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Worker voice can help ensure that companies act more in line with public values, regardless of what the law requires. Worker voice can also help ensure that companies act more in line with public values, regardless of what the law requires. Again, there are a number of examples. Beyond Google, Amazon employees signed a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos in October demanding that the company cease selling its facial recognition program, Rekognition, to law enforcement agencies, given evidence that the program like many other AI systems tended to misidentify individuals with darker skin.

This ferment among tech workers—and their fear of retaliation—is indicative of our political-economic moment. With the decline of unions and the erosion of the regulatory state, corporations face little countervailing power. As institutions, they then face enormous incentives to act badly—some would even say, sociopathically.

Or companies may align with authoritarian governments, or simply disregard the clear and immediate harms their products cause.

Harker Speaker Series - Silicon Valley Reads "Poetry from War"

But they rarely lead to institutional change. As in the Gilded Age and after, the remedy to the public harms of capitalism is to build and exert countervailing power. Three sets of reforms could advance that goal. The absence of such rights chills all manner of speech and protest.

Unions are nearly impossible to establish, and even once established, they deliver only weak democratic rights. This is a core failure of our labor law.

Silicon Valley - Silicon Valley Poems - Poem Hunter

The second would revitalize a classic means of ensuring worker voice and power: unions. While there are many reasons to do this, particularly for low-wage workers both in Silicon Valley and beyond, unionization of white-collar tech workers seems quite unlikely, for a few reasons. Our labor law makes it exceptionally hard to organize even in the best of circumstances, in part because it tolerates or encourages substantial and often illegal resistance from managers. A foundational set of doctrines in our labor law give companies very broad rights to make decisions about corporate strategy and other managerial matters without consulting or bargaining with unions.

In other words, unions are nearly impossible to establish, and even once established, they deliver only weak democratic rights. This is, to be clear, a core failure of our labor law, whose weaknesses have been extensively documented by scholars over the years. As I argued last summer, the time is ripe to think about fundamental labor law reform, particularly to enable low-wage workers to unionize and exercise power. A third and complementary approach—which strikes me as especially promising for white collar tech workers—would be to guarantee workers some collective voice regardless of whether they unionize.

There are successful models of this approach in other dynamic capitalist economies. For example, various European countries—Germany most notably—guarantee workers seats on corporate boards.

Silicon Valley Giants Collaborate With The US On Venezuela

This was a demand of the Google organizers, and the idea is gaining traction in U. Senator Warren introduced legislation last summer that would mandate employee board seats at large corporations, and the Roosevelt Institute been pushing the idea. We should guarantee workers some degree of collective voice regardless of whether they unionize. German workers, and workers in some other European countries, also have a guaranteed collective voice at the workplace level. Historically, works councils have been most effective when workers are unionized, so that they do not simply become a tool of management; they are currently unlawful in the U.

But there may be ways for lawmakers to bring the principle—that workers should be guaranteed a collective voice at work—into the U. Or Congress could require that employers develop internal processes for investigating sexual harassment in conjunction with employees. Still more ambitiously, Congress could mandate that employees be given a voice in certain important business decisions, such as whether to enter a partnership or carry out a merger, or which product lines to develop. The aspiration, as should be clear, is to enable workers to build robust democratic institutions of their own.

To that end, representatives for such workplace bodies could, in turn, be chosen on an annual basis in all major companies, on the same day each year. Some have suggested as much in the union context, but the idea may be even more germane for these non-union or quasi-union forms of representation.

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Such a system could also encourage unions to take on the role of helping elected representatives to navigate the new regime, which could in turn help set the stage for further organizing. Our law does not require companies to treat either employees or consumers as fellow citizens.

The Round Table

But it could. A similar approach could be used in the context of consumer data protection and the ethics of AI, where democratic commitments suggest that companies—or even groups of companies—should be setting policies in conjunction with both worker representatives and consumer or public representatives. Such a tripartite process may be especially helpful around data and AI. Friendly reminder that in an October Senate Judiciary Committee hearing , senators spoke with top legal and security officials for Facebook, Twitter and Google in a very disturbing way about the need for a Ministry of Truth to silence dissenting voices.

We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America. In a corporatist system of government, corporate censorship is state censorship. Anyone who's fine with Silicon Valley plutocrats banning Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, or various Venezuelan government figures from having a voice on these giant monopolistic platforms is an idiot.

These corporations are not separate from the US government in any meaningful way, and their behavior is therefore no better than the state censorship we commonly see US government officials decrying in the governments of non-allied nations. In a corporatist system of government, where there is no meaningful separation between government power and corporate power, corporate censorship is state censorship.

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Caitlin Johnstone is a percent crowdfunded rogue journalist, bogan socialist, anarcho-psychonaut, guerilla poet and utopia prepper living in Australia with her American husband and two kids. I was constantly, like, dashing around … but she liked to slow down and savor things.

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My mother would take her time. I could bolt down my food and be ready to leave in no time.

She wanted to relax. Her hands would encircle the mug of coffee. It was as much about the feel of the mug as the coffee itself. It was as much about just—kind of relaxing and being in the moment as it was about the food. With H is for Haiku , she continues to educate children and adults alike on the beauty and pleasure of short-form poetry in Of note: Rosenberg was not a dogmatic haikuist. Her alphabet haikus are neither strict about syllable count or subject matter.

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If it is slicked into cuteness, haiku loses what it had to give. H is for Haiku is about the moments we often overlook—the transportive experiences right in front of us, in our homes and neighborhoods—right here in Queens.