somewhat quickly after my apprenticeship I was gifted quite a bit of nonsense overtime from the old timers. rotor turns, oil changes, timing, valve clearance, etc... were all heaped up on me until I was spending nearly 70 hours a week in a shop that advertised working hours of about 8 hours a day. My paycheck was more than enough to buy a new motorcycle, but social events like going out to dinner or seeing a ball game were out of the question. I was exhausted by the time I finished, despite the fact that most of my work used air tools. I could only keep it up for about a month before i started to seriously burn out. I found out managers despised having to cut huge overtime checks but found hiring a new tech too time consuming and costly in terms of training and certification. Whats worse is sometime around the thanksgiving holiday I walked into the shop with nearly 30 brake services to do in a single day because the front office had made promises to customers that I would be available without checking to see that I had a major engine service that would take up most of the day.
Young guns might want overtime, but management can get addicted to it and its not a problem until you're knee deep in paperwork and turning customers away.
Long of it is: it wasn't worth it. Most of the time was spent fixing/implementing things that were poorly spec'd out or the "spec" was verbally (and poorly) communicated so often developer & manager disagreed on what was previously understood. But, hey, time to market, and all...
Last half of the project I told my manager to fuck off if he came to me with a verbal change to the spec (and I had permission from his manager to do so because I'd voiced the complaints and we had delivery date slippage). Put spec changes in writing, an email at least, so we'd have a written record of what was expected. That helped - a little.
>>[...] Young guns might want overtime, but management can get addicted to it and its not a problem until you're knee deep in paperwork and turning customers away.
Those are the two competing forces at work: short-term pain in reduced productivity to train and mentor new hires to avoid long-term issues where your supply becomes too constrained to meet demand spikes.
Then financial crisis hit.
All the power in this case belongs to the employer.
1) The elimination of unpaid overtime for anyone that isn't a 'corporate office able to hire employees at will'.
2) Required 'typical hours' in employment contracts; companies can't pay out less than this unless the employee agrees, and the employee cannot be forced to work MORE unless they agree.
3) All firings have to be for cause.
I don’t owe you a job. If I don’t need you any more, why the hell should I be forced to owe you?
Are you required to buy the same amount of groceries each week? Why not? Same for labor. When you need less, you buy less, when you need more, you buy more.
Also, from the perspective of an employer, a valid reason very well could be the end of the project that a contract is for; such a termination / re-evaluation date should be built in to the contact and clear up front.
On paper the typical hours will be in the contract, but in practice only those willing to agree to less pay/more hours will be hired/kept, making it less of an agreement and more of an obligation.
To me, this was the most interesting part of the article. It all sounds so familiar.
The central government demanded more graduates at any cost, threw money at the problem and they ended up with corruption, very expensive facilities and many times more graduates with questionable skills in subjects that mostly aren't yet in demand.
What would "improving their central planning" mean? Force people to study certain subjects? Force people to teach for free?
Throwing government money into a market definitely disrupts it. Perhaps it doesn't make it not "free" but it causes distortions that likely would not have come about from the market alone.
>Is that not econ 101 supply and demand?
Yes, it is. That means that these aren't simply forces that can be wished away by a central government with an agenda. They are things that come about naturally.
>Under a good central planning, anyone who really wants a job could be planned a state sponsered job.
"Good central planning" is an oxymoron if you ask me. In order to guarantee that people have jobs, you have to take away people's free will to make sure they can perform the functions you as a central planner desire. They cannot study what they want, you will essentially have to plan people's entire lives for them. This is all assuming that people are interchangeable cogs and you are able to predict that people will be good at the tasks you wish for them to perform.
>Interestingly enough, a lot of science and research in the US is state sponsered. If it weren't, I wonder if that talent would be employed
Who knows? The money used to fund their research would not have been taken and would have been spent how the person who paid the taxes saw fit. It is difficult to find exact numbers on research spending of government vs private industry. The top 20 companies spend almost $200 billion on R&D  this is about 1/5th of the US federal government total discretionary budget, which includes military spending. 
Point being, I think it is pretty safe to say that private R&D spending dwarfs public spending. The large corporations that are often maligned are the best institutions to do risky R&D as they have lots of resources and experience in their problem domain. Of course they don't always do so, but if they don't a competitor will.
