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Explotación obrera y crisis de salud mental

first_imgLos trabajadores se enfrentan a una crisis de salud mental derivada de la explotación en manos del sistema capitalista.Trabajar largas horas por un salario escaso y malos tratos a manos de los jefes puede llevar a un mayor riesgo de ansiedad, depresión y altas tasas de suicidio para los trabajadores, según recientes estudios de salud mental.El estudio “Informe sobre el bienestar en el lugar de trabajo: Mind the Workplace”, publicado por Mental Health America (MHA), midió “niveles de estrés en el lugar de trabajo y salud mental general” para 17.000 trabajadores encuestados durante un período de dos años. Llegó a la conclusión de que el estrés en el lugar de trabajo aumenta el riesgo del desarrollo de una discapacidad mental.De acuerdo con el informe de la MHA, los trabajadores que experimentan el mayor número de víctimas mortales en salud mental se encuentran en las industrias manufacturera, minorista y de alimentos y bebidas. Estas profesiones caen dentro de las categorías de trabajadores mal pagados, menospreciados y con exceso de trabajo.El Centro de Depresión Integral de la Universidad de Michigan destaca los siguientes estresores en el lugar de trabajo: tensión laboral, interferencia laboral, discriminación y acoso laboral e inseguridad laboral.Tres académicos de la Universidad de Stanford concluyeron en un estudio de 2015 que trabajar la injusticia y el conflicto entre el trabajador y la familia tiene el mismo impacto en la salud que el trabajo por turnos y la colocación de largas horas. Los investigadores Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stefanos Zenios y Joel Goh también concluyeron que “el factor estresante con mayor impacto en general es la falta de seguro de salud. Tiene una alta clasificación en el aumento de la mortalidad y los costos de la atención médica “.Además, “Otro gran impulsor de la muerte prematura es la inseguridad económica, capturada en parte por el desempleo, los despidos y el bajo control del trabajo”. (Stanford Graduate School of Business)La inseguridad laboral es uno de los mayores factores de estrés para los trabajadores. El temor al desempleo mantiene a mucha gente despierta por la noche, mientras se preguntan cómo van a sobrevivir en la economía de hoy en día. Como señaló la Asociación Estadounidense de Psicología, “Agregar a las presiones que enfrentan los trabajadores son nuevos jefes, vigilancia de la producción por computadora, menos beneficios de salud y jubilación, y la sensación de que tienen que trabajar más tiempo y más duro solo para mantener su estado económico actual”.Informes como el informe MHA son útiles, pero a menudo adolecen de un error fatal. A menudo, las llamadas “soluciones” presentadas se reducen a alentar a los empleadores a aumentar la autoestima y la confianza de los trabajadores, en lugar de ofrecer seguridad concreta, como salarios más altos o seguro de salud. Estos investigadores pasan por alto o ignoran la naturaleza explotadora del capitalismo, ya que es la naturaleza de este sistema obligar a los trabajadores a vender su fuerza de trabajo al mejor postor.Los empleadores maximizan sus ganancias al reducir los costos laborales. Lo logran reduciendo, des localizando y automatizando. Tales preocupaciones se convierten en una carga y la salud mental se pone en riesgo.Como editor colaborador de Workers World, Fred Goldstein escribe en su importante libro de 2008 “Low-Wage Capitalism”: “El capitalismo, el sistema de producción con fines de lucro en lugar de humano, es incompatible con nociones como la salud y el bienestar de quienes producir toda la riqueza y realizar todos los servicios, la prioridad de la organización social y económica”.Los trabajadores pueden beneficiarse de muchas maneras de la lucha por un salario digno y el derecho a una unión, como el movimiento de Lucha por $ 15 lanzado en los últimos años. El Instituto de Política Económica (EPI) ha declarado que si los trabajadores organizan sindicatos pueden asegurar aumentos salariales, acceso a la atención médica, una mayor seguridad en el lugar de trabajo y mejores horarios. (“Cómo los sindicatos de hoy ayudan a los trabajadores”, 24 de agosto)Quienes producen la riqueza no deberían tener que pagarla sacrificando su bienestar mental y físico. Para enfrentar esta crisis, los trabajadores deben enfrentar el sistema que pone en peligro sus vidas.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

