_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Recap: October 28, 2021

 

Stimulus. 

Or perhaps "bait" is a better word. 

Yes. Bait. Sometimes my comments are bait.

I mean, no matter what I post, it's bound to provoke someone. Q.E.D. And that's just how social media is nowadays. 

So, why not put that tendency to use? 

Thus: sometimes my comments, particularly on Twitter, are not for my regular readers so much as to poke the other side. To stimulate conversation. 

See, if I say for example: "We should pay people a living wage" most of you would respond with a shrug and an "Okay." If you responded at all. 

And where's the fun in that? 

However, if I say...

Just drove 2000 miles across the middle of the US. Everywhere I went there were Help Wanted signs. Biggest complaint heard: we can't get workers!

On the Southern border are tens of thousands of people willing to work at nearly ANY job.

The solution seems obvious.

...well, then I get a three-day long discussion of labor in America. I learn stuff. 

What's that? 

Oh. Well, yes. 

Yes, I do indeed realize that this technique may perhaps make me, in fact, a dick. 


So what else is new?


In this case, I wanted to test my own assumptions, chief among them this: 

Republicans say Americans don't want to work. 

There are Help Wanted signs everywhere. You've seen them, haven't you? Me too. I just drove 2000 miles across this country and everywhere I looked, there were signs saying "We're hiring!" Every restaurant I stopped in said, "Please be patient, we're understaffed." There were several fast food places that had closed their lobbies and dining rooms and only kept the drive-in window open due to this alleged shortage of labor. 

Don't take my word for it, go drive across the country and see for yourself. 

It's in every store window. It's on every news channel. It's in the mouth of every politician. 

We can't find people to work. 

We can't find people to do the jobs. 

There's a labor shortage. Help wanted. Will train.


And yet, weirdly, at the same time, the economy is terrible, right? 


I was traveling with my adult son. 

Just outside Springfield, Missouri, we stopped at a gas station to fill up and use the facilities. 

The place was a Shell franchise, seedy, off a little used exit in the middle of farm country. The parking lot was full of farm equipment and the store was full of old white men in rough and dirty farming clothes. 

I pumped gas while my son went into to use the restroom. 

The restrooms were locked and the guy behind the counter said: "You wana use the toilet ya'll have to buy sometin'. Goddamn Joe Biden is ruining business and we can't afford to jus let people use the bathrooms! So you gotta buy sometin' and I'll unlock it." 

My son had to go, so he bought a candy bar without comment and did his business and came back out and warned me before I went in. Also, apparently buying $40 in gas didn't count towards using the restroom. 

I held it until we reached Springfield and civilization. 

The economy is so bad that the stock market is at an all time high... what's that? Oh, now that Trump is out of office Wall Street isn't a indication of economic success? Sure, Mate, whatever you say. Anyway, the economy is so bad that every indicator of economic success, including profit, is pegging the meter and we can't find enough workers to do all the jobs and, yet, somehow, business has to extort customers just to stay afloat. 

And goddamn that Joe Biden. 

It's not this guy's poor business skills, or that his business is located in a poor location, or that he's overcharging for services, or that he's openly hostile and unprofessional to his customers, or that the Free Market he likely worships is offering plenty of better choices, or that the political ideology he no doubt embraces started a trade war and a let a pandemic get out of control -- after crashing the economy completely in pursuit of unsustainable profits in the mortgage industry. No, it's not any of that. It's Joe Biden. 

It never once occurs to the party of personal responsibility to actually take personal responsibility for their own shitty situation. No, it's Joe Biden's fault. 

And the perfect example of this hypocrisy is right there on the Southern Border. 

See, here's this alleged labor crisis that every Republican politician and pundit is outraged over. And every shitty business owner in a MAGA hat mindlessly parrots. Business is supposedly struggling to find workers and goddamn that Joe Biden, paying lazy liberals not to work, right?

Right? 

And, yet, here's a huge pool of workers on the Southern Border, who want to work, who will happily take these lousy, low-paying jobs without protest or demand for something better...

...and Republicans don't want to let them in. 

Build a wall and keep them out, right? 

We need workers!

But not those workers. 

I mean, they could try paying American workers more, but they don't want to do that either.