That's an unfair misrepresentation of central planning, using the phrase "force people to" to imply some kind of slavery unique to central planning. Maybe the Chinese government will choose to use it's state monopoly on violence to coerce people into unwanted job, but it's not like you don't need a garbage crew in both economic systems. Central planning can be used to make funding available for high priority items. You can technically force people at gunpoint into specific degree paths and occupations, but more likely you'll make the jobs exist and make sure potential engineers aren't trapped at the bottom of the economy.
> Yes, it is. That means that these aren't simply forces that can be wished away by a central government with an agenda. They are things that come about naturally.
There are tons of examples in science where designed and engineered systems outperform natural systems. No amount of "natural horses" can compete with modern trains, space shuttles, bus systems, race cars, etc.. And there are things science hasn't discovered how to optimize yet, so we do end up still using horses from time to time, despite cars being ubiquitous in modern society.
> "Good central planning" is an oxymoron if you ask me. In order to guarantee that people have jobs, you have to take away people's free will to make sure they can perform the functions you as a central planner desire. They cannot study what they want, you will essentially have to plan people's entire lives for them. This is all assuming that people are interchangeable cogs and you are able to predict that people will be good at the tasks you wish for them to perform.
This is a pretty flawed argument against central planning. You do not have to plan people's entire lives. Outside of religion and perhaps some SciFi novel about AI, I've never heard of any central planning theories having a plan for people's entire lives. What happens is that people naturally pick what they want to do, and some people don't really pick anything coherent. You make plans based on where you currently are, what resources you estimate you will have next year, and where you are looking to go. You iterate each planning cycle based on successes and failures. This is not much different than how large corporations do their planning. Most notable difference is that "success" will be measured in something much more valuable to society than private profits. Another aspect of a good central plan is that you can't plan for everything. There are people who are naturally motivated to do something useful, so it may be optimal to give them a team and see if future planning cycles can benefit from the team's output.
The alternative to this is that you have writers and artists wasting their talents serving coffee at starbucks. You have people who didn't study what they want because only STEM jobs are going to be above minimum wage for sure in the next 20 years. You have a system that looks at the bottom half of the economy and says "I have no plan for you.". How many teams are building redundant clones of candy crush? How many teams are seeking to innovate for the sake of seeking new rents rather than for innovation itself? How many teams are focusing on getting consumers to buy fake/misleading products? How many teams are trying to market dangerous, unhealthy, and/or addictive high margin items to children? How many "free markets" have rational actors that depend on information asymmetry for the majority of their consensual arrangements? These issues are rampant epidemics under capitalism. Entrepreneurs are a slave to profit motives and the people are not free. Only the free market is free.
> Point being, I think it is pretty safe to say that private R&D spending dwarfs public spending. The large corporations that are often maligned are the best institutions to do risky R&D as they have lots of resources and experience in their problem domain. Of course they don't always do so, but if they don't a competitor will.
Looking at your sources, $200 billion in private R&D is less than the 1.1 trillion in public spending. I don't think it would be accurate or meaningful to say there is a significant difference.
Knowing English in China has real, immediate financial benefits. For any given job (programmer / secretary / waitress / anything), a role that involves having to communicate with English speakers is more prestigious and offers higher pay.
If you're not in a large school district / large city, your options as a student in a public school (and most private ones) are quite limited indeed.
English wasn't uncommon in the professional world, however.
English is common in the professional world, absolutely, but it’s not necessary for a high level professional career like it would be in most of Western Europe.
Hell, I did major in one of the sought-after science or technology fields, and unpaid overtime is an infuriating, unavoidable fact of my life.
self-centered is a funny word. It implies selfish, but is it really selfish if it's self-preservation?
China has the same problems the West has. We see labor as this fungible thing done by faceless automatons and its the job of management to extract as much labor as possible to enrich those above them by any means possible. Its considered perfectly normal and moral to have a class of people worrying daily about their bills and keeping a roof in their head and a whole other class who we defend when they scream at the valet or the housekeeper because some trivial thing bothered them. We equate both those situations as the same thus barely being able to feed your kids is on the same level of outrage as 'you scuffed by Maserati's brake pedal with your boots!'
I don't envy the Chinese as they seem to have few fewer avenues to labor enrichment than the West, but fundamentally we all share the same problem: the one-sided relationship between capital and labor. Ironically, their country was built on addressing that fundamental problem but now have fallen into the same dirty form of capatalism everyone else has.
