What is a healthy job? For most people, it is first and foremost, a secure job that pays well. After all, a job is how you pay the bills, stay under a roof, buy groceries, and raise the kids. Without a way to obtain basic material necessities, one can’t possibly remain healthy.
Research in public health supports this common sense notion—employment correlates strongly to good health. This research also shows that unemployment is a cause of stigmatization, stress, and social isolation. Overall, the unemployed live fewer years and have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, and suicide than do their more employed counterparts.
Urgent breaking news for all job-seekers: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released a list of the fastest growing jobs for 2006, and you might want to revise your resume accordingly. I quickly scanned it to see if “dissident freelance blogger” was on the list, but alas, no. Nor were several other job categories that I would like to see on the increase, like primary care physician and particle physicist. I’m sorry, but we’re never going to get out of this nightmarish tangle of string theory and dark matter until we start generating huge cohorts of baby physicists.
Millions of Americans are deeply worried about their economic futures. The signs of the economic crisis ahead are literally everywhere, if one bothers to look at the statistical evidence. The first, and most important indicator, is the unprecedented concentration of wealth within American society. According to USA Today columnist Yolanda Young, in 1970, the bottom one-third of all United States households (today, about 96 million people) “earned 10 times that of the top one percent” of all households. By 2004, the upper one percent “made as much as the bottom third of Americans.”
Globalization is not a new phenomenon. The transatlantic slave trade was a manifestation of “globalization.” The carving up of Africa, Asia, and Latin America into colonies of Europe was a manifestation of “globalization.” Twenty-first century globalization shares some features with these previous eras, chief among them, the reality that the costs and benefits of a global economy are distributed unequally and, hence, our true challenge is building organizations and alliances with sufficient power to force a redistribution of these costs and benefits.
Picketing through puddles, the crowd sent a message to the Woodfin Hotel that discrimination against immigrant workers will not be tolerated. Because of continued community support, the Woodfin has not yet fired the workers. On November 30th, a California judge ordered the Woodfin to give the workers two weeks notice of termination, allowing them time to file for an injunction to stop the firings. On December 5th, after hearing from 12 Woodfin workers, the Emeryville City Council agreed to send a letter to the hotel urging them not to fire the workers until a hearing on their complaints to the City can be set up.