The Big Rig

Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

Author: Steve Viscelli

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520278119

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 7719

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Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States. The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

The Big Rig

Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

Author: Steve Viscelli

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520962710

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 6335

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Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States. The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

The Big Rig

Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

Author: Steve Viscelli

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520278127

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 288

View: 8031

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Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States. The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

Sweatshops on Wheels

Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation

Author: Michael H. Belzer

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780195128864

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 4476

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Written by a former long-haul trucker who now teaches industrial relations, this book raises crucial questions about the legacy of trucking deregulation in America and casts provocative new light on the issue of government deregulation in general.

Trucking Country

The Road to America's Wal-Mart Economy

Author: Shane Hamilton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400828791

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3576

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Trucking Country is a social history of long-haul trucking that explores the contentious politics of free-market capitalism in post-World War II America. Shane Hamilton paints an eye-opening portrait of the rural highways of the American heartland, and in doing so explains why working-class populist voters are drawn to conservative politicians who seemingly don't represent their financial interests. Hamilton challenges the popular notion of "red state" conservatism as a devil's bargain between culturally conservative rural workers and economically conservative demagogues in the Republican Party. The roots of rural conservatism, Hamilton demonstrates, took hold long before the culture wars and free-market fanaticism of the 1990s. As Hamilton shows, truckers helped build an economic order that brought low-priced consumer goods to a greater number of Americans. They piloted the big rigs that linked America's factory farms and agribusiness food processors to suburban supermarkets across the country. Trucking Country is the gripping account of truckers whose support of post-New Deal free enterprise was so virulent that it sparked violent highway blockades in the 1970s. It's the story of "bandit" drivers who inspired country songwriters and Hollywood filmmakers to celebrate the "last American cowboy," and of ordinary blue-collar workers who helped make possible the deregulatory policies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and set the stage for Wal-Mart to become America's most powerful corporation in today's low-price, low-wage economy. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

The Voice of Southern Labor

Radio, Music, and Textile Strikes, 1929-1934

Author: Vincent J. Roscigno,William F. Danaher

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 145290586X

Category: Political Science

Page: 177

View: 1052

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The 1934 strike of southern textile workers, involving nearly 400,000 mill hands, remains perhaps the largest collective mobilization of workers in U.S. history. How these workers came together in the face of the powerful and coercive opposition of management and the state is the remarkable story at the center of this book. The Voice of Southern Labor chronicles the lives and experiences of southern textile workers and provides a unique perspective on the social, cultural, and historical forces that came into play when the group struck, first in 1929, and then on a massive scale in 1934. The workers' grievances, solidarity, and native radicalism of the time were often reflected in the music they listened to and sang, and Vincent J. Roscigno and William F. Danaher offer an in-depth context for understanding this intersection of labor, politics, and culture. The authors show how the message of the southern mill hands spread throughout the region with the advent of radio and the rise of ex-mill worker musicians, and how their sense of opportunity was further bolstered by Franklin D. Roosevelt's radio speeches and policies. Vincent J. Roscigno is associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University. William F. Danaher is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Charleston.

The Good Temp

Author: Vicki Smith,Esther B. Neuwirth

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801458071

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 248

View: 1697

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Temporary agencies place approximately two and a half million people in jobs each day in the United States. Every year, about twelve million people use these placement agencies to find temporary work. Many Americans, even those who desire permanent jobs, decide to enter the labor market through the portal of temporary agencies. Compared with the post-World War II era, when it was a marginal labor practice, temporary employment is today an entrenched feature of jobs and labor markets. How have temporary employment relationships become so widespread and normalized? In The Good Temp, Vicki Smith and Esther B. Neuwirth provide some novel answers to this question. Their provocative analysis is based on an insider's view of the interior dynamics of a temporary help agency in Silicon Valley. It incorporates a historical perspective on the rise of the temporary help service industry. Smith and Neuwirth document how this powerful industry not only created a new market for temporary labor but also played a fundamental role in the erosion of the permanent employment model. They analyze how agencies themselves came to manufacture and market this reinvented product-the good temp, an employee who is effective and efficient, committed, and sometimes preferable to a permanent staff member. Joining extensive participant observation data with historical analysis, The Good Temp contains some surprising findings about temporary employment today and fills a significant gap in our understanding of this important labor relationship.

