After His Bequest to Boost the Laboring Class, Ben Franklin Would be Shocked by Today's "Innovation" Economy
by Michael Meyer
Shortly before his death, Benjamin Franklin placed a bet on American workers, endowing a fund to lend money to the tradesmen he thought essential to the country's health. His bequest remains in play today, though America has parted ways from his vision.
"Since about the 1940s, Americans have been encouraged to look to their jobs for nearly all of life’s necessities: a living wage, health insurance, and retirement benefits, as well as intangibles like friendship, identity, and a sense of purpose." Historians Nelson Lichtenstein and James Livingston explain why.
SOURCE: New York Times
“Pandemics as a social shock do give workers more leverage to demand things,” said Patrick Wyman, a historian and host of the Tides of History podcast.
SOURCE: The New York Times
Ruthless labor exploitation? Generational betrayal? Understanding the job crisis in academia requires a look at recent history.
by Louis Hyman
The insecure nature of work is a result of decisions by corporations and policymakers.
by Kevin Baker
America has a long, complicated track record of dreading that robots would take our jobs.
SOURCE: The Brookings Institution
Take a look at this single, stark chart depicting the 35-year history of U.S. employment in manufacturing industries.
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