Re: Job market blues

Jana Fortier (fortier@STUDENTS.WISC.EDU)
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 10:38:22 -0600

**for those who peeked in this message: we are talking about the absurdity
of some job announcements for anth positions thesedays...**

hjmartin says,
>I was going to send you a cynical reply to the effect that you ought to get
>used to the blues but realized that this is the sort of mean-spirited
>message that poeple don't like or need. Instead, I offer a few comments
>that might put things into perspective. )

My own work situation wasn't really my point. I actually have a great job.
But I think the job market HAS changed in the last decade. And employers
are creating an atmosphere which goes against basic human rights to access
to meaningful work. This is definitely connected to the downsizing going on
in business. Capital (including university decision-makers such as
Deans/Admin) is further constricting the fair exchange process with workers
(those who do the work, like profs teaching). The imbalance in capitalist
culture today is getting to the point of enormous strain on our economic &
social system.

When strain between economic relationships gets excessive, we either need to
adjust our laws to make workers compete better (get benefits, learn about
jobs, create better fit between market & jobs available) or we change our
political-economic system (revolution in quick fashion).

There are tremendous numbers of people out there doing work which is
meaningless, stripped of variation, and demeaning to human intelligence.
The changes in academic hiring are a sad part of this process. To simply
say this is "competition, my dear" would be social darwinianism at its
worst. THe problems are complex & need attention NOW before we have endemic
underemployment & unemployment.

Or perhaps its too late? Is our capitalist culture already disintegrating?