November 2017 - Message from Larry Spinello
David Kusnet talks to the realities of people's working lives in his book: Love the Work, Hate the Job Why America's Best Workers Are More Unhappy Than Ever. It’s an important study of how people do their jobs making a case for the American worker. It’s a cry to for more freedom in the workplace to achieve a better productive end. Kusnet's book tries to make us realize that liberty and productivity go hand in hand. It offers a keen analysis and political insights into the plight of American workers struggling to have government pay attention to their needs.
Ever wonder why workers would strike because their health insurance? Kusnet explains these troubles and why more and more Americans express dissatisfaction with their jobs as their work becomes more intellectually challenging and less physically exhausting. When pollsters ask people about both job satisfaction and work satisfaction, they discover workers, blue collar, white collar, and the like, love their careers but not their working conditions.
Kusnet followed the workers at four companies in the Seattle area in the turning-point year of 2000: Microsoft, Boeing, Kaiser Aluminum, and Northwest Hospital. He tells the stories of skilled and dedicated workers battling not so much for better pay and benefits as for respect and a say in the future of the business. Exposing a powerful paradox of globalization, he argues that Americans can only compete with quality products, not cheap labor. Nevertheless, indiscriminate cost cutting and the pursuit of short-term profits prevent the best workers from doing their best work, fueling the workplace conflicts of the twenty-first century.
Of late, our government is not answering the quest to help these workers as they continue to live out past American glory days of yesteryear where everyone bought American. Many of our leaders of both political sides just cannot see that those days are long gone as we are now living in a global economy. Old backward foolish plans to just give away free money to businesses in the way of tax cuts with no strings attached is not what we need. As anyone with half a brain should realize tax cuts given freely out just provides more funds for businesses to keep doing what they are already doing: selling out to cheap foreign labor while they replace everyone with machines that make just more machines.
Growing numbers of Americans are doing work that they care about and enjoy, but they're frustrated by stagnant wages, shrinking health coverage, shaky pension plans, and company policies that make it more difficult for them to do their jobs well. Corporate executives may be becoming less loyal to their employees, but those same employees still want to be loyal to their company. Kusnet tries to open your eyes to our present existence but to this reader unless matters are taken into hand by our government with smart socialism we may be going down that slippery slope watching the rest of the world pass us by due to our arrogance of being the best around.
Larry Spinello ASQ New Haven Section Chair