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Making America Work for Working People


Making America Work for Working People

Sarita Gupta

For millions of working parents like me, the juggling act between our homes and offices gets even more frantic as our kids head back to school.

My daughter just started kindergarten. Some days, I’m proud of how my husband and I manage the demands of our jobs while also taking care of her and my parents. Other days, life happens — the train’s late, a deadline surfaces, a meeting gets rescheduled ­— and it all falls apart.


Right-on points, Ms. Gupta.

As someone who felt the rigors of single parenthood firsthand, I know how those shifts in plans feel! Another item is that schools have odd planning days for teachers and on days when parents prefer to think their children will be safe at school (so they can attend their jobs), erratic OFF days occur to toss a monkey wrench into that certainty.

As Pavlov learned in his tests on dogs being triggered by a bell to PRESUME their food would be served, there is nothing more undermining to stable behavior than what's known as the "random interval reinforcements." Essentially, as so many corporate chains seek to tie employee hours to computer-generated logarithms that predict when sales will peak and conversely diminish, workers are being treated like those dogs with "random interval" working hours.

The enslavement to capital has so many turned into slaves. It's a phenomenal waste of human hope, treasure, and possibility.


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They, those who run things, can come up with miraculous ways to complicate the lives of single parents. My son went to day care morning and afternoon at a school within easy walking distance of our apartment, but they bussed him back and forth across town because, being Caucasian, he was a valuable addition to racial and ethnic quotas.

I had, especially during the early childhood years, no help or back up of any kind. If he seemed a little bit sick but not too bad in the morning, I would have to decide if I wanted to take the chance and send him on to school and hope (dreading the phone call I felt sure I would get) it wouldn't turn serious or keep him and stay with him and miss out on a day's pay that I could not really afford to lose.

I was never able to get any kind of public assistance because, to qualify, you had to be jobless through absolutely no fault of your own -- you couldn't quit or be fired.