Workplace Stress Is Literally Killing People; Mass Lawsuits Are Imminent

haidut

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It is good to see that even business school people - that bastion of workaholism - are finally opening their eyes to what the modern workplace is doing to the health of the populace. Even though I think this realization will fall on deaf years when it comes to executives changing the work environment, but as the articles says, if the executives do not change voluntarily the mass lawsuits that are beginning to form will push that change through with force. One thing that nobody is willing to talk about however is the failure of medicine (outside of ER) to deliver any improvement in health. So, while the recognition that stress is the major cause of health issues is a great step forward without realizing that medicine does nothing to address the damage of that stress not much progress will be done in terms of health cost burden on society.

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/workplace-killing-people-nobody-cares

"...Dying for a Paycheck, published by HarperBusiness and released on March 20, maps a range of ills in the modern workplace — from the disappearance of good health insurance to the psychological effects of long hours and work-family conflict — and how these are killing people."

"...I was struck by the story of Robert Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, standing in front of 1,000 other CEOs and saying, “You are the cause of the health care crisis.” It’s true. He takes three points and puts them together. The first point, which is consistent with data reported by the World Economic Forum and other sources, is that an enormous percentage of the health care cost burden in the developed world, and in particular in the U.S., comes from chronic disease — things like diabetes and cardiovascular and circulatory disease. You begin with that premise: A large fraction — some estimates are 75 percent — of the disease burden in the U.S. is from chronic diseases. Second, there is a tremendous amount of epidemiological literature that suggests that diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome — and many health-relevant individual behaviors such as overeating and underexercising and drug and alcohol abuse — come from stress. And third, there is a large amount of data that suggests the biggest source of stress is the workplace. So that’s how Chapman can stand up and make the statement that CEOs are the cause of the health care crisis: You are the source of stress, stress causes chronic disease, and chronic disease is the biggest component of our ongoing and enormous health care costs."

"...I cannot see that happening with respect to the workplace in the current political environment and the push for deregulation. And, for reasons I’ve already alluded to, I think people don’t necessarily see, recognize, or appreciate what’s going on in the workplace. To the extent that they do, they think it’s inevitable — everyone has to be working long hours and be miserable. You know what might change this? I gave a talk on this to Stanford alumni and afterward a lawyer came up to me and said there are going to be lawsuits. On what grounds? In a way parallel to the lawsuits that were filed against tobacco companies. Some companies are killing their workers. People have been harmed. If I had to bet on how this will change, some company is going to get sued, some lawyer will win an enormous award, and that will open the floodgates."
 

Amazoniac

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I know people that could quit their jobs and do the same work on their own, but just don't. I always had the impression that these are weighted decisions.

If you fail inside a company, at least you'll have people directing you on what to do, supporting you, or even challenging you to become more capable. If you fail on your own, there's no one else to blame; the feeling of complete lack of utility to the world is more terrifying than the stress of a workplace because on the worst cases it's always possible to degrade to less demanding positions.

Related to work, for every people that I've met which were in dishonest jobs and positions, all of them had this in common:
"The criminal, often is not equal to his act; he diminishes and debases it." - Friedzord
 
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Tarmander

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I don't think it will take much to change workplaces into a place that is more supportive of health.

Lower AC, ditch the harsh lighting, deal with EMFs and screen fatigue.

Once more creativity is needed to deal with problems, and money is not so damn cheap, companies will find that the slave mill model just does not work anymore.
 

haidut

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I know people that could quit their jobs and do the same work on their own, but just don't. I always had the impression that these are weighted decisions.

If you fail inside a company, at least you'll have people directing you on what to do, supporting you, or even challenging you to become more capable. If you fail on your own, there's no one else to blame; the feeling of complete lack of utility to the world is more terrifying than the stress of a workplace because on the worst cases it's always possible to degrade to less demanding positions.

I think this is probably by design and generations of people have been reared this way - to be afraid of novelty and trying on their own. Corporations like "domesticated" employees as they are a lot less disruptive and unlikely to quit and become a competitor.
How To Legally Own Another Person
 

haidut

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Lower AC, ditch the harsh lighting, deal with EMFs and screen fatigue

Agreed, but the ones you mentioned are really hard to deal with. AC is a given in most companies and employees will probably freak out if it is gone. The lightning type is set by law and incandescent bulb are being phased out. I think there is even a ban on business in some states using incandescent in offices. Fire hazard and electricity drain, they say. And the EMF - wifi is mandatory in most companies nowadays, so not likely to get turned off. Maybe monitor screens that block blue light would be feasible but that's about it. So, yes, the impactful changes we need are probably not many and mostly known but they are not easy to implement.
 

mr_mercer

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Not going to happen. Real GDP growth per capita in the west has flatlined since 2000. Arguably since 1975 depending on how you measure. Working conditions will only worsen. Labor has zero power over capital right now and there is nothing imminent to change that. Insane immigration and visa policies promulgated by the capital holding class continue to worsen the situation throughout the industrialized world.