I laugh when people call it Communist.
Do workers own the means of production? No. Not Communist.
I later found out it has a legal definition.
Key employee, in the ot law, means you have some profit sharing or stake in the company. Doesn't matter how "key" you are to the operations. FYI. I bet lots of people are getting shafted by this.
In all the other jobs I've had I did not report hours. I am hired to get a job done. If that sometimes takes me 30 hours a week and sometimes takes me 55 that is what I'm expected to do.
This is to the point where many of these friends loathe to take an exempt job because they know their income will likely be cut in half on the initial transition without raises/promotions.
I wouldn't mind two weeks of 5x12s followed by a full week off.
Floor nurses often work 3x12 shifts, so three 12-hours days with four days off per week. When my partner was a floor nurse, she would often try to schedule that magical 6x12 shift that provides eight days of vacation. Throw in three days of PTO the next week and you'd have yourself a 15-day vacation!
Whereas, if I want 15 consecutive days off, I'd need to spend 88 hours of PTO.
To a lesser extent, there are some government jobs that gives options for 10hr work days so a person works 4 days per week. Shifting the day off for Monday and Friday and add in a few pto days per month, makes it possible to have nearly a week off work every month.
salaried workers being exempt from paid overtime in most European countries has turned in to a joke.
Instead of just being used to deal with "emergency" situations, it's used to coerce extra work for free.
You'd just as likely selfishly choose overtime as you would not choose it.
It is not optional if you plan on keeping your job
Free markets are successful because people are self-centred?
The last 40 years or more should have been enough time to see that humans are not just machine-like self-interested information processors that respond to the market, they do behave altruistically and will co-operate when the purpose is worth it.
It's this naive insistence that the market and holders of capital, if left alone, will direct humanity in the right direction that causes so much of the concentration of wealth, obscene inequality, economic instability and incredibly damaging waste that western economies have experienced since the end of the last world war.
Amusing to see the priests of this perverse religion still purveying this post-human fantasy of market democracy and Objectivism though.
Since I tend to skew this way, I'd like to see you lay out what some of the ideological assumptions are. Free market views are pretty well backed by economics, and plenty of nations have tried to implement alternative ideas and crashed pretty hard.
> The last 40 years or more should have been enough time to see that humans are not just machine-like self-interested information processors that respond to the market, they do behave altruistically and will co-operate when the purpose is worth it.
This is all true. The other side of that coin that frustrates the Progressive vision is that politicians and other government agents are not just altruistic beings who cooperate, according to public choice theory, they have a significant aspect of being self-interested information processors, to use your terms.
> It's this naive insistence that the market and holders of capital, if left alone, will direct humanity in the right direction...
I'm not sure who is insisting that. I think you have an underlying assumption that the state must provide for the totality of its citizens existence, so you assume that if the government isn't doing this, people must believe that corporations would take over that role.
Free market and small government advocates reject that entirely and believe that social structures can be built from the bottom up. Individualists don't think there needs to be a larger direction for humanity because your individual endeavors have intrinsic value.
What we today understand as civilized society, democracy and rule of law took centuries of work by progressives and government.
Decades of propaganda by libertarians has set up an artificial divide between government and people. See 'Democracy in Chains' by Nancy Maclean.
The government is you in a democracy, it's there to protect your and everyone else's interests, that what democracy and rule of law means. It's what guarantees a somewhat civilized society. It is not this simplistic 'majority can do what they want' illiteracy spread by market fundamentalists.
It appears some people become rich and increasingly alienated from people, society and government and begin to believe they don't need government. This is the kind of hubris that leads to tyranny and quasi feudalism, which is of course what they want.
That's what Libertarianism is in my mind. It's not about reducing the scope of social organization, it's about divorcing that social organization from government and minimizing the responsibilities of government. When government gets large enough it A) ceases to act in the best interests of its citizens and B) starts to legitimize the use of force against its citizens. Take a look at how our police forces are militarizing and our elected representatives are ignoring us for a pretty concrete example.
The nice thing about small decentralized government is that even when it ceases to be of and for the people it can be taken down relatively quickly and painlessly.
