Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

5 responses to “Providence Poised for Annual May Day Holiday”

  1. Jake Paris

    An 8-hour workday… what a novel idea. Anyone here still have one of those, or is it “night and weekend work may be required”?

    “The May Day celebration in Providence will highlight several key issues facing workers today: the ongoing foreclosure crisis plaguing not only Rhode Island, but the nation as a whole; the dismantling of our education system through closings of community schools and firing dedicated teachers; the constant harassment and criminalization of immigrants; the systematic attack on organized labor by corporations; and the senseless cuts to social programs due to harsh austerity measures locally and globally.”

    Not one of those things even mentions that nearly all employees in the U.S. are being forced to work longer hours for less pay. This broken-down separation between teachers, immigrants, organized labor, social security — this distracts from the assault on the entirety of the working class, both relatively well-off and completely poor. Not to say these issues aren’t all important in their own right, but they obfuscate the truly sick nature of a nation that is now ranked #1 by the OECD in per capita >40 hour work weeks… more than Korea, more than Japan.

    We don’t have time to organize anymore because by the time some of us get home from work, it’s 8pm and we haven’t eaten yet. Others just end up bringing their work to the dinner table. Meanwhile we still face staggering unemployment numbers. Anyone else see a correlation there? One employee busting their back to the point of exhaustion is less expensive than two happy reasonably-worked employees.

    Salaried jobs used to be a sought-after thing, but now they’ve been abused and even many non-labor progressive thinkers have praised the rise of the 1099 economy as a form of freedom. And yet, when I think about May Day, my own limited employment, or for that matter the relative job security my grandparents and parents had, somehow I don’t see it that way.

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    1. RightToWork

      The question isn’t which way is best. The question is whether the “Blue Social Model” you describe was ever actually sustainable in the first place. A generation after the New Deal and it was already collapsing in upon itself. Meade makes (what I consider) a convincing argument that it was all doomed from the get-go:

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      1. turbo

        “The question isn’t which way is best. ”

        Yes, it is.

         “New Deal and it was already collapsing”

        The New Deal was under assault from the start. It’s nonsense to suggest that anything under attack collapses on its own.

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    2. PinkHatLib

      Well, why do you work eight hours or more?  
      Two of us could have jobs if you’d only work four.  
      Hallelujah, I’m a bum! Hallelujah, bum again!  
      Hallelujah, give us a handout to revive us again.

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    3. turbo

      “nearly all employees in the U.S. are being forced to work longer hours for less pay”

      No. They are not being forced. They are choosing not to force their employers to pay them more, and they are choosing not to use their government to direct their society toward ends favorable to them.

      “We don’t have time to organize anymore because by the time some of us get home from work, it’s 8pm and we haven’t eaten yet.”

      Boo hoo. Your forebears who won you the eight-hour workday and weekends and safety standards and all the rest worked harder and longer than you and they ate less. 

      America is an insanely wealthy country insanely devoted to its own martyrdom. There is no reason whatsoever for Americans to work as much as they do, especially considering the gains in productivity made over the last sixty years. But Americans want to martyr themselves. Thus, they give all of the wealth made from their gains in productivity and their long working hours to those among them who don’t have to work at all.

      There is no problem. There is no crisis. There is simply a nation of people nailing themselves to a cross and whining about it. 

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