Further Evidence of American Feudalism

Chuck Schumer has been occasionally disappointing as a Senator. He stood by the Blue Dogs in the health care debate. He has been a fairly obvious crony for the banks at times. He was strangely quiet during the early stages of the development of the Stock Act (though he did support and vote for it, so not too much complaint there.) Finally he voted against the amendment to this year’s NDAA which would have removed the very dangerous provision allowing for indefinite detention of Americans. That said, I am happy he is taking the right side on this issue.

I know first hand that things are tough job hunting wise, but to give your password to your social networking profile is dangerous and asking someone to do so is a both a gross breach of etiquette and a disgusting abuse of power. I hope those that have been asked to do so post the names of the companies that have asked them to do so and try to get it to go viral so we all know who never to buy from. If you ever asked a prospective employee this information, you deserve to go out of business. It is akin to asking someone for the keys to their house and/or car.

It should be no surprise though. After all, for a while now companies have been checking out candidates social networking profiles. Should this be against the law? Probably not, but it makes you a bit of a creep for doing it. What I do on my time is none of your business. If I get drunk, stay out late, view porn or whatever, that is my problem. Your only concern is whether or not I am reliable and can get my work done and you can figure that out with a call to a previous employer. If they wouldn’t hire me back, I suppose you have your answer. If they would, well then why should you care if I pose half-naked on Facebook or even complain about work? Everyone complains about work, it does not mean those people won’t do their jobs.

This isn’t about job performance though. This is about the swing back to the attitude that somehow people who are employed are less than their employers. We are losing sight of the fact that there is a distinction between someone being a subordinate in an employment relationship and an inferior as a person. I have admitted to my own problems with authority in past posts, but I notice that authority has problems with those working under them. More and more management wants to control every aspect of an employees life.

When I was younger I used to love playing a RPG called Cyberpunk (I still wouldn’t mind playing it.) In this game you played the part of a character living in a world where corporations ruled what was left of the world after an ecological disaster, often with an iron fist. It was neat and fanciful and none of us would actually want to live in a world like that. Employers invading their employees, or potential employees, privacy in cyberspace is a symptom that the world is heading in that direction. I wonder how long before it will be that it won’t just be Henry Rollins and his fans with bar codes tattooed on them?

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