The problem with the Libertarian approach is that it's genuinely hard to get people to agree with each other about whether a social endeavor is worth their time, and in the mean time real people are affected by whatever the societal ill is. That's something that we have to be willing to accept if we want to reduce the scope of government. We also have to be willing to accept that there are different ways of living that we might not agree with. And we have to be willing to help people who want to be in our society to join our society.
The real problem is that no matter what our society looks like, it's hard to get people to look past their knee-jerk reactions and try to be tolerant and understanding of others' ignorance. And that cuts both ways.
It's also rational and serves your self-interest to act "altruistically", as your empathy is a basic biological instinct that you can't really fight against, just like hunger or sexual desire. But just like with hunger or sexual desire, letting a biological instinct dominate your whole life is unhealthy and, tbh, pretty stupid.
Not so reassuring.
Let's think about a plausible scenario: I run an industrial facility and am secretly dumping industrial waste into the river. My neighbors start getting sick. When they analyze their drinking water, it shows the presence of a bunch of chemicals whose most probable source is my industrial facility. My neighbors realize I'm to blame, and complain to me about dumping chemicals into the water. I say I've got no idea what they're about and those chemicals must be from somewhere else. Obviously I refuse to hand over any records from my facility.
Getting nowhere, my neighbors file a lawsuit. Then we go through a years-long series of lawsuits where I deny any wrongdoing and maybe eventually have to pay some money, although it hardly brings back everyone killed by illnesses my facility caused.
Dumping waste in the river may be cheaper now, but won't be if you get hit by a fine, or have to deal with an angry mob at the factory gates, or end up polluting your own drinking water supply.
It's not a perfect system - in particular, it's reactionary, which means that enough people a.) need to be harmed and b.) need to complain effectively before the broken incentives are fixed. In practice, it seems to work a lot better than societies where people act for the nebulous "common good", which always seems to end up being defined in a way that suits the self-interests of the people doing the defining anyway.
But, as we often see, people act against their self-interest all the time.
Scandinavian and Slovenian immigrants to the USA, working as coal miners, felt that 8 hour days were important (http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/52/v5... pg 254) and negotiated to have that included in their employment contracts.
So is it perhaps universal that 8 to 10 hours per day is what people feel comfortable with?
Employment is much more constant in some trades than in others. In the greater part of manufacturers, a journeyman may be pretty sure of employment almost every day in the year that he is able to work. A mason or bricklayer, on the contrary, can work neither in hard frost nor in foul weather, and his employment at all other times depends upon the occasional calls of his customers. He is liable, in consequence, to be frequently without any....
Some workmen, indeed, when they can earn in four days what will maintain them through the week, will be idle the other three. This, however, is by no means the case with the greater part. Workmen, on the contrary, when they are liberally paid by the piece, are very apt to overwork themselves, and to ruin their health and constitution in a few years. A carpenter in London, and in some other places, is not supposed to last in his utmost vigour above eight years. Something of the same kind happens in many other trades, in which the workmen are paid by the piece, as they generally are in manufactures, and even in country labour, wherever wages are higher than ordinary. Almost every class of artificers is subject to some peculiar infirmity occasioned by excessive application to their peculiar species of work.
Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
It wasn't until the late 70s that married women start to maintain full time jobs in large numbers (The 'quiet revolution'), but the 40 hour week was in place 30 years earlier.
Of course now we have the situation where you have to have two full time earners to run a household. When I was at highschool in the 90s, I was quite unusual in having two working parents. My best friend for most of high school had a stay at home dad, who looked after him and his younger brother, my other close friend has a stay at home mom. That was fine, as house prices were still in the c. 4 time average income range.
It's the other way round now, where house prices are in the c. 8 times average income range, so it's rare to find anyone with a single income family, and UK society subsidises the two income lifestyle and childcare industry -- you get tax breaks for sending your 1 year old to nursery 50 hours a week, but not for asking a grandparent to look after them, or even reduce your hours so (god forbid) the parents can look after them.
Fun fact I gathered:30% of Victorian workforce were women, because social situation was that. (There were also high levels of prostitution).
I see China's system making it's way to USA soon, in my opinion they just lay the blueprints.
I don't believe that any of those terms apply to people who are fighting against working 72 hours per week for low pay. This is a case of basic human rights. The words that come to mind to describe the folks who are fighting this fight are "proud", "resilient", and "hard-working".
It's hard to argue that someone born in 1982 shares much (if anything) in common with someone born in 1998.
