Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wage Theft: The Old Evil That Won't Die

VOX posted this recent article about Wage Theft

The Guardian posted this article earlier today.

The Nation published this story about the most common victims of wage theft: freelancers.

This article is about wage theft in Minnesota.

UCLA has this useful primer on what wage theft is and how it is done.

I’ve used the phrase Kiss Up/ Kick Down a lot recently. This is a perfect example. Laws in this and most countries protect property from people, which means the laws protect people with property from the people who work for them. The unpropertied, unwealthy people who work for a living are easy to exploit, at least partly because the laws are not there to protect them, and when the laws are there the legal system isn’t. The legal system often treats labor laws like a body rejecting a transplanted organ. The ideas that protect property from people begin from the premise that property is sacred and people are a damned nuisance. Property may like to have casual laborers to do occasional odd jobs but once the work is done they’d like them to move along, preferably without demanding their wages. Granted, this is an antique and obsolete idea, fully repudiated by the protections written into law since the New Deal. The Reagan Revolution was organized around the hope that these worker protections could be undone.

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