Category Archives: The Working Class and the Economy

The Pandemic as an Employment Shell Game

I have always been skeptical of the use of labor statistics. In 2009, I began to write in Working-Class Perspectives about the de facto unemployment rate, because official reports on the unemployment rate in Youngstown left out much of the … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, John Russo, The Working Class and the Economy | 5 Comments

Building Back Better?

As we await U.S. Senate action on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, it is worth reflecting on what the past few tumultuous months have meant for U.S. workers.  Much has happened in the short time since the summer drew … Continue reading

Posted in Issues, Joseph A. McCartin, Labor and Community Activism, The Working Class and the Economy, Work | 5 Comments

Dirty Jobs, Essential Workers, and the Infrastructure Bills

Current negotiations over the second infrastructure bill may remind a lot of people of Mike Rowe’s oddly popular series Dirty Jobs.  Which makes sense.  Watching a man stumble around inside a sewage tank as he gags loudly and directs us … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, James V. Catano, The Working Class and the Economy, Work | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How Government Statistics Define the Stories of the Working Class

One of my favorite media criticism works is British journalist and media professor Brian Winston’s “On Counting the Wrong Things.” He argues that the categories we use to count can themselves lead to misleading conclusions. Deciding to count the number … Continue reading

Posted in Christopher R. Martin, Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, The Working Class and the Economy | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Blue-Collar Babies: Why America’s Working Class Needs Affordable Child Care

In Netflix’s must-see new series, Maid, Alex (Margaret Qualley) flees a violent boyfriend with her two-year-old in tow, only to discover the gordian knot of being an impoverished, unhoused, single mom. Affordable child care is at the knot’s center.  Alex … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Lane Windham, The Working Class and the Economy, Work | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Class and Water: Climate-Charged Displacement

Hurricane Ida in Louisiana in August and the historic wildfires in the West and Midwest are the latest reminders that too much water, or too little, will be in the headlines for the rest of our lives. But to call … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Ken Estey, The Working Class and the Economy | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

“Don’t Get Old”: On Ageing and the Working Class

In the US sitcom Superstore (2015-2021), one of the characters, Myrtle, is an elderly store assistant who is often the brunt of jokes due to the slow pace of her work and her overall dottiness. At one point in the … Continue reading

Posted in Class and Health, Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Sarah Attfield, The Working Class and the Economy | Tagged | 3 Comments

Some Dreamers of the Rusty Dream

In the new Showtime series, American Rust, set and filmed outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and based on the 2009 novel by Philipp Meyer, we see the aftermath of an industrial collapse so devastating that the fictional town of Buell, PA, … Continue reading

Posted in Class and the Media, Contributors, Issues, Kathy M. Newman, The Working Class and the Economy, Working-Class Culture | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Poverty with Classism

I spent part of last week at the Chautauqua Institution, which a friend described as “summer camp for adults.” Its lovely Victorian summer homes, pricey food options, and demographics – skewing older and extremely white – make it feel like … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Sherry Linkon, The Working Class and the Economy, Work, Working-Class Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Biden and Social Wages

If Biden’s American Family Plan becomes law as he proposed it, my grand-niece Harri will finally have a “modest yet adequate” standard of living based on a new commitment from the federal government to provide social wages. Harri is a … Continue reading

Posted in Contributors, Issues, Jack Metzgar, The Working Class and the Economy | Tagged , , | 3 Comments