I clicked on the link expecting the Socrates quote and was not disappointed. But, if you read the page through to the end, it seems that this quote was made up in by William L. Patty and Louise S. Johnson and published in "Personality and Adjustment, p. 277" in 1953. It was popularized in the 1960's to trivialize complaints by the older generation against the hippies. I have believed for a long time that this was a true quote from ancient Greece and it has shaped my world view. I have used this quote in many conversations and I still am hoping the quote is authentically from ancient Greece. I'll have to poke around the internet some to convince myself one way or another.
‘And way, way before that, a letter published in a 1771 issue of Town and Country manages to sound laughably familiar, in sentiment at least: “Whither are the manly vigour and athletic appearance of our forefathers flown? Can these be their legitimate heirs? Surely, no; a race of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles can never have descended in a direct line from the heroes of Potiers and Agincourt.”’
Right now, you may well feel more or less entitled to a flush toilet and the ability to access all of the world's information in your pocket. In years past, these things were luxuries. Most of you reading this: Almost everything in your sight was once a luxury.
So here's the thing: You are lazy and entitled. That is both a good and bad thing. It's good, because it shows we have made progress. It's good, because you now have the time and resources to do something positive. Where it's bad, is that you also have the choice to do something positive with those time and resources, or not. Where it's bad, is that you will have a harder time understanding the magnitude of the sacrifices that got us where we are.
Your choice. It's up to you now.
That said, the social/theocratic hegemony of western Christianity wasn't all good, but it also wasn't all bad. The same probably goes for the secular ideological "religion" you see in communist countries.
Well, indeed. In my experience it varies very widely and pretty much follows the pattern you see everywhere else - intelligent, curious people with good job options tend to be less concerned with patriotism; the less fortunate find solace in it.
The most loudly and irrationally patriotic chinese person I know is from guangzhou. Still wants to move away though of course, what's a little cognitive dissonance between friends?
Then, there are also people with memories of what happened in the 1st part of the 20th century.
And if Fujian somehow became a part of Taiwan, you might not notice much difference in CPC support between the province and the island.
And if Fujian somehow became a part of Taiwan
Parts of Fujian are claimed by Taiwan.
A special case to be sure.
So yes, definitely like Church ;)
XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.
Voluntary Works besides, over and above, God's Commandments, which they call Works of Supererogation,
cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety: for by them men do declare,
that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do,
but that they do more for his sake, than of bounden duty is required:
whereas Christ saith plainly When ye have done all that are commanded to you,
say, We are unprofitable servants.
And that's an interesting quote. Perhaps that rule would be better reinstated.
I do agree however that the author should have been more careful with their choice of words.
Couple of years ago, I had raised staying late in office as a big concern at my workplace. My manager told me a story about how his daughter will not eat certain food items. He said he would killed to have those food in his plate. But now, he has to strong arm his daughter into finishing her plate. Next thing I know I am rated as a under-performer because I don't "stretch" enough hours like rest of the team.
My mother told me something similar about never having enough mung bean sprouts.
There's no such things as "human rights standards" for how much you should work per week. For most of human history people lived in abject misery and precariousness and in comparison 72 hours a week and most folks having all the comfort of modern city life is not as bad as it sounds like.
But as China has gotten richer it's only natural that Chinese citizens will want to convert some of their hard earned wealth into more leisure time instead of more physical goods so average hours worked per week will tend to decline.
The same sort of thing happened in America and elsewhere.
I don't see the connection, help me here.
"There's no such things as "human rights standards" for how much you should work per week."
A 40 hour work week isn't (in my view) a "human right" in the way that life, liberty and property are rights. It's an exchange of time/work for money. People can choose to work a lot or work a little depending on how they value their time vs their leisure.
The 40h a week is pretty artificial default that has been imposed on most of the people by business interests. That's how I view it historically at least.
So we might not agree on slippery terms like "basic human rights" but modern phenomena as burnout and work depression are pretty widespread already and can thus serve as an example as to how the current workload standards might be broken.
What's more likely however is that 40h a week seemed more reasonable than the baseline at the time.
Still doesn't make it good for the humans in general though. Time and again studies show humans have no flat productivity rate, and some studies are trying to prove that 40h a week is too much and the people don't have enough productive hours left outside of that to actually tend to family, house cleaning, cooking, leisure hobbies etc.
