Labor day (don’t celebrate)

It’s fitting, or perhaps not, that as May 1st is supposed to be International Labor day, we are experiencing modern record lows in employment in the USA, protests over austerity in many European cities, I watched news from Madrid and Greece where the protests were attended by a mix of people and ages, and Italy where there were youth protests and direct action[2nd half, episode 4, HBO Services 4, Love&Rockets].

Meanwhile in Bangladesh, the collapse of the clothing factory is now officially “one of the worst industrial accidents in world history”, already has some 390 dead, with more bodies being dug out every day.

So, reading Thomas Friedmans latest Op.Ed in the NY Times last night while on my bike trainer. I couldn’t really gather my thoughts on the disconnect between Friedman and what was going on elsewhere. Felix Salmon on has done a complete dismantling of Friedmans 401k world, perhaps too literally, in his “The systemic plight of labor”.

The truth of course is a mixture of both. Friedmans metaphoric 401k OpEd is still problematical, where as Salmons response takes it too literal. Both are worth a read though, since they illustrate some of the polarization that is growing by the day.

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