Work produced by an individual is essentially the incendiary agent that sparks, perpetuates, and accelerates the churning wheels of capitalism. Alongside money, they create a formidable pair that sustains present-day society’s economic structure. Authors Michael Zweig and Juliet Schor offered remarkable viewpoints in their books on the more dynamic part of capitalism’s formula — human labor. Zweig’s main thesis focuses on the classification in society as regards one’s socio-economic stature in terms of direct or influential control on resources.
Juliet Schor’s position, on the other hand, deals with the determination of the exponential, and rather alarming rise of “worktime” that effectively takes away time spent for leisure activities as well as the “consumerism” of the American lifestyle. Although both postulations are diverse, the alternatives the authors are proposing are able to find common ground in the need for a streamlined and more robust legislative framework to rectify the current situation.
In addition, Schor proposes to revamp the labor market concentrating on “the quality of life” rather than “quantity of stuff”. Zweig on the other puts forth a stronger representation for the working class in the political arena. He further advances that “a Labour Party be established in the US and with the support of the working class majority developed into a serious electoral force. ” (Zweig, 2000, p. 139)
This encourages bestowing a form of a more vigorous protection for the rights of the working class not only with repect to the labor market within the US, but more importantly, the international labor market. Therefore, it seems that Zweig’s propositions are more viable and has more teeth in terms of affording a shield to the working class. The US legal and political structure is sturdy and at the same time flexible enough to accommodate the change. Furthermore, one of the hallmarks of a great nation such as the US is that enacting amendments and revisions to laws is fairly manageable.
Whereas Schor’s recommendation as to restructuring the labor market in a behavioral framework seems to be too intangible to be realized in terms of time it takes to effect such changes. As history has taught us, awarding additional protection and rights are far more welcome than revolutionizing behavior.
Schor, J. B. , Yu, J. (1995). Capital, The State, and Labour: A Global Perspective. Aldershot, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. Zweig, M. (2000). The Working Class Majority: America’s Best Kept Secret. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.