Updated: Oct 21
I'm getting a few questions and objections to the 80% Christmas idea on social media. I am ready because I have thought through this for years already. Since I have explained the basic idea and the rationale in the previous post, let me use other posts to answer these responses.
So, the question is: Should women attack the whole US economy?
Seems extreme? Think about this: When air traffic controllers, shipyard workers, or railway employees strike, does anybody ask this question? No, they don't, even though the action affects the whole economy. Everyone just assumes they have a right to use their economic power to get fair treatment.
So why is it different for women? Because when women stand up for their own rights, they are accused (even by the left) for being selfish. People simply do not take women's mistreatment very seriously—and it will never have occurred to them that the female half of the American economy has this kind of power. They will be shocked and will lash out. Good. That means we are having a practical effect—not just making a show of solidarity, as important as that is.
Important to know: the Roberts Court has attacked and, basically, blocked women's employment rights won in the 1970s by taking the teeth out of the enforcement mechanisms. With a majority, they can keep hurting everyone with a job. Please see Chapter 9, 'The Failure of Equal Pay," in The Double X Economy, for more details.
Traditional boycotts and strikes don't suit women's situation. Those actions only affect one industry or company at a time. But women are subjugated across the whole economy and in their personal lives, too. If there is going to be an appropriate, effective action, it needs to reach everywhere.
Too many women are left out when there is a labor strike, like A Day Without Women. Housewives and students, for instance. Or they bear too much risk, such as informal workers do. The 80% Christmas can be done, very quietly, by everyone. No risk of direct, personal retaliation. Labor strikes hail from a different era and a different kind of cause. Women need their own, distinctive, political tool.
Please remember the teachers' strikes. Those walkouts jeopardized their jobs, but the women struck anyway. Some were even vulnerable to jail time for breaking the law by striking as public employees. But these women bit the bullet anyway for the long term gain of getting a living wage and adequate resources. Other working women may want the same.
And if folks don't want this to happen, it is a straightforward matter to call their Senators and get it stopped. Corporations, billionaires, and dark money donors have phones, too.
So let's not misplace the blame. Women are suffering. They stand to suffer more. It's the Republicans in the Senate causing the action. Blame them for the loss of jobs and the decline in the stock market.
The whole point is to get the Senate to back off. If they do, Christmas is back on. It could all be over by Halloween if these guys do the right thing.