If you are a Downton Abbey fan, you'll definitely be interested in this documentary film produced several years ago by the BBC and now available on YouTube. Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs places the servant class of the Victorian Age in a larger historical context, recognizing for example the role of coercion and particularly the workhouse in generating this supply of highly exploitable workers. Also see Secrets from the Workhouse, which is narrated by Jim Carter (Carson of Downton Abbey). .
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Economic Policy Institute recently created an interactive graphic, inequality.is., that describes the extent of income inequality in the U.S., how it got so unequal, and offers tangible suggestions about what ordinary people can do to diminish it. The interactive also allows users to estimate the amount of actual income inequality and place their own earnings in the context of demographically similar populations. Animated videos narrated by former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, describe why such inequality has increased in recent decades.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
A new Pew Research Center study confirms what many worker bees have long-assumed. The boss not only enjoys better pay and power at the workplace, he or she also has more satisfaction with family and is happier with life in general. These findings are consistent with earlier research (most famously established through the Whitehall study) that those in the upper reaches of work hierarchies, in comparison to their lower-status counterparts, experience less stress and are mentally and physically healthier, to boot.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
In this recent TED-Talk, UC Berkeley social psychologist, Paul Piff, provides research drawing from board game behavior that having wealth, even within a contrived situation, decreases concerned and caring behavior with regard to others. This research mirrors earlier findings of Piff reported in this blog regarding the relationship between wealth and socially irresponsible behavior (see http://sounequal.blogspot.com/2012/02/rich-are-indeed-different-they-are.html ).
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Several months ago, The Toronto Star published a series of articles and videos on the global supply-production-consumption chain of clothing, The Clothes on Your Back. The series examines such interrelated topics as slave labor in Uzbekistan cotton fields, clothing production in Asian sweatshops--particularly involving child labor, and the current retail boom in Canada.