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01 March 2012 @ 10:16 am
Another dark corner of American capitalism  
Today's must-read: "I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave"

There's a fundamental flaw here. Something seriously wrong with the system.

rinmcgroyne on March 1st, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC)
I've read the article, and I am curious to know how much flexibility the 'system' has in terms of how much push and pull can happen before it collapses.

For example, if these working conditions are addressed (through legislation, activism, company responsibility, what-have-you), how does that affect the logistics line? Or, will fewer people be able to get paid work to begin with, due to demand changes or employee qualifications? In no way am I advocating that the situation doesn't hurt, but that I admit to not understanding how tweaking one strand will influence the rest of the web.

To wit, what is your understanding of the mentioned "fundamental flaw"? To recognize changes need to be implemented is one thing, but to drill down to what the problem *is* is something else entirely.
PMMJ: Fight!cheetahmaster on March 1st, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't think there's one strand to tweak to really fix the problems here. And I don't know what the fundamental flaw is. Nor am I smart enough to even know where to start making things better. (I mean, other than getting OSHA all over that.)

The fact that they're temps seems to be a big portion of it, but again, would making them permanent employees be better? Or would they just get sacked before benefits kicked in, and someone else hired?
Itinerant hacker adventuress: grey hand-drawn crowthewronghands on March 1st, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
We get that here for IT workers, somewhat up the pay scale. Microsoft employs vast numbers of temps, employing them 11 months or so of the year and then firing them for a month. That way they never have to pay benefits to these workers, but are still in accordance with Washington labor law. It's fucked.
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Itinerant hacker adventuress: grey hand-drawn crowthewronghands on March 1st, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had this intense pang of guilt for the thing I ordered yesterday before I read this. Fuck.
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Itinerant hacker adventuress: polite raventhewronghands on March 1st, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've done that for some time; I figure someone running their own mom-and-pop is more likely to be in line with my environmentalist sensibilities (used books rather than another new copy, or explicitly green-friendly suppliers). I know that there are some shipping efficiencies that you get out of the scale of big box stores, but damn, this more than un-makes-up for that.
Tales from a suburban touristasimplelife on March 1st, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
This was amazingly eye-opening. I wonder what will happen when no one can afford to buy these products anymore because we are so busy under-paying the people who service this economy.
That Guynecrocannibal on March 6th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC)
Good point.
Jenexamorata on March 2nd, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
I finally had a chance to sit and really read this today. And then I got an email that my latest Amazon order had shipped. Then I put my eyes out.

Not really, but GAH.