The point of my original post...



..wasn't that we should perpetuate the pre-COVID business model but to point out this hypocrisy. 

See, there's plenty of labor available. Q.E.D, but a Help Wanted sign in the window too often nowadays isn't a call out for future employees, instead it's a political statement.

Business could pay American workers a living wage and evolve a more equitable model of American labor. 

Business could demand government let in immigrants and continue their current model of serfdom. 

But they don't want to do either. 

Their greed won't let them pay workers more, and their ideology of racism and white nationalism won't let them hire foreign labor. 

Hell of a pickle, eh?

So instead they blame Joe Biden and pretend it's not their own lousy business model that's the problem. 

The problem isn't a lack of labor in America.

For Conservatives and American Business, the problem is as it always was: a lack of slave labor. 


97 comments:

  1. That last sentence really nails it home. Same as it ever was.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The last sentence says it all. Well said, Sir.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sure rings the truth.
    "For Conservatives and American Business the problem is as it always was, a lack of slave labor."

    ReplyDelete
  4. We don't want them to "take our jobs" that no one wants, because they will simultaneously rely on social programs, because the jobs don't pay a living wage or include benefits. Conservatives get to have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brilliant twist at the end like any good science fiction... except this isn't fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. It's the truth that "conservatives" have poured billions into "think tanks" and "heritage institutes" to produce verbiage to obscure. Only wealth is worth; people with it can command those without it (therefore worthless) to serve its increase, a "bargain" in fact determined by one side only, with any negotiation precluded by weaponization of the vulnerability of anyone who works for a living in a system with no safety nets for the poor.

      If your life isn't worth enough to anyone who's rich enough to pay for you, DIE. Nobody wants you, so you can't die fast enough to this vicious, uncivilized ideology. Your suffering in the meantime is quite useful, however, making the precariously employed more servile, and keeping people caught under the thumbs of abusive families and religions too scared to say no to whatever's demanded of them. The "conservative" way of life alleged to be so virtuous by the American right amounts to "Agree and obey, if you want to live, and thank your masters for the chance to do so" in a perfect "society" where the thrown-out die on the roadside.

      Delete
  6. I think one of the reason's the supply chain is so messed up is because they are also short on workers. From the ships, to the docks, to the truckers. Allowing people into the country would fill those positions at the low pay levels. But, part of the stagnation of minimum wage is because of those coming here and doing some of those jobs. Keeping them out of our country does not fix either problem. We need them to come back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bigger problem, as I understand it, is that the docks use fixed cranes - each of which covers a segment of a ship and can ONLY reach that part - to unload containers - and EVERYTHING is shipped in containers. It doesn't really matter how many warm bodies are on the ground to move containers once they're unloaded if they can only unload X-number at a time. Unless they can get enough trained crane operators for the cranes to work 24/7 (ignoring downtime for maintenance), there is a hard limit to how fast the ships can be unloaded.

      Then, of course, you have to use the same cranes to REload the ships with MORE containers (full or empty )to be shipped back to where cargo is waiting to be loaded into them to then be shipped to docks which can only unload X-number of THEM, in the course of a day.

      Delete
  7. Spot on. Exactly the same here across the pond

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have several young friends who are looking for work, pretty much any work, who have applied to these help wanted signs with no results. 50+ applications with 1 or 2 responses, no interviews, nada. It is a political statement, and I bet those owners are first in line for a govt relief program.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup!
      "A worker in Florida applied to 60 entry-level jobs in September and got one interview"

      https://www.businessinsider.com/worker-applied-to-60-jobs-got-one-interview-labor-shortage-2021-10

      Delete
  9. The lack of slave labor, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've been reading "Stonekettle Station," et al., long enough to recognize the bait. Nice try, Mister Bond. ��

    ReplyDelete
  11. A guy in the Fort Myers area applied for two jobs per day for the entire month of September:

    https://www.facebook.com/TheDreadPirateMohawkJoe/posts/10227233511773308

    SPOILER ALERT: He got a ~25% response rate and a grand total of one interview, in which the interviewer tried to walk back both the hourly rate and the hours available.