The only way working conditions were ever improved historically was via increased total energy consumption and labor productivity growth. Neither of these factors are in the cards. We're out of cheap energy, and automation is increasingly making about half the population functionally useless in the labor market. Corporate R&D investment in technology has been abysmally low by modern standards for the last decade at least. Nothing serious has happened technologically since the 90s (to over simplify). There's no big new wave to propel the economy and the working man forward. The last wave was the internet and digital wireless, and that's finished now, more or less.

To seriously suggest some sort of class action suit for workers is a bit naive, in the bigger sweep of history. That sort of thing only happens in the context of a rising tide of wealth, where oligarchs feel sharing more is win-win.

The only thing I can think of that would result in better work place conditions right now is a pandemic that killed half the population.
 
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haidut

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Nothing serious has happened technologically since the 90s (to over simplify)

Actually, aside from the advent of the Internet nothing serious has really happened since the early 20th century. The entire world is running on "old science".
I am also a bit suspicious that class action lawsuit will have much success, but you never know. Revolution is always an option, and I am concerned is becoming more and more likely.
Have you read Peter Thiel's article on scientific stagnation since as early as the 1960s? I think you may like his arguments in there.
Peter Thiel Says Computers Haven’t Made Our Lives Significantly Better
 

mr_mercer

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Revolution is always an option, and I am concerned is becoming more and more likely.
Peter Thiel Says Computers Haven’t Made Our Lives Significantly Better

Revolution absent energy consumption growth and productivity growth just results in slave labor GULAGs. There's no political solution at all. The social and political problems are to do with energy, same as with an organism. Britain ran out of anthracite coal in the late 20s, with predictable consequences. America peaked out on cheap, abundant low sulfur oil in 1969. The Soviet Union did a little later. America was shrewder about orchestrating global shenanigans to keep the energy flowing homeward.

I fear our American future almost inevitably looks like 90s Russia. Nobody has done anything serious about the energy problem. We are out of coal and oil. The time to establish space based solar and thorium reactors was ten years ago.
 

haidut

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Revolution absent energy consumption growth and productivity growth just results in slave labor GULAGs. There's no political solution at all. The social and political problems are to do with energy, same as with an organism. Britain ran out of anthracite coal in the late 20s, with predictable consequences. America peaked out on cheap, abundant low sulfur oil in 1969. The Soviet Union did a little later. America was shrewder about orchestrating global shenanigans to keep the energy flowing homeward.

I fear our American future almost inevitably looks like 90s Russia. Nobody has done anything serious about the energy problem. We are out of coal and oil. The time to establish space based solar and thorium reactors was ten years ago.

So maybe we should call it "Peak World" instead of "Peak Oil"?
Agreed, revolution is not a solution but violence always seems to happen when all hope is lost. So, I am saying we seem to be going in that direction, even though it likely won't solve anything. Without technological/scientific progress even the rich cabal won't do well. Unless there is advanced technology which is being kept hidden so that the rich can thrive and the poor can stay in slave labor, and all we are seeing right now is an orchestrated attempt at population control.
 

michael94

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I know people that could quit their jobs and do the same work on their own, but just don't. I always had the impression that these are weighted decisions.

If you fail inside a company, at least you'll have people directing you on what to do, supporting you, or even challenging you to become more capable. If you fail on your own, there's no one else to blame; the feeling of complete lack of utility to the world is more terrifying than the stress of a workplace because on the worst cases it's always possible to degrade to less demanding positions.

Related to work, for every people that I've met which were in dishonest jobs and positions, all of them had this in common:
"The criminal, often is not equal to his act; he diminishes and debases it." - Friedzord

The word job is related to Job from the Bible Old Testament...

Great post from you
Work should be done because it is worth doing for its own sake... what a concept right?
 

mr_mercer

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an orchestrated attempt at population control.

Absent major new energy technologies the sustainable population of this planet is way less than 6 billion and there is no sane policy prescription other than population control. A sustainable population of the USA absent new energy sources is probably under 150 million. Current projections under debate in the context of our insane immigration policy have the USA breaking 500 million people some time in the 2060s, which is simply not going to happen, one way or the other. Mean reversion is not a pleasant process; it is attended to by the four horsemen, and also apparently by a fifth who wields booze and heroin and fentanyl.
 

dfspcc20

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So this is the "body bag" retirement plan my coworkers keep talking about... :0

So maybe we should call it "Peak World" instead of "Peak Oil"?
Agreed, revolution is not a solution but violence always seems to happen when all hope is lost. So, I am saying we seem to be going in that direction, even though it likely won't solve anything. Without technological/scientific progress even the rich cabal won't do well. Unless there is advanced technology which is being kept hidden so that the rich can thrive and the poor can stay in slave labor.

