Work and incomes: nice for some
in Neoliberal lives
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In capitalism, the nature of waged work largely determines quality of life. Workers in the US have stagnant wages, the longest workweek in the industrialized world and unprecedented household debt. This chapter explores the mechanisms responsible for this, as well as its results both for workers and for the US economy. The chapter argues that the labour market in the US has turned against workers because many of the social protections that US workers won in the postwar period have been clawed back as a result of business dominance in the policy arena during the neoliberal era. Taken in combination, these changes represent a transformation in the labour market from an institutional regime that removed some elements of provisioning from the realm of the market and included structures that increased workers’ bargaining power, to one in which labour market institutions and policy are increasingly designed to remove the protection for workers in an overall context of increasing competition between workers nationally and globally.

Neoliberal lives

Work, politics, nature, and health in the contemporary United States


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