Antiwork Is the New American Dream

Antiwork Is the New American Dream

For the past few years, I’ve been a member of a subreddit called Antiwork (r/antiwork). I think I found my way there through r/PovertyFinance or r/LostGeneration, where I lurk, occasionally answering questions about surviving life in a capitalist hellscape. (Usually while on the toilet. Sorry, jut being real!)

Antiwork is a place for people to vent about their jobs, mostly through memes and frustrated rants. But instead of drawing individualistic conclusions (“this job sucks”), they take a more wholistic view. They view those negative experiences as evidence of a deeper and more systemic dysfunction of labor (“all work sucks”) that deserves serious discussion and commiseration.

The vibe is pessimistic, almost to the point of fatalism. The stories are depressing, petty, and brutal. Doesn’t sound like a fun place for people to spend social recreational time, does it? But oh, how it’s landed recently…!

I joined way back in 2018, when the subreddit had about 3,000 subscribers. Today, it has over a million—with more joining every day.

Its sudden popularity is making a lot of powerful people nervous, to which I say AHAHAHAHA, GOOD!!

Antiwork's exponential growth.
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How to Use Labor Shortages to Your Advantage

How to Use Labor Shortages to Your Advantage

Labor shortages? With a 6% unemployment rate? On the heels of a recession and global pandemic? Seriously?

Seriously. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the signs hanging in almost every restaurant, coffee shop, and gas station window you’ve walked past. “Now hiring! Check our website for details!” But there’s something off about them. Usually such signs have a cheerfully neutral tone. But these are radiating powerful desperation stink.

“We’re hiring! Like, SERIOUSLY hiring. Literally every role is open! Do you want my job? You can have it! We have signing bonuses. If you show up all five days your first week, I will give you my cat. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat like a son—but if someone doesn’t help me bus these tables, the fabric of my reality will unravel all around me lol.”

When employers are desperate for employees, they’re weak. And when they’re weak, you are strong. You can use this moment as an opportunity to claw back lost ground.

But situations like these have been super rare in recent history. Honestly, unless you’re a Boomer or older, this really hasn’t happened in your lifetime! (Yes, to my eternal surprise, BGR does have enthusiastic Boomer and Silent Gen readers. We salute you—the few, the proud, the kickass—for enduring our 90s pop culture references and ageist hissy fits with grace and poise.) Younger readers will be forgiven for not knowing how to take advantage of it.

So that’s what we’ll teach you today! C’mon, finance, let’s get fin~nancial!

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The American healthcare system was already like a Dickensian Sorting Hat separating the rich from the dead. A universal killer like COVID-19 perfectly illuminates exactly how fucked up that is.

Coronavirus Reveals America’s Pre-existing Conditions, Part 1: Healthcare, Housing, and Labor Rights

This article is continued in Part 2.

My fellow Americans… we’re currently in month 784 of 2020, aka The Plague Times, so let’s take stock:

It’s… a lot, I know. The facts are grim, and they’re only getting grimmer.

But if you’re feeling like all of this death, economic destruction, and tragedy came out of nowhere, I have even worse news for you: it didn’t. For the sad effects of the pandemic are neither sudden, isolated, nor unpredictable.

Rather, they are the results of a system that has been balancing on a precipice for decades. A global pandemic was simply the last push needed to send this car over the cliff and hurtling spectacularly to the rocks below.

The coronavirus has singlehandedly revealed the pre-existing conditions our country has been ignoring, denying, and dismissing since dinosaurs Ronald Reagan roamed the Earth White House.

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