"Business owners around the country are offering up a lament: 'no one wants to work.' A McDonalds franchise said they had to close because no one wants to work; North Carolina congressman David Rouzer claimed that a too-generous welfare state has turned us all lazy as he circulated photos of a shuttered fast-food restaurant supposedly closed 'due to NO STAFF.'
Most of these complaints seem to be coming from franchised restaurants. Why? Well, it’s not complicated. Service workers didn’t decide one day to stop working — rather huge numbers of them cannot work anymore. Because they’ve died of coronavirus.
A recent study from the University of California–San Francisco looks at increased morbidity rates due to COVID, stratified by profession, from the height of the pandemic last year. They find that food and agricultural workers morbidity rates increased by the widest margins by far, much more so than medical professionals or other occupations generally considered to be on the 'front lines' of the pandemic. Within the food industry, the morbidity rates of line cooks increased by 60 percent, making it the deadliest profession in America under coronavirus pandemic.
Line cooks are especially at risk because of notoriously bad ventilation systems in restaurant kitchens and preparation areas. Anyone who has ever worked a back-of-the-house job knows that it’s hot, smelly, and crowded back there, all of which indicate poor indoor air quality. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency recommended increasing indoor ventilation to fight the virus, but such upgrades are costly and time consuming. There is no data available on how many restaurants chose not to upgrade their ventilation systems, but given how miserly franchise owners are with everything else, one could guess that many, if not most, made no upgrades at all.
Ventilation issues are deadliest for line cooks and other back-of-house jobs, but there are other reasons why food workers’ morbidity rates shot up. Food workers are much more likely to be poor and/or a racial or national minority, and poor people and black and Latino workers are much more likely to die of complications from the coronavirus.
Restaurants are often intentionally short staffed, making it difficult to take time off, so sick workers likely still came to work (and infected others in the process). Bars and restaurants are COVID-19 hotspots, and service workers and customers alike get sick after prolonged restaurant exposure. The difference is that many of those customers have health insurance and other safeguards to prevent them from dying of the illness; 69 percent of restaurants, on the other hand, offer their employees no health benefits at all.
When coronavirus is spread at restaurants, and restaurant workers make little money and rarely earn health benefits, it’s no wonder morbidity rates are so much higher for food service workers. But rather than collectively grieve the deaths of tens of thousands of the people who serve us and keep us fed, and keep such tragedies in mind when considering the state of the food-service industry labor market today, business owners and their political lackeys call these workers 'lazy.'
There are, of course, also living, breathing people who have decided they do not want to risk their lives for $7.25 per hour and no health benefits. That is a perfectly rational decision for the homo economicus to make. Given how dangerous restaurant work is during a viral pandemic, if restaurant owners really wanted more workers, they would offer living wages, health benefits, and adequate personal protective equipment. But all the wage increases in the world won’t bring back the dead.
There aren’t enough people working in the service industry, and service bosses have somehow turned that into our problem, into something we ought to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t fall for it. Profits accumulate because of labor — without workers to exploit, the owning class can’t get richer. Capitalists cannot exploit the labor of the dead, so when large swathes of the working class die, they turn their ire on the living.
This is a barbaric response to mass tragedy. Workers across the country and the globe are dead or grieving. We shouldn’t risk further tragedies for a paltry minimum wage."
- Sandy Barnard, "Service Workers Aren’t Lazy — They Just Don’t Want to Risk Dying for Minimum Wage." Jacobin, 5 May 2021.
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"Why do you support communism if you wear nice clothes, eat delicious foods, have an iphone, watch youtube, and partake in the capitalist system?"
Such reactionary arguments do not compare to the preciseness of dialectical materialism.
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The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits ever since 1994. You would never learn that from most of the media. Similarly if you look at those blacks that have gone on to college or finished college, the incarceration rate is some tiny fraction of what it is among those blacks who have dropped out of high school. So it’s not being black; it’s a way of life. Unfortunately, the way of life is being celebrated not only in rap music, but among the intelligentsia, is a way of life that leads to a lot of very big problems for most people.
- Thomas Sowell
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Exercising your constitutional rights is never a “loophole.”
Attempting to restrict my rights is never “common sense.”
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Punks in the 1980s-1990s: "NO goverment! Stop the police state! Stop the war on drugs! No more surveillance!"
Punks now: "We need government control over healthcare, school, rent, and property! Put more funding towards the military and raise taxes! Expand the war on drugs and our prison system!"
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Here, for the normal human beings among our readers, who may be unacquainted with the bizarre libertarian worldview, it is worth explaining that right-wing libertarians generally treat “agreeing” to do something as synonymous with “choosing,” “wanting,” and “preferring” to do something. If you agreed to sell one of your organs to a black market organ-grinder in order to pay your child’s medical bills, it means you “wanted” to do so. There is no compulsion under capitalism, meaning that even if the only job available involves allowing Jeff Bezos to perform disfiguring medical experiments on you, you are simply a voluntary participant in a mutually beneficial transaction.
Nathan J. Robinson and Rob Larson, Big Business and its Bottomless Bootlickers
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Intros to Anarchism
TLooking at the news it seems a lot of liberal media and political science teachers have been calling the pro Trump thugs who ran around capitol hill yesterday “anarchists” as an attempt to discredit both them and us.
Here’s a list of introductions to anarchism you can share with anyone confused about anarchism or to drawn out active bad faith types.
ABCs of Anarchist-Communism
Anarchism a Very Short introduction (by Colin Ward)
The Conquest of Bread
The History of Anarchism in 8 minutes
THE SIMPSONS EXPLAIN ANARCHISM Statism and Anarchy by Mikhail Bakunin
Anarcho Syndicalist Principles (24min)
No Gods no Masters part 1
No Gods no Masters part 2
No Gods no Masters part 3
Are you an Anarchist?
The Conquest of Bread
Post Scarcity Anarchism
Anarchism and Other Essays
Socialism from Below a history of Anarchism
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“Nothing can stop a good idea. Libertarian communism”
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I think government childcare is extra bad because they can just get away with it.
Children can't fight back, they have to deal with what they get. To a much lesser extent- kids can only give feedback that demands more work to deal with.
This seems kind of obvious, but the more you think of it, the more despicable it is.
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This book presents the kind of eye-opening insights into the history and culture of race for which Sowell has become famous. As late as the 1940s and 1950s, he argues, poor Southern rednecks were regarded by Northern employers and law enforcement officials as lazy, lawless, and sexually immoral. This pattern was repeated by blacks with whom they shared a subculture in the South. Over the last half century poor whites and most blacks have moved up in class and affluence, but the ghetto remains filled with black rednecks. Their attempt to escape, Sowell shows, is hampered by their white liberal friends who turn dysfunctional black redneck culture into a sacrosanct symbol of racial identity.
Thomas Sowell - Black Rednecks and White Liberals
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I should really stop being surprised when libertarians say the dumbest shit imaginable. The whole ideology is basically "keep the bathwater, throw out the baby" writ large, so it's not that strange that it exclusively attracts midwits and troglodytes.
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Workers of the world rise up! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
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Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution.
Karl Marx, Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
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