Past excesses are how we got to current "human rights standards". Also, rationally, good feeling from being tough on those entitled lazies should not be reason to stop discussion about whether such schedule is reasonable.
While you are right that life was difficult, your sense of the past is warped to the point of caricature.
However, the rest of the time was spent with military duty (feudal levy), preparing/preserving food, collecting firewood, takig care of livestock and general homesteading like repairing your mudbrick house.
You still can, but not death in the sense of your target ceasing to breathe, rather the death of everything they've worked for in life being violently ripped out from under them, such as their careers, by the court of public opinion. Still sad when it happens though.
I made that point because someone referred to "human rights" when it comes to working hours. There is just no such thing and there has never been.
The argument that there never has been such a thing is basically arguing that we should stop all progress. That nothing that doesn't already exist should ever be created
Only after developing agriculture do societies start having 12 hours a day of work
Besides, modern times have allowed us to avoid raising children if we don’t want to. We just don’t have to wait until the baby is a fully formed human and born from its mother’s womb to make that decision. In practice it may feel better to do it that way, but the basic effects are the same.
A school leaver with no qualifications in his chosen career finds his first job is crap is not really world news.
Change jobs and hang in there kid.
China's unemployment rate is lower than the uk where this article originates.
You have labour laws.
The worst expected unpaid overtime hours i ever worked or saw worked was in a bank in London. 885 was totally normal.
Making news out of a single case study implying its universal it not really responsible news, even if it is not quite fake news.
"600,000 Chinese die from overworking each year"
Curious on whether these forums are moderated or monitored by Govt? And are there any online places where people can discuss without fear of the Chinese govt?
Chinese were working 6 days a week universally until around 15 years ago, it still isn’t rare to hear if someone who has to work every Saturday (especially in tech).
I was there to witness it because I also worked the same hours. I am a stupid man, who believes in people who build hot dog apps apparently.
But people in Kunming are also laid back, I get the feeling that southwest China is just that way.
I expect it is not surprising that this isn't sustainable. Too many of my co-workers went through burnout, nasty divorces, or both from living this lifestyle. I consciously chose to balance family/work more and paid the price of slower advancement and missed opportunities. But in the process learned a lot about teams that that do work well with good balance.
There are a lot of things that conspire to work against sane work environments, not the least of which is the magical feeling when you push really hard and you get way more done than was expected. That in turn gets praise and glory which encourages managers to go back to that well again and again. Until it is the only way the team operates and everyone burns out.
As a manager I feel it is my job to protect my team from being burnt out in this way and push back on demands that cannot be met. But I am also trying to figure out inefficiencies and work with folks to get them what they need so that they aren't fighting internal processes as much as they are the problems they are trying to solve.
Sure, you can find anecdotal statistics and generalize it, but my impression is that the extreme performance culture not only is accepted, but an integral part of the Chinese school system and upbringing. The 6 to 1 model with; 1 child, 2 parents and 4 grandparents who project their expectations and family reputation on to the child seems to structurally strengthened this. Not to mention that the neighbouring countries have practiced this for decades.
Recently hung out with a Chinese women in her twenties and to her studying 12 hours per day for a child was completely natural.
They're very likely in the UK.
They are very likely getting underpaid for dev work, unless they're a contractor. Our salaries are definitely lower here than in the states.
Has it? Seriously, who is this all powerful "market" that one can go ask and get an exact answer? What does "market" have to say about employers simply giving anemic raises, if they give any at all, to employees they believe will have trouble finding new employment?
Someone's current wage is not correlated with the market wages for their current position.
Its often the case that nurses and teachers are considered underpaid as well. While bankers are overpaid. Would you agree with that?
I never work overtime unless necessary. I've worked around 5 hours of overtime in 2 years, and I made up for it later.
Would you in the US be informed that you are getting paid $20/hr but it stops at 8 hours? There is a reason that the US has laws about the minimum that people can get paid on a salary.
There is no federal law in the US about that. California has such a law, but it requires being reported to be enforced, and as such, is not very often enforced.
The Fair Labor Standards Act.
Someone else here can speak to whether the exemption rate minimum was officially raised from the old $455 per week (the DOL was attempting to increase it). You legally must be paid at least the minimum wage unless you're exempt, and then the minimum weekly pay is in force. The only exclusions are for tip workers, certain types of farm labor, and certain types of seasonal temporary employment.