I personally believe we already have all the knowledge, science and resources for all of humanity to be able to live in abundance on this planet. Just lots of ingrained stories/mythologies have to get out of the way first. Kind of like how Peat said one of the first things he'd like to see is us casting off the current medical and legal systems. I'd add to that the debt-based monetary system as well.
 

haidut

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Absent major new energy technologies the sustainable population of this planet is way less than 6 billion and there is no sane policy prescription other than population control. A sustainable population of the USA absent new energy sources is probably under 150 million. Current projections under debate in the context of our insane immigration policy have the USA breaking 500 million people some time in the 2060s, which is simply not going to happen, one way or the other. Mean reversion is not a pleasant process; it is attended to by the four horsemen, and also apparently by a fifth who wields booze and heroin and fentanyl.

Do you have some links/sources discussing optimal population size for the world and specific countries? What are those based on - energy production per capita?
 

haidut

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So this is the "body bag" retirement plan my coworkers keep talking about... :0



I personally believe we already have all the knowledge, science and resources for all of humanity to be able to live in abundance on this planet. Just lots of ingrained stories/mythologies have to get out of the way first. Kind of like how Peat said one of the first things he'd like to see is us casting off the current medical and legal systems. I'd add to that the debt-based monetary system as well.

Lol, I guess so. If most people under 40 have no retirement savings of any kind then retirement is not an option. You either work till you drop or acquire a vice/disease that "retires" you.
 

Seleniodine

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In the book ’2052-A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years’, written by Jørgen Randers,
the author forecasts that global population will peak in the 2040's at around

8 billion people, with peak employment decreasing about five years before that. How that number will be distributed around the planet remains to be seen, but current migratory trends may provide a glimpse of things to come.



Do you have some links/sources discussing optimal population size for the world and specific countries? What are those based on - energy production per capita?
 

haidut

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In the book ’2052-A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years’, written by Jørgen Randers,
the author forecasts that global population will peak in the 2040's at around

8 billion people, with peak employment decreasing about five years before that. How that number will be distributed around the planet remains to be seen, but current migratory trends may provide a glimpse of things to come.

Thanks. The reason I am asking is that mr_mercer mentioned some very specific numbers for US so I am assuming this has been studied and something published that ties the 150mil number to things like natural resources and possibly energy production.
 

Seleniodine

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ahh ok, the low end number... I was looking at the potential future maximums which seem over-estimated for the US.
Hopefully mr_mercer can provide more info.

Thanks. The reason I am asking is that mr_mercer mentioned some very specific numbers for US so I am assuming this has been studied and something published that ties the 150mil number to things like natural resources and possibly energy production.
 

Seleniodine

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The hi-tech corporate (ie G00gle) fix for these workplace issues seems to be to provide all the extra things you could need; restaurants, gyms, game rooms, nap rooms, barbers etc etc so that way you never have to leave work at all! Problem solved!
 

800mRepeats

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Lol, I guess so. If most people under 40 have no retirement savings of any kind then retirement is not an option. You either work till you drop or acquire a vice/disease that "retires" you.

Yep. That's my plan. Just keeping up the potentially-fatal (but not overly dangerous) hobbies to reduce the risk of a lingering demise ... :dead:
 

robknob

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Have you read Peter Thiel's article on scientific stagnation since as early as the 1960s? I think you may like his arguments in there.
Peter Thiel Says Computers Haven’t Made Our Lives Significantly Better
I find Peter a very interesting thinker, his statement about the innovation in the world of bits out-pacing that in the world of atoms is quite elegant. But I do think that history will prove the silicon age will be to the next industrial revolution(automation) as the scientific enlightenment was to the first industrial revolution.

Spacex is a great example of how computer tech has come into "adulthood" and starting to really accelerate progress in the world of atoms. They have leveraged computer tech, mainly in the form of very sophisticated simulations, to drastically outstrip their competition, who have been around for a lot longer and with a lot more capital at their disposal, a true david vs goliath.

I think there is great potential for large scale democratization and decentralization of production in the coming decades. It's already not inconceivable that with a modest capital investment, a middle class individual can purchase 3d printers, CNC machines, welding kits, etc and start their own custom furniture business. Perhaps in a decade or so, if you own some land, you can purchase a farming robot and some seeds, then kick back for a few months until your product is harvested. This future depends on the existence of a middle class however... the future existence of which seems increasingly threatened by certain political forces (cough cough feel the bern cough cough)
 
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