How Lousy Life-Shortening Jobs Became America's Gig

Be glad you don't work in turn-of-the-century America. It was a time of lethal accidents, legal child labor, lecherous tycoons and more sick problems we've (mostly) left behind. Things got better in the past hundred years. That's a fact. But have things gotten better for you? Do you know working adults with benefits, unions, pensions, or any sense of a future? And most of all, if you hear somebody complain about their job, do you kinda think they're lucky to have a job at all?

On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for the site as David Wong) to dig into how modern work might be ruining your life. They'll show the surprising life-or-death stakes baked into the simple question "how's work?" They'll also examine what science says about jobs of the future, how little science knows about jobs of the present, and how we can make each others' jobs suck less by remembering the ways we're the boss.


21 Weird Health Facts That Everyone Should Know (Cracked)

The strongest predictor of men's well-being isn't family or health (Quartz)

How many gig workers are there? (Cornell University & The Aspen Institute)

Is the Gig Economy Growing or Shrinking? (Pacific Standard)

The Rise of the "Gig Economy" and Implications for Understanding Work and Workers (Industrial and Organizational Psychology, March 2016)

Having a bad job may be worse for your health than having no job at all (ResearchGate)

A Bad Job Can Be Worse for Health than No Job at All (LiveScience)

Driven to despair - the hidden costs of the gig economy (Financial Times)

Uber drivers are freelancers, not employees, judge rules (The Verge)

Uber and Lyft slashed wages. Now drivers are protesting their IPOs (The Washington Post)

How To Be Less Confused About The Economy (with Kai Ryssdal) (The Cracked Podcast)

The Hollywood Fight That's Tearing Apart Writers and Agents, Explained (Vulture)

Twitter thread by Cornell historian Lawrence Glickman, detailing endless GOP charges of "socialism" toward Democrats since 1930s

Why A Terrible U.S. Supreme Court Is The Historical Norm (The Cracked Podcast)

SCOTUS: Lochner v. New York (1905)

SCOTUS: Adkins v. Children's Hospital of D.C. (1923)

SCOTUS: Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)

SCOTUS: Janus v. AFSCME (2018)

SCOTUS: Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (2018)

Neil Gorsuch's ruling in Epic Systems v. Lewis hearkens back to the Supreme Court's Lochner era (Slate)

Where Did the 40-Hour Workweek Come From? (NBC News)

This Day In History December 30th: 1936, Sit-down strike begins in Flint (

Coal strike of 1902 (Wikipedia)

Battle of Blair Mountain (Wikipedia)

Ron & Child Labor Laws (blog "Economics of Parks & Recreation")

Is your boss making you sick? (The Washington Post)

Tom Izzo yelling at Michigan State players: both an old and new story (The Washington Post)

Tweet by Michigan State player Aaron Henry endorsing pro-Tom Izzo viewpoint

Neil Reed, an ex-Indiana player, was caught in a storm named Knight (New York Times obituary)

How Amy Klobuchar Treats Her Staff (The New York Times)

Klobuchar addresses reports of staff mistreatment after launching 2020 campaign (The Hill)

Why Toxic People Get Ahead (Psychology Today)

Very intelligent people make less effective leaders, according to their peers and subordinates (The British Psychology Society Research Digest)

The lower your social class, the 'wiser' you are, suggests new study (Science)

Random promotion may be best, research suggests (The Guardian)

The Bizarre Hassles Women Face In Our World Designed For Men (The Cracked Podcast)

Dear Mona, How Many Flight Attendants Are Men? (FiveThirtyEight)

There's a Stigma Around Men Teaching Young Kids. Here's How We Change It. (Slate)

Why There Aren't More Female Pilots (Conde Nast Traveler)

Paramedic Who Makes $15 An Hour Tells The World EXACTLY What He Thinks About Fast Food Workers Earning The Same (Thought Catalog)

Supreme Court Will Hear Cases On LGBTQ Discrimination Protections For Employees (NPR)

Jason Pargin on Instagram

Why We're Terrible At Taking Care Of Our Mental Health (The Cracked Podcast)

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