Sarah Jaffe has a super essay about labor in the new issue of Jacobin. It’s very readable and gripping and it tells a story. You will like it and understand it (I liked it and understood it). You will learn something (I learned something).
Covered: juxtaposition of the fight for the 40-hour work week in 1800s/early 1900s and the fight for more hours now; women’s work vs men’s work; the difficulty care workers (nurses, home aids) face in organizing; striking as “freedom from work.”
In Chicago, 500 fast food workers from a dozen chains are striking today to protest low wages. (“Like their New York counterparts, the Chicago workers are demanding raises to $15 an hour, and the chance to form a union without intimidation.”)
And around the country, workers in 100 Walmart stores are confronting management today to demand changes to the company’s scheduling system. (“Workers have charged that insufficient and erratic work schedules consign them to poverty, wreak havoc on their personal lives and shortchange customer service.”)
• A necklace from Etsy with her birthstone as a charm and my first initial as a charm so we would always be together. I thought that was cute. But it was very short, like a choker, so she doesn’t wear it because shes not in The fucking Craft.
• One million items of clothing and accessories that I thought would be relevant to her, but ended up being too small, too big, wrong color and promptly returned, with the refund returned to me, because she hates when I spend money on her.
• $30 gift card to LOFT (she loves LOFT)
Economists are discussing how to improve the profession of macroeconomics
I read through and carefully considered everyone’s advice about what bed to buy … and then I got overwhelmed so I just went to Ikea and picked something based on nothing.
$229, Sultan Hanestad (full-sized mattress) Historically the one criteria my mattress had to meet was that it could be stuffed in my car. Now I don’t have a car. I don’t know how I picked this exact one out but I didn’t think about it very hard and I definitely didn’t test it out by lying down on it or else I would have known it was like lying on a table. But: It’s good for the back. (I’ll be buying a memory foam thing.)
Episode 2 of Belabored, the Josh Eidelson and Sarah Jaffe podcast on labor issues, features an interview with BBC Newsnight Economics Editor Paul Mason. I learned some things about the resistance to austerity and also the future of social movements in Europe (“The future is waiting to be born, as it were, but it’s not there.”)
In honor of this weird day, I’m going to use this here internet website as my personal helpline. Help Me. I need to buy a bed. I want a full size one. I hate those metal bed frame things. And I don’t really like box springs. So what I need to know is, where did you buy your cheap but wonderful bed, and should I also buy your cheap and wonderful bed? Is there a secret cheap and wonderful bed place? Or is there a magical combination of Ikea options that will have me sweet dreaming in no time? Help me help you help me buy a bed. Thank you for your time.
Design Brief: The “your tax extension has been accepted by the IRS” email is a celebration of procrastination, but also a condemnation of procrastination. The journey is not over—it has only just begun. The clipart should reflect this.
Make it festive, but violent (nails? knives?) Needs vaguely phallic elements (“you are fucking yourself”) Allude to “burning money” without being burning money (element of fire?) Obviously there should be an image of a fat stack of tax forms to remind recipient, “you have accomplished nothing” Anthropomorphization of tax forms??? (smile? smirk? frowny face?) Soothing color palette (“see you soon”)
Time to go for a walk.
“Why does Gleevec, a leukemia drug that costs $70,000 per year in the United States, cost just $2,500 in India?” THE ANSWER MAY SURPRISE YOU! (Actually it probably won’t. Patents, is the reason, and This Atlantic article on drug companies and patents and the Indian government explains how drugs are priced and how some people are trying to change that and have been trying to change that for a long time.)