Facts and Stuff!

So, Joel Stein wrote a pile of shit for Time magazine's cover story about how millennials are a selfish generation. Elspeth Reeve does a brilliant job deconstructing why this article is straight-up garbage, and you should definitely go read her piece.

I just want to quickly respond to this one excerpt she quotes:
In 1992, the nonprofit Families and Work Institute reported that 80 percent of people under 23 wanted to one day have a job with greater responsibility; 10 years later, only 60 percent did.
Stein is citing these stats as evidence of entitlement, but it fundamentally ignores the vast changes in corporate work practices that took place over that time period.

In order to maximize profits, corporations ubiquitously adopted the practice of not filling jobs when people leave and simply redistributing their work among remaining staff, who aren't compensated for the additional duties. The extra cash goes in the coffers while skeleton crews juggle the same workload once balanced among a larger staff.

It's a despicable practice, largely ignored in discussions of workers' rights—and casually elided by haughty sniffs at the alleged laziness of young workers. The fact is, many people don't want jobs with greater responsibility because they've already got too much on their plates at work as it is.

Mother Jones' Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery wrote a great piece [TW for ableist language] about what's known as the "speedup." The speedup is a huge part of the underlying reason for our protracted unemployment rate and wage stagnation, as well as the explanation for why productivity and profits keep rising despite high unemployment. And it almost certainly speaks, at least in part, to why younger workers aren't looking for more responsibility on the job.

But, you know, it's always easier to yell at kids to get off the lawn than take corporations to task for unethical business practices. Especially when your paycheck is dependent on keeping corporate advertisers happy.

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