NOW with bill moyers had an interesting segment on the working class in america.<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>In his book, WORKING CLASS MAJORITY, AMERICA'S BEST KEPT SECRET, Michael Zweig puts forward a new definition of what makes a person a member of the working class. It's not just a matter of income, maintains Zweig, but a matter of power. Says Zweig:<br>[color:"blue"]The working class for me are people who are working and without a great deal of authority over the pace and the content of the work. The people who are working as cashiers, as truck drivers, white collar, blue collar. For me, class is a question of power more than it is a question of income and life style. Though of course, income and life style figure into the discussion. But I think at the heart of the matter is power.</font><br>In Zweig's formulation the middle class is much smaller than Americans traditionally believe — even doctors and professors might be losing control of their work day to HMOs and university administrations. And jobs may not always be in the same class. Zweig cites the example of the truck driver who owns his own rig as a member of the middle class; a truck driver who works for a shipping company is working class. Using the Department of Labor's own job categories, Zweig has analyzed the American workforce. He finds that due to the little control most workers exert over the power structures they encounter, over 60 percent of Americans are working class — a majority. <p><hr></blockquote><p>and they go on to discuss unions and how the membership in unions is falling off each year:<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p> Unions used to be a way of life in the United States and for many, a marker of membership in the working class. The battles waged by early trade and industrial unions were essential in creating many of the "givens" of the modern workplace — the minimum wage, the 40-hour week, safety rules, workman's compensation insurance and other benefits. (See NOW's Glossary of Labor Terms.) According to the Economic Policy Institute, unionized workers on average earn 11.5 percent more than non-unionized workers, and realize even greater advantages in benefit packages.<br><br>There's little doubt that union membership is falling. The number of persons belonging to a union fell by 369,000 over the course of 2003 to 15.8 million. In 2002 the number of persons belonging to a union fell by 280,000. The union membership rate has steadily declined from a high of 20.1 percent of the wage and salary workforce in 1983 to 12.9 percent in 2003. As the figures below illustrate, whether or not there is a union in your life depends very much on where you live and what you do for work. Today less than one in 10 workers in private-sector industries is a member of a union. Many of today's low-wage industries, like childcare and eldercare, sales workers, and hospitality workers are notoriously hard to organize.<p><hr></blockquote><p>where is the voice of the working people? kerry speaks for the middle class, though many people who think they are in the middle class are probably really in the working class and don't know that they aren't being represented. dubya is the voice of the upper class and business class. who speaks for the working class? <br><br>the business community turns arguments around that are pro workers. for example, when wages are cut, the argument becomes, "but, this is the best way to keep costs down for consumers." when jobs go overseas, we hear that this outsourcing is going to help keep consumer costs down. okay, fine. are we just resigned to being a business/consumer society where the workers voice is drowned out and where the working class is not going to be represented in the two party system? these individuals don't have money to back a presidential candidate, so why would a candidate pander to them? are we just resolved to forget them? oh no, they're not forgotten. while they are forgotten when it comes to their economy and their wallets, we do remember them when we give them a wedge issue to vote on (e.g., gay marriage, God, guns, abortion).<br><br><br>--<br>one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -Plato
we're all the consumer class together. and, business is here to serve. thank you big business. <br><br><br>--<br>one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -Plato
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