From fins to limbs and water to land

first_imgIt’s hard to overstate how much of a game-changer it was when vertebrates first rose up from the waters and moved onshore about 390 million years ago. That transition led to the rise of the dinosaurs and all the land animals that exist today.“Being able to walk around on land essentially set the stage for all biodiversity and established modern terrestrial ecosystems,” said Stephanie Pierce, Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and curator of vertebrate paleontology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. “It represents an incredibly important period of time in evolutionary history.”Scientists have been trying for more than a century to unravel exactly how this remarkable shift took place, and their understanding of the process is largely based on a few rare, intact fossils with anatomical gaps between them. A new study from Pierce and Blake Dickson, Ph.D. ’20, looks to provide a more thorough view by zeroing in on a single bone: the humerus.The study, published today in Nature, shows how and when the first groups of land explorers became better walkers than swimmers. The analysis spans the fin-to-limb transition and reconstructs the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods. These are the four-limbed land vertebrates whose descendants include extinct and living amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.The researchers focused on the humerus, the long bone in the upper arm that runs down from the shoulder and connects with the lower arm at the elbow, to get around the dilemma of gaps between well-preserved fossils. Functionally, the humerus is invaluable for movement because it hosts key muscles that absorb much of the stress from quadrupedal locomotion. Most importantly, the bone is found in all tetrapods and the fishes they evolved from and is pretty common throughout the fossil record. The bone represents a time capsule of sorts, with which to reconstruct the evolution of locomotion since it can be examined across the fin-to-limb transition, the researchers said.“We went in with the idea that the humerus should be able to tell us about the functional evolution of locomotion as you go from being a fish that’s just swimming around and as you come onto land and start walking,” Dickson said.The researchers analyzed 40 3D fossil humeri for the study, including new fossils collected by collaborators at the University of Cambridge as part of the TW:eed Project. The team looked at how the bone changed over time and its effect on how these creatures likely moved.A fossil humeri from an aquatic fish (Eusthenopteron), a transitional tetrapod (Acanthostega), and a terrestrial tetrapod (Ophiacodon). Credit: Stephanie PierceThe analysis covered the transition from aquatic fishes to terrestrial tetrapods. It included an intermediate group of tetrapods with previously unknown locomotor capabilities. The researchers found that the emergence of limbs in this intermediate group coincided with a transition onto land, but that these early tetrapods weren’t very good at moving on it.To understand this, the team measured the functional trade-offs associated with adapting to different environments. They found that as these creatures moved from water to land, the humerus changed shape, resulting in new combinations of functional traits that proved more advantageous for life on land than in the water.That made sense to the researchers. “You can’t be good at everything,” Dickson said. “You have to give up something to go from being a fish to being a tetrapod on land.”The researchers captured the changes on a topographical map showing where these early tetrapods stood in relation to water-based or land-based living. The scientists said these changes were likely driven by environmental pressures as these creatures adapted to terrestrial life.The paper describes the transitional tetrapods as having an “L-shaped” humerus that provided some functional benefit for moving on land, but not much. These animals had a long way to go to develop the traits necessary to use their limbs on land to move with ease and skill.As the humerus continued to change shape, tetrapods improved their movement. The “L” shaped humerus transformed into a more robust, elongated, twisted form, leading to new combinations of functional traits. This change allowed for more effective gaits on land and helped trigger biological diversity and expansion into terrestrial ecosystems. It also helped establish complex food chains based on predators, prey, herbivores, and carnivores still seen today.Analysis took about four years to complete. Quantifying how the humerus changed shape and function took thousands of hours on a supercomputer. The researchers then analyzed how those changes impacted functional performance of the limb during locomotion and the trade-offs associated.The innovative approach represents a new way of viewing and analyzing the fossil record — an effort Pierce said was well worth it.“This study demonstrates how much information you can get from such a small part of an animal’s skeleton that’s been recorded in the fossil record and how it can help unravel one of the biggest evolutionary transformations that has ever occurred,” Pierce said. “This is really cutting-edge stuff.”This research was supported with funding from the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Robert A. Chapman Fellowship, and the Natural Environment Research Council.last_img read more

Cordray says prepaid final rule coming ‘soon’

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CFPB Director Richard Cordray said a final rule on prepaid accounts will be coming “soon” while a rulemaking process on payday lending will begin “in the coming months,” during remarks Wednesday before the Consumer Bankers Association.Regarding overdraft fees, Cordray said CFPB is looking into their transparency and opt-in processes. “In our ongoing work on a potential overdraft rulemaking, we are giving careful consideration to when and how overdraft fees are charged and how well consumers can anticipate those charges.”NAFCU has repeatedly urged the bureau to regard credit unions’ commitment to their members and sound operations before issuing rulemakings on prepaid accounts, payday lending and overdraft services.Cordray also defended the bureau’s enforcement actions in his speech Wednesday and explained that the enforcement orders should serve as guidance for compliance officers throughout the marketplace. “If the same problems exist in their day-to-day operations, they should look closely at their processes and clean up whatever is not being handled appropriately,” he said. He said the criticism of this approach as “regulation by enforcement” is “badly misplaced.” continue reading »last_img read more