Why Are You Working So Hard?

WorkingAnnie-Rose Strasser writes at Think Progress:

The 99 Percent Movement is bringing May Day, the worldwide annual celebration of labor, to the United States today with protests in over 135 cities. The theme of the protests is “A Day Without the 99 Percent,” and occupiers are encouraging people to spend the day outside of the U.S. economy. According to the May Day organizing site for New York, “It’s a day to recognize the value of our work, and the power we have to collectively change our working conditions and our world.”

It’s true that the 99 percent make up the majority of workers in all the industries for which America is known. Farming, manufacturing, and transportation, to name just a few, wouldn’t survive without the working people who carry the burden of productivity in those fields. Manufacturing alone makes up 20.3 percent of the labor force. But rewarding those workers is a different question. Currently, there seems good reason for workers to feel they are being under-recognized. Just take a look at these three charts:

1. The 99 percent are extremely productive workers, but aren’t compensated for their productivity. While productivity has been on the rise among workers, average wage and compensation has remained nearly flat. That means while workers are producing more, they’re being compensated the same. This chart from the Economic Policy Institute details the change…

More at Think Progress

32 Comments on "Why Are You Working So Hard?"

  1. The chart is a pretty obvious logical fallacy. It assumes “productivity” is analogous to “hard work.” Other factors have had as much, likely more, impact on worker productivity during the referenced time period, including increased mechanization of processes. 

    But I understand the sentiment of not wanting to work so hard. It was for me – as well – an unwelcome introduction when I turned 18 and discovered I’d have to start doing my own laundry. (Of course, nowadays I have a few domestic staff to handle that. And each time I see a OWS sign I beat each of them thoroughly, whilst cackling and drinking a finely aged port, I tell you. Perhaps you in the 28% will be able to live in opulent leisure one day, as well. Or, perhaps not!) 

    • Anarchy Pony | May 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

      Obvious troll is obvious. That or just human garbage.

    • Rest assured, sir, continue to taunt the suffering and rage of the dispossessed, and your head will surely depart from your body, when the hour is nigh.

      • Houseguest | May 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

        Nothing to see here – just another mass-murder fantasy by a stay-at-home “cyber-activist.” I at least had some respect for your friends who didn’t just talk about killing thousands but tried to do it in Cleveland yesterday.*

        Oh, you poor people who never learned critical thinking skills, how to properly analyze data (even colorful data like charts and graphs) and have no idea what the words “logical fallacy” mean. I thank God everyday I didn’t go to the San Diego State and SUNY-Pottsdale type colleges of the world. Land grant, welfare education really didn’t work out for the rag class. * Oops, I mean,yeah, it was a false flag, set-up, the Fed was behind it, UFOs, something about Bigfoot, disinfo agents, blah blah, the usual. 

        •  O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,

          That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!

          • Houseguest | May 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

            Describe in detail how you would like to see have seen those fat cat 1% soccer moms in their 2003 Dodge Caravans crushed beneath the rubble of the I-82 bridge in Cleveland.

            It’s just us friends here, you can trust us. You really were just a tad upset your buddies got busted weren’t you? C’mon, you can tell me! 

          • Eric_D_Read | May 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |

            Politics aside, a world without soccer moms and minivans would be a much better world indeed. Road rage incidents would likely drop by 70%.

    • mysophobe | May 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

      You didn’t start doing your own laundry until age 18? That’s funny. It’s no wonder that you have no understanding of hard work. Where I come from you have to earn your keep from an early age. Sounds like you had it handed to you.

      • Informantsrus | May 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

          No you guys got it all wrong.  Miguel is CIA operative in training. Training to infiltrate sites like Disinfo.   And he just got his ass
        handed to him.  Don’t worry though, He has just been designated for reassignment to the minor leagues. Director Petraeus has scheduled his next op to infiltrate the Hannah Montana fan website.  

  2. Houseguest | May 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

    LOL, I just figured out why Disinfo switched to the all-OWS format. Their readers are all poor as dirt – 

    • Acting like Disinfo’s switched to an “all-OWS format” minutes after asking why a later post wasn’t about OWS makes you sound really desperate.

    • Quantcaster | May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

      The troll is also a really dumb fuck who knows nothing about how Quantcast works, they are notoriously out of date. If you don’t update it, the information is useless.

      • Houseguest | May 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm |


        When you are sidelined and ignored by society, left only to commiserate with a small group of ideologically like-minded, it’s natural to assume the cozy confines of  your coterie are more expansive or influential than they are; that the delusions of a mass movement are never destroyed by rallies that attract a few hundred a couple times a year while tens of millions smile or dismiss the spastic throws and cries demanding relevance. 

        Then, when someone intrudes on a place of cyber-solitude – like disinfo – the anger becomes acute. “TROLL IS TEH REALLY DUM FUK!” 

        I hope things work out for you. Let me know if you need the number of a good crisis line. 

        • Quantcaster | May 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

          Thanks for mistyping what I wrote. You are very good at spreading your own very limited worldview. Please don’t kill yourself, someone probably loves you.

          • Houseguest | May 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

            I’m sorry you’re so very upset. I sure do hope things work out for you. 

            Here’s an United Way crisis line number you can call if you need help calming down, getting control of your anger or finding your girlfriend a shelter where she can recover from the beatings you administer: 801-691-LIFE. Let me know if you need resources for a food bank. I’m happy to do whatever it takes to help. 

