You say "precarious" like it's a bad thing

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Half of GTA and Hamilton workers in 'precarious' jobs

Barely half of working adults in the GTA and Hamilton have full-time jobs with benefits and expect to be working for their current employer a year from now, according to a groundbreaking report on precarious work and household well-being.

The other half are working either full- or part-time with no benefits or no job security, or in temporary, contract or casual positions, says the report by McMaster University and United Way Toronto being released Saturday.

It notes that 'precarious' or insecure work in the region has increased by 50 per cent in the past 20 years and is impacting everything from people's decision to form relationships, have children and volunteer in their community.

Based on the reactions from some quoted in the story, as well as from those who are passing the link around on the 'net, this news is being greeted with grave concern — as if something's wrong. But isn't this what we've been working towards for the last two or three decades?

Governments over the past thirty years or so have increasingly catered to the corporate agenda while organized labour has been steadily undermined. Politicians have practically hurt themselves in the rush to sign on to so-called trade agreements that curtail their own ability to affect the economy in favour of giving more control to the private sector. They've either looked on benignly or actively smoothed the way for employers who want to rely less on full time employees and turn as many jobs as possible into temporary, contract positions with no benefits.

Wasn't the state of affairs described in this article the point? People who feel their economic position is precarious will settle for lower wages, fewer benefits and more abuse. Their employers can look forward to bigger profits on which, thanks to those same co-operative governments, they'll pay lower taxes.

And based on the way so many politicians have embraced the latest phase of neoliberalism — the Austerity Agenda — this is exactly what was supposed to happen. Now they can really go to work on public sector employees too. Those offshore tax havens won't fill up with huge piles of money all by themselves, you know.

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3 Comments

Great piece pogge. You may be interested to know the Nation discusses how the economy and jobs has bottomed out for everyone, with the bar lowered to 'emotional/warm' jobs traditionally held by women.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/173034/were-all-women-workers-now-how-floor-economy-has-dropped-everyone#

There seems to be 2 economies, one for the rich and one for the rest of us. Not enough on how income inequality actually causes social problems/financial crises, instead we get 'smoke n mirrors' as if we don't get government policies benefit the rich.

Exactly, pogge. Isn't this actually just the arrival of the longed-for "flexible work force"? Maybe if people weren't going to like that shit once it arrived, they could have been bothered to figure out what it was before they signed on. Instead it was just "Well, if the suits say it'll generate economic growth I'm sure that will be just tickety-boo; being flexible sounds like a good thing, right?"

The rich get richer and the poor get children. 'Twas ever thus.

I am still waiting for the opposition - the sixty to seventy percent of the electorate! - to bear down on their respective parties of choice and DEMAND that they cooperate just this once to oust the neanderthals, the troglogdytes, and bring in some sort of system of proportional representation.

Faint hope, it seems. We are stuck with this "First-Past-The-Post" system, and an electorate that thinks that choosing a colour - red, blue, or orange - is the answer.

And as long as Orange and Red think that THEY will wear Purple, it looks like we are stuck with Blue.

Meantime, let's all gather on the deck and sing "Nearer My God To Thee".

Yeah, I know.

Negative.

No apology. Call me old-fashioned, I don't f***ng like it.

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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on February 23, 2013 5:14 PM.

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