Suffrage Association formed in 1896 had fallen into genteel decline (only 43 members in 1908), and it was not until the formation of the Irish Women’s Franchise League in 1908 by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Cousins that a more vigorous approach was contemplated.


pages: 1,327 words: 360,897

Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, anti-globalists, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Graeber, different worldview, do-ocracy, feminist movement, garden city movement, hive mind, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liberation theology, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Naomi Klein, open borders, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the market place, union organizing, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

But while he believed that wars of liberation and revolution are necessary, he could see no element of emancipation in the First World War.16 In a letter to Freedom in December 1914, he reminded Kropotkin that ‘anti-militarism is the doctrine which affirms that military service is an abominable and murderous trade, and that a man ought never to consent to take up arms at the command of the masters, and never fight except for the Social Revolution.’ Attacking ‘Pro-government Anarchists’ like Kropotkin, Jean Grave, Elisée Reclus and Charles Malato who supported the Allies in the war, he further declared that there was only one remedy: More than ever we must avoid compromise; deepen the chasm between capitalists and wage-slaves, between rulers and ruled; preach expropriation of private property and the destruction of States. Such is the only means of guaranteeing fraternity between the peoples and Justice and Liberty for all; and we must prepare to accomplish these things.17 When he returned to Italy in 1919 he started up the first anarchist daily Umanità Nova in Milan. It survived for two years and reached a circulation of fifty thousand copies.


Lonely Planet Mexico by John Noble, Kate Armstrong, Greg Benchwick, Nate Cavalieri, Gregor Clark, John Hecht, Beth Kohn, Emily Matchar, Freda Moon, Ellee Thalheimer

AltaVista, Bartolomé de las Casas, Burning Man, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, New Urbanism, off grid, place-making, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, sustainable-tourism, trade route, traffic fines, urban sprawl, wage slave

Return to beginning of chapter GUANAJUATO STATE * * * The rocky highland state of Guanajuato (population 4.9 million) is full of riches of every kind. In colonial times, mineral resources attracted Spanish prospectors to mine for silver, gold, iron, lead, zinc and tin. For two centuries the state produced enormous wealth, extracting up to 40% of the world’s silver. Silver barons in Guanajuato city enjoyed opulent lives at the expense of indigenous people who worked the mines, first as slave labor and then as wage slaves. Eventually, resenting the dominance of Spanish-born colonists, the well-heeled criollo class of the Guanajuato and Querétaro states contributed to plans for rebellion (see the boxed text,). These days, the state’s treasures are the quaint colonial towns of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. The industrial town of León is important economically as a center of leather production. Visitors to this region can enjoy its precious legacies: stunning colonial architecture, established cultural scenes and a stream of never-ending festivals…not to mention friendly, proud locals and a lively university atmosphere.


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

BLUE HILL INN: Tel 800-826-7415 or 207-374-2844; www.bluehillinn.com. Cost: rooms from $155. When: main house May–Oct. BEST TIMES: summer weekends for Kneisel concert series; 4th of July weekend for the Blue Hill Pops Festival, featuring everything from choral music to klezmer and Dixieland jazz. Pursuit of Romance and Adventure WOODEN BOAT SCHOOL Brooklin, Maine It’s a fantasy shared by wage slaves and cubicle inmates all over the world: to build one’s own boat and sail away to romance and adventure. Maine’s WoodenBoat School doesn’t promise romance and adventure, but it can sure get you started on boatbuilding. Founded in 1981 by the publishers of WoodenBoat magazine and situated on a gorgeous 64-acre coastal estate, the school offers expert instruction in boat design and construction, repair, seamanship, and woodworking.