The DOL also recently increased its penalties for non-compliance:
However, from what I understand, the amount outlined in that law has not changed from when it originally was written. So it is laughably low, to the point where it doesn't really help. I guess it's more than the hourly minimum wage, though?
I can't think of anyone who I'd less want to be working excessive hours than pilots.
"Many people believe that weekends and the 40-hour workweek are some sort of great compromise between capitalism and hedonism, but that’s not historically accurate. They are actually the carefully considered outcome of profit-maximizing research by Henry Ford in the early part of the 20th century. He discovered that you could actually get more output out of people by having them work fewer days and fewer hours."
"In US hospitals, 50000 to 100000 patients die annually from medical errors, and inadequate sleep among physicians may be a factor."
I'm sure there's more data from WWII and later sleep studies as well, yet everyone continues to ignore it.
(Except that they obviously tried state socialism, which is supposed to be the precursor to socialism, which itself is a precursor to communism, but going through the precursor steps to communism doesn't count as trying communism because... reasons.)
In true communism, the leaders are no longer necessary; the people will starve themselves, in the most efficient manner possible.~
The idea Lenin expressed in "State and Revolution" was the idea of the wilting of the state into nothing as it becomes useless without class antagonisms to subdue.
If you follow Marx, the only universal, the step that both China and the USSR skipped which might be why they ended up the way they did, was that Socialism is supposed to evolve from advanced capitalism which produces the abundance of tools and facilities that make a new more equitable highly developed civilization possible.
The interesting lede here is that the USA is, unlike a poor peasant country, in a state of advanced capitalism and is the most wealthy country in world history. It is also the imperial power that oppresses the rest of the world rather than vice versa. These unique circumstances raise the possibility that Marx's vision might be best fulfilled here, not over there.
You're not getting a worker's paradise here unless you shove some people up against the wall.
It's not a uniquely Western trend to want freedom, voting rights, and justice. It's also not uniquely Western to see the regime party members get super rich and get angry.
But I think you're underestimating the extent to which universalism is a Western metacognitive bias that other cultures don't necessarily share .
The idea that there is one universal set of rules that everyone in the world can and should agree on, based on logic and rational consideration, is not really shared by all other cultures.
The Chinese response that 'it may work for the West, but it's not for us', is not a specious cop-out (the Western response being typically what do you mean there are two sets of rules!?) but probably represents the honest opinion of a large fraction of the population.
That's even before we get to the end result of democratic elections in many countries, where dictators are who the people choose.
You're wrong; the majority of chinese I've talked to say that while it can be overbearing, it's given them more opportunities. I hear more things positive about the government in frank, private conversations than with most people from my country. This is a result of the recent rise in wealth. But just wait until that prosperity subsides.
I'n not arguing that there isn't bribery, censorship, or corruption. I think that western societies function better under democratic rule, but the chinese culture and political system is much different than ours. As long as the people are prosperous they won't mind the rulers, but once things go bad at a large scale the power will change.
Have you ever been to China recently?
The major cities there are 10 years ahead of the West. No one uses cash anymore in China. You use your mobile phone to pay for everything... even the street food vendor or mom and pop stores accept Alipay or WeChat Pay. Public transportation is clean and efficient; new stops (for subway) and new routes (high speed rail) are added monthly. The pace of innovation is amazing. The cities are super safe (cameras everywhere) and clean too (no homeless, no human feces, or needles on the streets like in SF).
the big problems are the debt and the house bubble, one of them blows up will cause serious issues, so far so good it seems.
Surveillance and an all-powerful regime has well and truly snookered the Chinese, and it seems their autonomy will not improve for a very long time.
Although Communism and Democracy are frequently seen as opposites in the West, Chinese propaganda doesn't hesitate to claim Democracy for themselves (there are elections after all) and volunteering in various state-adjacent organizations is encouraged. From the point of view of an upstanding party member, organizing a student rally probably seemed like the right thing to do, in good old revolutionary tradition.
Most people don't care about censorship and the ones that do can get around it. From their point of view, it is no different to the NSA or the cameras in the UK (way more than China).
Most Chinese people I know own a house (more like a shack) BUT it is out in the countryside. They want to move to the city where apartments are more expensive and there are more opportunities.
