Adherence to the principle of productivity therefore threatens public health as well as the planet (actually, these are the same thing). By committing us to what is impossible, it makes for madness. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton said something like this when he explained anomalous mortality rates among white people in the Bible Belt by claiming that they’ve ‘lost the narrative of their lives’ – by suggesting that they’ve lost faith in the American Dream. For them, the work ethic is a death sentence because they can’t live by it.
Historically, and often behind-the-scenes, cheerleaders are vocal with their dissatisfaction. In 1995 , for instance, the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders won a complaint against the Buffalo Bills before the National Labor Relations Board. The Jills earned the right to be classified as employees when the NLRB determined that the Bills exercised significant control over things like cheerleaders' schedules, uniforms, and weight. The Jills subsequently formed the first-ever professional cheerleaders' union to bargain for better employee rights. The Bills, rather than respond with more fair pay, quashed the union by canceling all appearances and contracting out its cheerleading services. In April 2014, the Jills filed a class action lawsuit , alleging they had been improperly classified as independent contractors rather than employees. The courts ruled in their favor in 2016 .