[bct] Re: changing business world

  • From: Tim Cross <tcross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 23:06:43 +1100


While I understand and do agree there is a danger of believing there
was a "Golden Age" which never existed. There has certainly been
periods in the past where people were even more exploited than now -
especially prior to the initial trade union movement, laws controling
child labour and of course slavery etc, I do have to say from personal
work experience, the relative change from when I first entered the
workforce to now has not been a positive one. While the amount of
money I'm paid has increased since I first started working, so has my
experience, the level of responsability I have and the number of hours
I'm expected to work. The attitude of management has changed for the
worse in the last 30 years. It may still be better than in 1750, 1850
or 1950, but its not as good as it was in 1975 or even 1985. 

I saw a program the other day in which this guy was talking about how
in 1975 he was working for Ford, he had full medical and social. Now
in 2005, he is working for the minimum wage, which was less than he
earned in 1975 (in absolute terms - in relative, its even worse), he is
working longer hours, no longer has medical insurance etc. So after 30
years of constant work, this fellow is earning a lot less than he did
30 years ago and has none of the protections of medical insurance etc.
The really sad thing is this is no longer an example of an 'exception'
but rather, it is rapidly becoming the norm. Meanwhile, we hear again
and again about the record profits being made by coorporations. 

Although things can be deceiving because of our relative short time
here compared to the lifespan of the planet, it certainly seems to be
getting worse. Possibly this is merely a localised or short term dip
and the general trend when looked at over hundreds of years is towards
improvement. However, if your life only corresponds to the short
downward dip, the fact its getting better in the long term is not
particularly relevant on a personal level.


The Scarlet Wombat writes:
 > Curt, being a student of history, I gently disagree.  There may have seemed 
 > to an observer to have been a time when people were more honest, but a bit 
 > of digging will put pate to this belief.  There were no good old days of 
 > any kind.  Human nature has remained the same for hundreds of thousands of 
 > years.
 > Sometimes, people think that the fifties and sixties were a more gentle 
 > age, but they were only a more secretive age, not more gentle.  People 
 > working in the social fields will tell you readily that the rates of 
 > spousal and child abuse have remained the same for at least a hundred 
 > years, probably longer, but we know for sure nothing has changed since Jane 
 > Hull founded the modern science of social work.
 > We have more people now, and thankfully, people are more willing to explore 
 > unsavory habits of humans.  This exposure may result in diminishment of 
 > these problems.  Remember the days of the robber barons of the 19th 
 > century, they were every bit as bad in terms of business as we see today in 
 > corporate America.
 > I do not mean to cast a pall on the discussion, but I must note that the 
 > human condition has never been better than it is now, nor much worse, 
 > either.  One hopes that we can improve.  Because, if we do not, one day, we 
 > may find that we have destroyed our planet and ourselves along with it.
 > Dan 

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