In capitalist enterprises across the US, when the working day ends and employees return to their homes, many stop at bars along the way. Signs invite them in for a “Happy Hour” of drinking. The implication is that the previous hours – working – are the day’s unhappy hours. Similarly, current mainstream academic economics (“neoclassical economics”) ascribes “disutility” to labor, an absolute and universal characteristic of labor per se.
The latest employment report (for July 2012) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in Washington documents the utter failure of the political establishment to respond effectively to the crisis that began in December 2007. Unemployment remains over 8 %, more than 50% higher than it was in 2007. The U-6 figure published by the BLS that adds to these unemployed the numbers of marginal workers (those who gave up looking for work) and the part-timers who want full-time work has returned to 15% of the labor force, nearly 20 million Americans.