Big Rigs

The Complete History of the American Semi Truck

Author: N.A

Publisher: Voyageur Press

ISBN: 9780896587373

Category: Transportation

Page: 160

View: 679

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9 x 12 160 pgs 225 color & b&w photos & artwork index

The Disrupted Workplace

Time and the Moral Order of Flexible Capitalism

Author: Benjamin H. Snyder

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190203498

Category: Capitalism

Page: 264

View: 5349

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The twenty-first century workplace compels Americans to be more flexible, often at a cost to their personal well-being. In The Disrupted Workplace, Benjamin Snyder examines how three groups of American workers construct moral order in a capitalist system that demands flexibility. Snyder argues that new scheduling techniques, employment strategies, and technologies disrupt the flow and trajectory of working life, transforming how workers experience time. Work can feel both liberating and terrorizing, engrossing in the short term but unsustainable in the long term. Through a vivid portrait of workers' struggles to adapt their lives to constant disruption, The Disrupted Workplace mounts a compelling critique of the price of the flexible economy.

Class Acts

Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels

Author: Rachel Sherman

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520247817

Category: Social Science

Page: 366

View: 9714

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"Sherman's insightful ethnography sheds light on the interactional dimension of symbolic boundaries and class relations as they are lived by luxury hotel clients and the workers who serve them. We learn how both groups perform class through emotion work and deepen our understanding of the role played by "niceness" in constituting equality and reversing hierarchies. As such, Class Acts is a signal contribution to a growing literature on the place of the self concept in class boundaries. It will gain a significant place in a body of work that broadens our understanding of class by moving beyond structural determinants and taking into consideration the performative, emotional, cognitive, and expressive dimensions of inequality."--Michele Lamont, author of The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration "Eye-opening, amusing, and appalling, Rachel Sherman's Class Acts explains how class inequality is normalized in the refined atmosphere of luxury hotels. This beautifully observed and engagingly written ethnography describes what kinds of deference and personal recognition money can buy. Moreover, it shows how workers who provide luxury service avoid seeing themselves as subordinate and how those whose whims are catered to are made comfortable with their privilege. Class Acts is a sobering and timely account of the legitimation of extreme inequality in a culture that prizes egalitarianism."--Robin Leidner, University of Pennsylvania "Rachel Sherman provides a penetrating and engrossing study of workers and guests in luxury hotels. Do workers resent the guests? Do guests disdain the workers? Sherman argues neither is true-and explains why."--Julia Wrigley, author of Other People's Children

It's the Middle Class, Stupid!

Author: James Carville,Stan Greenberg

Publisher: Plume

ISBN: 0142196959

Category: Political Science

Page: 321

View: 1359

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Explores how worldviews on the state of the American economy differ between the public and elected officials, sharing assessments of areas where the government has erred and actions that voters can take.

Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams

Author: Charles King

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393080528

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 5659

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"Rich and riveting, complex and compelling, powerful and poetic."—Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday In Odessa, the greatest port on the Black Sea, a dream of cosmopolitan freedom inspired geniuses and innovators, from the writers Alexander Pushkin and Isaac Babel to Zionist activist Vladimir Jabotinsky and immunologist Ilya Mechnikov. Yet here too was death on a staggering scale, as World War II brought the mass murder of Jews carried out by the city’s Romanian occupiers. Odessa is an elegy for the vibrant, multicultural tapestry of which a thriving Jewish population formed an essential part, as well as a celebration of the survival of Odessa’s dream in a diaspora reaching all the way to Brighton Beach.

The Crash of 2016

The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It

Author: Thom Hartmann

Publisher: Twelve

ISBN: 0446584819

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 7217

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The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash. The United States is in the midst of an economic implosion that could make the Great Depression look like child's play. In THE CRASH OF 2016, Thom Hartmann argues that the facade of our once-great United States will soon disintegrate to reveal the rotting core where corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction of the population at the expense of the rest of us. The result is a "for the rich, by the rich" scheme leading to policies that only benefit the highest bidders. Hartmann outlines the destructive forces-planted by Lewis Powell in 1971 and come to fruition with the "Reagan Revolution"-that have looted our nation over the past decade, and how their actions fit into a cycle of American history that lets such forces rise to power every four generations. However, a backlash is now palpable against the "economic royalists"-a term coined by FDR to describe those hoarding power and wealth-including the banksters, oligarchs, and politicians who have plunged our nation into economic chaos and social instability. Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American History, a way forward is emerging, just as it did in the previous great crashes of the 1760s, 1856, and 1929. The choices we make now will redefine American culture. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive-and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success. Thoroughly researched and passionately argued, THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act. Only if the right reforms are enacted and the moral choices are made, can we avert disaster and make our nation whole again.

