Somehow I missed this article till now!
I remember a time during the Reagan years when we workers were told we were about to become, in essence, "entrepreneurs" which was shorthand for a new minimum sense of responsibility employers were going to be permitted to take for their employees. That has come to pass, I think--in fact, a large percentage of the work force has not known it any other way.
Workers don't really identify themselves as workers anymore--each in his or her own way is pursuing a dream, the American Dream some might say, but I think not. The American dream was practical, assumed a kind of happiness in ordinary life: a house, a car, the ability to provide for a family--a chicken in every pot. Today we workers are placing our hopes on American Idol, the lottery, the flimsiest kind of dreams.
Likewise, I am a Berkeley carpenter who has won awards for poetry and published a book called Hammer about the construction industry which was well-reviewed in the New York Times Book review: Mark Turpin.net.
Mar 5 2007 - 3:27pm