Working-Class Perspectives, October

Working 9 to 5: Class Diversity and Clerical Organizing by Ellen Cassedy

“The early 1970s was a time of profound economic transformation. Women from across the class spectrum were flooding into the workforce by the millions. I was one of them.  At the age of 22, I was among ten women standing outside Boston’s subway stops handing out the first issue of a new newsletter aimed at women office workers.  Our goal was to shake things up in the banks, insurance companies, law firms, and universities that dominated the city’s economy.  We were young and green, but we sensed that we were on to something big.”

Democracy Is on the Ballot by Joseph A. McCartin

“Fortunately, whether democracy survives this time of peril will not depend only on what happens when the votes are counted on November 8, as important as those results will be. Electoral democracy can also be strengthened by another form of democracy that is also on ballots this fall: union elections and strike votes.  In those exercises of the democratic voice, we are currently witnessing a renaissance of majority rule. “

How Big Is the Working Class – and Why Does It Matter? by Jack Metzgar

“So instead of one intractable problem – class bias among the political and communications elites – I see two.  Democrats need to resist that class bias within their own ranks and at the same time find ways to speak to both working-class needs and values and professional class interests, and without ignoring their own and voters’ interests as women, people of color, and more.”

Deadbeat Creditors and Other Tales of Moral Hazard by Allison Hurst

“We dreamed about debt relief and what it would be like if we could get a fresh start.  Maybe this would allow us to move someplace more congenial or find a job with a real career path.  On hearing this discussion, however, one attendee took to chastising us for trying to avoid our debts.  ‘Even if they told me I wouldn’t have to repay my loans, I would!’ he said fiercely.  We all hung our heads, shamed.”

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