Song of the Stubborn One Thousand

The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985-87

Author: Peter Shapiro

Publisher: Haymarket Books

ISBN: 160846749X

Category: Political Science

Page: 237

View: 7018

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On September 9, 1985, one thousand mainly Mexican women workers in Watsonville, California, the “frozen food capital of the world,” were forced out on strike in response to an attempt by Watsonville Canning owner, Mort Console, to break their union. They returned to work eighteen months later. Not one had crossed the picket line. A moribund union has been revitalized, and Watsonville's Latino majority emerged as a major force in local politics. At a time when organized labor was in headlong retreat, the Watsonville Canning strike was a dramatic show of the power of women workers, whose struggle became a rallying point for the Chicano movement. Apart from its sheer drama, the strikers' story illuminates the challenges facing a group of ordinary working people who waged a protracted and ultimately successful struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Freaks of Fortune

The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America

Author: Jonathan Levy

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674067207

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 360

View: 5468

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Until the nineteenth century, “risk” was a specialized term: it was the commodity exchanged in a marine insurance contract. Freaks of Fortune tells how the modern concept of risk emerged in the United States. Born on the high seas, risk migrated inland and became essential to the financial management of an inherently uncertain capitalist future.

Big Is Beautiful

Debunking the Myth of Small Business

Author: Robert D. Atkinson,Michael Lind

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262345676

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 4182

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Why small business is not the basis of American prosperity, not the foundation of American democracy, and not the champion of job creation. In this provocative book, Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind argue that small business is not, as is widely claimed, the basis of American prosperity. Small business is not responsible for most of the country's job creation and innovation. American democracy does not depend on the existence of brave bands of self-employed citizens. Small businesses are not systematically discriminated against by government policy makers. Rather, Atkinson and Lind argue, small businesses are not the font of jobs, because most small businesses fail. The only kind of small firm that contributes to technological innovation is the technological start-up, and its success depends on scaling up. The idea that self-employed citizens are the foundation of democracy is a relic of Jeffersonian dreams of an agrarian society. And governments, motivated by a confused mix of populist and free market ideology, in fact go out of their way to promote small business. Every modern president has sung the praises of small business, and every modern president, according to Atkinson and Lind, has been wrong. Pointing to the advantages of scale for job creation, productivity, innovation, and virtually all other economic benefits, Atkinson and Lind argue for a “size neutral” policy approach in both the United States and around the world that would encourage growth rather than enshrine an anachronism. If we overthrow the “small is beautiful” ideology, we will be able to recognize large firms as the engines of progress and prosperity that they are.

America's Social Arsonist

Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century

Author: Gabriel Thompson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520280830

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 296

View: 731

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"A good organizer is a social arsonist who goes around setting people on fire."—Fred Ross Raised by conservative parents who hoped he would “stay with his own kind,” Fred Ross instead became one of the most influential community organizers in American history. His activism began alongside Dust Bowl migrants, where he managed the same labor camp that inspired John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. During World War II, Ross worked for the release of interned Japanese Americans, and after the war, he dedicated his life to building the political power of Latinos across California. Labor organizing in this country was forever changed when Ross knocked on the door of a young Cesar Chavez and encouraged him to become an organizer. Until now there has been no biography of Fred Ross, a man who believed a good organizer was supposed to fade into the crowd as others stepped forward. In America’s Social Arsonist, Gabriel Thompson provides a full picture of this complicated and driven man, recovering a forgotten chapter of American history and providing vital lessons for organizers today.

Race and Ethnicity in America

Author: John Iceland

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520286928

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 9673

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"This book examines patterns and trends in racial inequality over the past several decades. Iceland finds that color lines have softened over time, as there has been some narrowing of differences across many indicators for most groups over the past sixty years. Asian Americans in particular have reached socioeconomic parity with white Americans. Nevertheless, deep-seated inequalities in income, poverty, unemployment, and health remain, especially among blacks, and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics. The causes for disadvantage for the groups vary, ranging from a legacy of racism, current discrimination, human capital deficits, the unfolding process of immigrant incorporation, and cultural responses to disadvantage."--Provided by publisher.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Jessica Bruder

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393249328

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 626

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The end of retirement? From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others—including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May. In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.