They look at their parent's life and their life is a lot better. The ones that have enough money (not all of them) generally move to another country since they can afford it. The ones without money don't care.
The pollution is bad but at the same time China is putting more money into green energy than any other country. Every bus in the cities are being sent to the country or scrapped and replaced with electric busses (more than every other country combined).
As far as the debt goes it is something they worry about. At the same time, it is lower than the USA debt. The housing bubble is also an issue but they are building millions of apartments unlike other cities in the world.
Basically, the working class is currently better off but they have the same problem that the USA has right now. Lots of students graduating from universities without enough high paying jobs to match.
Technology scales really well so you don't need a lot of workers. You need a lot of low paid works ... same as in other countries.
An obviously fraudulent setup. There are very few things you can get 80% of people to agree on unless they feel compelled to agreement. The Chinese people no longer possess the ability to dissent. What little ability they had to do so, briefly, has been wiped out in the last five years under the new dictatorship.
Your China reference is as legitimate as Putin's approval rating.
If you look at a country like Sweden, arguments amount to "Should we give more financial assistance to refugees, or to the elderly?". Their environmental regulations, their high welfare state, their criminal law... None of that is ever debated, because they're all in near-unanimous agreement.
Russia is similar but leaning conservative, and they view Putin as the person who can accomplish their national goals and uphold their conservative values. This is how most of the rest of the world exists, and children in those countries are very likely to continue that trend, given that it's all they're exposed to. 80% approval is totally believable, with that in mind.
This doesn't really have much do with superior governance though, does it? It has a lot do with the country's recent history.
a) It help government approval tremendously when you can censor bad news and disproportionately cover positive news.
b) It's also really difficult to assess how much credit the Chinese government actually deserves for China's economic success. Every other old-world power that has embraced capitalism has achieved similar success. China has also had the benefit of playing their economic catch-up from 1980-present, starting from an essentially pre-20th century economy. Is there really some amazing government wizardry (that couldn't be replicated by any of the governments of developed countries) in achieving immense growth by applying highly advanced (relative to yours) foreign technology to your gigantic populace through a market system?
Is censorship, stoking nationalism, and violation of human rights really the magic formula? I'm really skeptical there.
c) It's easy to overlook the immense inequality in China, both in economic terms and in terms of human rights. If you're a Han Chinese living in a first-tier city, you likely have a very different experience with the government that a Uighur or Tibetan. The CCP, to stay in power, really only needs the support of the Han population (they make up 90% of the population). This distorts incentives for treatment of minority groups significantly. If it's good for Han, it's good for the CCP.
On the other hand, the whole "censor the bad news" thing means that Han Chinese don't necessarily hear about how minority ethnic groups in Xinjiang or Tibet are treated... removing the historically most powerful feedback mechanism for improving the treatment of the oppressed. Which, obviously, is the dominant ethnic group being aware of the plight of minority groups, feeling human sympathy, and calling for change.
Worse still, as China's sphere of influence grows and yet the censorship remains, the same dynamic will occur--the CCP is incentivized to keep the Han Chinese population happy, and the Han population feels none of the guilt that a population with a free press provides when reporting on the its government's less-than-acceptable actions elsewhere.
I'm happy for the Chinese people and their economic success and progress so far, but it's dangerous to overpraise the its government model given the misaligned incentives that exist. I understand that rapid change can be dangerous and believe steady progress may be preferable, but that's a very different position than promoting China's governmental model as something to be praised and replicated.
The point I was trying to make is don't expect a revolution any time soon. They are fairly happy since life is generally improving for "most" Chinese people.
Or the obscene ballooning of rents without a corresponding increase in wage?
Absurd overtime expectations?
Strawman. Your credit score won't legally lock you out of being able to fly in the US and is not a government punishment enforced through violence. Surveillance in the US is not similar to the extreme oppression occurring in China and the almost complete lack of freedom of speech, freedom of demonstration, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of press. This HN forum can't exist in China.
> Absurd overtime expectations?
Nope. The US works about as many hours as New Zealand, which is not infamous for very punishing work hours. It sits at the OECD average and is comparable to Italy and Canada.
> Or the obscene ballooning of rents without a corresponding increase in wage?
Non-qualified setup. That entirely depends on where you live and what your job is. If you're trying to be a janitor in San Francisco, you have a problem. Most of the US is not in fact outrageously expensive, it's quite reasonable.