          • Quantcaster | May 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

            Thanks Miguel for the advice. Is it really worth your time to post the same comments on multiple articles? You sound like the kind of chap who has a proper job, please don’t spend so much time here:


          • Houseguest | May 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

            As I said, I understand the feelings of extreme emotional distress you feel when someone pops the delusion of grandeur of being at the pinnacle of a far-ranging mass movement, instead of a few hundred poor, impoverished people wandering about the streets for 3 days per year to the exasperated sighs of onlookers. 

            I understand you feel the need to chase away things that disturb you, like the crowd of villagers in Frankenstein … but without the crowd. 

            I hope you eventually are able to embrace a more rational, logic-based, intellectual approach to your life. 

            My thoughts are with you. 

          • OWS and the idea of a General Strike are apparently very threatening to him and his rich friends.  They need to hit us with as much ad hominem as possible (You’ll notice he hasn’t posted anything but.) to discourage anyone thinking of taking their power back.

          • LOL – yes quite threatened. Yesterday’s General Strike really paralyzed the city where I’m at. 

            (And, yes, there was a call for a General Strike yesterday, so don’t bother with  “FUCK YOU HURP DERP, WE AIN’T CALL NUN O’ DAT STRIKE YET!” The multi-millionaire union bosses [yes, many union presidents – including the Board of Directors of LIUNA – are 1-percenters themselves] overseeing the 8% of America still unionized dutifully ignored the calls from little crowds of a few hundred here and there as they wrote campaign donations to President Obama — a President who, like all his predecessors, continues to wield the Taft-Hartley Act as a sword over the workers heads with no sign of abatement or repeal.) 

            As your compatriots in Cleveland showed you, the only hope to hang on to any relevance in your fast-fading flash-in-the-pan movement is to start bombing bridges and killing thousands of your fellow 99-percenters. So either get to it or admit you’re resigned to a small street march twice a year plus some internet griping. 

          • Thanks for proving that ad hominem is all you’ve got.

            I rest my case.

          • Rich people don’t comment on forums, they don’t need to, they leave that role to paid agents with no brain and little compensation, just like our friend “Miguel”.

          • Perhaps his rich employer is the closest thing to a friend he’s got.  Or perhaps he’s so angry because his life’s goal was to be rich, and now it’s collapsing before his eyes.  Either way, he obviously has nothing substantive to say against the article or the facts it presents.

  3. Beechkidz | May 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

    The whole ows movement is BS. Distracting us from the REAL problem which is our OUT OF CONTROL spending govt. with NO end in sight. Release these obtrusive taxes and regulations and let the economy fly!!!!  Than ANYONE who doesn’t like working for someone else can try the joys of ownership themselves! Get the govt out of way.NOTICE no one this election is talking about how they plan on changing our debt course which will have to INCLUDE austerity measures.

  4. Whew! I was working way too hard to read through all that bullshit…I think the bottom line is we’re all fucked. In my opinion half of those mother fuckers “occupying” places were unemployed to begin with and probably hadn’t been since ’86, at least they finally found something to do with their time, but I’m not sure if it was the most useful. They, probably had more of a hand in fattening the 1%’s pockets than they care to know. But it’s a cute movement, it really is.

    • As Jimmy Kimmel joked with Barack Obama the other night, a movement requires you “move” … not sit your fat ass in a pile of your own filth next to the playground, occasionally rolling over to pile some free food into your face, or to breed. 

    • Fleming1972 | May 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |

       Klown sez, “Whew! I was working way too hard to read through all that bullshit…I think…….In my opinion…..probably……..probably……..”

      OK, cool. Thanks for the info.

      •  You got me, my post was indeed 90% bullshit, I was just joining in the fun. But you got to admit- at least 10% of it was pure genius…

  5. Liam_McGonagle | May 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

    I’m Liam McGonagle, and I endorse this article.

    Trends presented pretty much jibe with calc’s I’d performed independently a whiles back.  Though for rhetorical impact I try to boil time series data down to no more than 3 data points on a 3-D bar graph.

  6. because now when someone tries to stand up for anything the elite’s strategy to stop them is to take out the top. i said something negative about the banks in my country and i’m sure if they know who i am people would support criminal activity to silence me that no one would know about. but then without anyone to speak out against them they would cause through inflation and deflation what thomas jefferson said

  7. Ahh, remember the sweet and innocent 50s and 60s when all the productivity was going to go into reduced working hours and, increased well being for the middle class. Instead mass media channels were completely corrupted in the 70s, 80s and 90s with the message ‘GREED IS GOD’ and productivity improvements simply became the means by which to fire as many middle class workers as possible and further enrich the psychopathic rich. A whole society derailed to feed the sickened egos of the very worst amongst us.
    You can look back on how pathetic and lame most of that psychopathic let’s prey upon the rest of society propaganda really was, the same lame arsed nonsense is repeated by astro-turfers all over the web. It succeeded on mass media because they were basically able to silence the truth and it fails abysmally on the internet because the truth is available right along side it.
    Not to mention the lack of creativity, writing skills and, imagination of the trolls, they really are third raters and it all becomes too obvious when they start attacking the web sites the read ‘er’ because they hate them ‘sic’ and of course other commentators who don’t agree with the paid for propaganda of the astro-turfers.

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