After WW2 everyone was FUCKING TIRED of working doubletime under extreme conditions. Though the conditions here were vastly better than in Europe, the same response happened in both places.
Workers in the ’50s expected to do their job, without undue strain and stress, in a reasonable number of hours. Workers also expected to support a decent family life on one income. Unions enforced these expectations ferociously, and non-union companies had to go along if they didn’t want to get unionized.
In the ’50s and ’60s most jobs were 44 hours. 8-12 / 1-5 M to F, 8-12 on Sat. Unionized workers had it even better. Bell Tel employees worked 8:30 to 4:30 with a half hour for lunch, so they were effectively doing 7.5 hours instead of 8, and had an extra hour of uninterrupted rest time.
Many soldiers had been RUINED by combat. They had seen things a man shouldn’t have to see, and done things a man shouldn’t have to do. They ended up barely functional or falling-down drunk, and employers UNDERSTOOD. Employers kept them on the job, tried to make them useful.
My father told about a fellow teacher at Ponca High who spent part of the time in a disoriented fugue state, mumbling about strings and colors. He wasn’t fired. Other teachers filled in during his bad times, and the kids understood. I suspect the kids learned MORE because they had to take the responsibility of learning.
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Now we’re seeing a similar natural response to 3 years of unending torture and screeching madness and mass genocide. The Chinese call it ‘Lying Flat’, and now Westerners call it Quiet Quitting.
In the ’50s it was called ‘working’.
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Later thought: Unions maintained the balance of power in the ’50s. Right now would be a great business opportunity for unions to regain their side of the scale. Unfortunately most unions are VIOLENTLY working for Deepstate and Wall Street and Demon Fauci, even when the employers are LESS insane. Unions are helping to CREATE the evil conditions, not trying to FIGHT the evil conditions.
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Irrelevant sidenote: Now that I’ve got the 1950 Census page for Ponca bookmarked and familiar, I checked the teacher in my father’s story. He was in fact a high school teacher. So far, every assumption and memory about 1950 is correct, while most of my assumptions about 1940 turned out wrong.