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Thread: Entitlement

  1. #31
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    Re: Entitlement

    Yes, America Is Rigged Against Workers
    By Steven Greenhouse, NY Times

    No other industrial country treats its working class so badly. And there's one big reason for that.

    Aug. 3, 2019 -- The United States is the only advanced industrial nation that doesn't have national laws guaranteeing paid maternity leave. It is also the only advanced economy that doesn't guarantee workers any vacation, paid or unpaid, and the only highly developed country (other than South Korea) that doesn't guarantee paid sick days. In contrast, the European Union's 28 nations guarantee workers at least four weeks' paid vacation.

    Among the three dozen industrial countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States has the lowest minimum wage as a percentage of the median wage - just 34 percent of the typical wage, compared with 62 percent in France and 54 percent in Britain. It also has the second-highest percentage of low-wage workers among that group, exceeded only by Latvia.

    All this means the United States suffers from what I call "anti-worker exceptionalism."

    Academics debate why American workers are in many ways worse off than their counterparts elsewhere, but there is overriding agreement on one reason: Labor unions are weaker in the United States than in other industrial nations. Just one in 16 private-sector American workers is in a union, largely because corporations are so adept and aggressive at beating back unionization. In no other industrial nation do corporations fight so hard to keep out unions.

    The consequences are enormous, not only for wages and income inequality, but also for our politics and policymaking and for the many Americans who are mistreated at work.

    Read more: https://www.nytimes.com//opinion/sunday/labor-unions.html

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    Re: Entitlement

    'White-Collar Quarantine' Over Virus Spotlights Class Divide -- NYTimes
    March 27, 2020

    ...In some respects, the pandemic is an equalizer: It can afflict princes and paupers alike, and no one who hopes to stay healthy is exempt from the strictures of social distancing. But the American response to the virus is laying bare class divides that are often camouflaged — in access to health care, child care, education, living space, even internet bandwidth...

    Across the country, there is a creeping consciousness that despite talk of national unity, not everyone is equal in times of emergency.

    “This is a white-collar quarantine,” said Howard Barbanel, a Miami-based entrepreneur who owns a wine company. “Average working people are bagging and delivering goods, driving trucks, working for local government.”

    ...A kind of pandemic caste system is rapidly developing: the rich holed up in vacation properties; the middle class marooned at home with restless children; the working class on the front lines of the economy, stretched to the limit by the demands of work and parenting, if there is even work to be had...

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    Re: Entitlement

    As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread -- NYTimes
    March 15, 2020

    “Pre-existing social vulnerabilities only get worse following a disaster, and this is such a perfect example of that.”

    ...Health organizations have said that people over 70 are at drastically greater risk of dying from the coronavirus.

    But the research on chronic health conditions suggests that the threshold may be as low as age 55 for people of lower socioeconomic status...

    When inequality is high, the cost of living tends to rise, forcing more lower-income families to live paycheck to paycheck. At the same time, the decline of labor unions and the rise of part-time work means that low-income workers have fewer protections.

    As a result, crises like coronavirus can deepen the gap between the haves and have-nots...

    When a health crisis hits entire segments of society, it can set off a cycle in which declining economic status leads to rising rates of chronic illness. That, in turn, further depresses productivity and raises health care costs, leading to more poverty, which leads to more disease.

    According to a 2010 study by a British biological sciences journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, whole communities can become caught in a “disease-driven poverty trap” in which “the combined causal effects of health on poverty and poverty on health implies a positive feedback system.”

    ...Research conducted during an influenza outbreak in New Haven, Conn., found that the rate of infection nearly doubled in census areas where a high proportion of residents live below the poverty line.

    Because diseases do not respect the barriers that separate rich from poor, health inequality is a problem for everyone. A study from Delhi, India, one of the world’s most economically polarized cities, found that its slums served as citywide accelerants for an influenza outbreak.

    “Public health isn’t just about your own personal health, it’s about the health of the public at large,” Dr. Errett said. “If there’s one person who can’t get treatment, that person is posing a risk to everyone.”

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