In a previous post, I wrote about the cult-like aspects of capitalism and how it affects our work lives. As the world tries to recover from the pandemic, oligarchs, corporate boards, executives, and leaders are reasserting their dominance over workers. They’re pushing for greater productivity, adopting AI technologies to maximize revenue and profits, and engaging in anti-union tactics to bully workers into accepting lower wages.
It’s a chaotic and outrageous time. However, workers are less focused on philosophical debates around capitalism and more concerned about making ends meet. So, what are they doing? Instead of demanding more from those in power who still have jobs, workers are turning to TikTok and IG for career advice.
Let’s discuss this.
Our capitalist system convinces workers that they need a specific type of resume and a particular approach to job searching. They’re told it’s their fault if they don’t find work. Media outlets, career #influencers, and even old-school bloggers use the same language.
I want to ask — Are these workers “doing their resume wrong,” or has capitalism failed them?
The pushback on my question is that it’s not helpful. Instead of arguing about anti-worker economic systems, I should help workers survive and thrive in a broken world. (Thankfully, I have a track record of doing both!)
Capitalism has conditioned us to believe it’s the only viable solution, making it difficult to imagine alternatives. We tend to forget that we, as a society, created capitalism. It’s a human creation, not a command from a higher power. We built it, and we can fix it. With layoffs on the rise and workers facing emotional lows, finding solutions that provide relief and support during these challenging times is crucial.
To help workers ride out the storm, we can consider implementing the following:
• More government spending: Increased and continued spending on public infrastructure and social programs can create jobs, support struggling communities, and stimulate economic growth. We can build back better. It’s a moral obligation.
• Universal healthcare: Ensuring access to quality healthcare for all citizens, regardless of income or employment status, can alleviate financial stress and improve overall well-being.
• Four-hour workweek: Reducing the standard workweek increases productivity, encourages work-life balance, and promotes mental health. And if we can create protections so that companies don’t roll back salaries or slow-roll merit increases, we’re on to something.
• Embracing remote work: Leaning into the efficiencies of working from home, reducing overhead costs, and providing employees with flexibility and autonomy. Chris Herd is a prominent advocate for this movement, and he’s done the math.
• Universal Basic Income (UBI): Giving all citizens a guaranteed income can help address income inequality, poverty, and financial insecurity. When you give people a safety net, they don’t squander it. They bet on themselves.
More Solutions: Be Subversive
While you cannot dismantle capitalism single-handedly, you can be subversive.
• Hire faster: Streamline your hiring process to fill open positions quickly and provide job opportunities to those in need.
• Commit to hiring displaced workers: Actively seek out and hire workers laid off or furloughed.
• Hire older workers: Embrace older workers’ experience and wisdom.
• Employ workers who self-identify as disabled: Foster an inclusive work environment and provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
• Recruit veterans: Support those who have served our country by offering them fulfilling career opportunities.
• Push for more budget: When your company pushes back and asks for cuts, advocate for maintaining or increasing budgets to support employees and programs.
• Educate yourself on the economy: Read articles and research to form cogent arguments against pro-capitalism propaganda and promote alternative perspectives.
We Can Fix Capitalism for All Workers
As we navigate the challenges of capitalism, it’s crucial to take steps toward creating a more equitable and supportive work environment. By being subversive and championing inclusive hiring practices and employee well-being, we can work together to bring about positive change.
Let’s not forget that, as individuals, we hold the power to create change, even in the face of an entrenched capitalist system. By acknowledging the flaws and implementing practical solutions, we can ensure that all workers can access the resources and opportunities needed to thrive.
While we may be unable to dismantle capitalism anytime soon, we can surely revamp it. By embracing alternative solutions and being subversive, we can create a more just and equitable society that benefits everyone. Don’t forget to read my previous post on the cult-like aspects of capitalism and how it affects our work lives. Let’s work together to create a brighter future for all workers.