    ReplyDelete
  12. OMG. Was reading along, nodding my head in agreement, and then I hit the last line. OMG! Once again, you hit the nail on the freaking head.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "...every shitty business owner in a MAGA hate..." I'm pretty certain you meant to write "hat", but the original fits quite nicely. The hat, T-shirts, signs, flags, big ol' honkin trucks slathered in slogans...At this point, their hate-filled ideology is a public statement that they wear externally, and is merely exemplified by the MAGA hat.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The truth behind that last sentence is so bright I have to wear shades.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Location is often an impediment to living wages. Where I live, labor is the first and usually the only adjustment to costs. It's been an employers market forever.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You got me. Hook, line, and sinker. I was not expecting that closing line - but it is the perfect closing line, the hidden in plain site conclusion that we're all too damn polite to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That last sentence came with a knife edge. I am never prepared for the realization that conservatives WANT a classed society with literal human chattel at the bottom. It always hits me hard.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Spot on, as usual. There are so many people who have one part-time, minimum wage job for which they must make themselves available 24/7 unable to get a second part-time, minimum wage job they desperately need because they can't be available to a second company 24/7. What has happened to our country is heartbreaking.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sometimes I swear you read my mind. Just yesterday I said to my psuedo Conservative but evolving SO that the solution to our labor problems is sitting at our Southern border but letting them in would impact our legit housing crisis. Thanks for supporting my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "in a MAGA hate" Possibly should be 'hat'?

    Great essay Chief!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Talked to the guy who owns the Indie grocery store I shop at. He pays $2 over standard grocery store wages and offers full benefits. Except for the students, his employees stay 20+ years and he has multiple interviews for every opening. My wife does the hiring for a company that does custodial work. Entry level is $15/hr plus benefits and overtime. She is fully staffed. I am seeing a bit of a pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm going to sort of disagree with you. I think they want slave labor, like you said, but they want slave labor that is already living in the US. It's kind of like how the pre-Civil War Southerners were Ok with the shut down of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

    If they were really serious about wanting slave labor, they would open the border and bring those people in, and then exploit them. But that would run right into their own rhetoric. But if you are already inside the US? Well, might as well exploit you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hadn't quite thought of it that way

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anecdote time. I have no idea how prevalent this is. but I've been hearing from multiple people that they've been applying for all the possible jobs in the world and out of20, 50, 150 applications have had zip, one or two responses, and none led to an interview.
    I hear each time from my friends and facebook contacts, "So WHERE are all those jobs needing to be filled?"

    ReplyDelete
  25. That pickle stated at the end is exactly the root of the problem. There's a McDonald's near where I usually shop for groceries and so every Saturday I stop in around lunch for some nuggets.

    They used to have a labor shortage too. Couldn't get anyone to come work for this location. But this is a franchise location and the owner swallowed her pride and raised everyone's wages. She offered new hires a better starting wage than the average McDonald's. She threw in a week of PTO.

    Now she has all the workers she needs. And the workers are good people. They know the regulars like me by name. They take the time to ensure my order is right the first time. Did they need to raise prices on their menu? Yes, but it was barely noticeable. My nuggs went up about ten cents. But it's worth it because I get good service there from employees getting paid something decent.

    Everywhere I look in this city, the businesses that are having no labor troubles are the ones that are taking care of their employees.

    ReplyDelete
  26. As always it comes down to repugnants lying and the uneducated beliving their lies.

    ReplyDelete
  27. They are looking for slave to work for a pittance, people are waking up and recognizing a good caring employer when they do find one who respects them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. "It's not this guy's poor business skills, or that his business is located in a poor location, or that he's overcharging for services..."
    That paragraph right there is something that should be quoted extensively. It's the critical observation of the MAGA mind. I often hear them saying everything - even the things within their control - is Biden's fault, even things that Biden either never did or has no control over. It's tragic that the power to reason from the available evidence is so lacking in the political discourse these days. Luckily you have it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Harsh, but completely accurate. Which we definitely saw in the twitter comments. Sometimes, being a bit of a dick works, if you do it right.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, that's what she said.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your clarity on situations on this is always on point. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Exactly right, as always. Oh, and one small typo (that still works, ironically) when you're talking about "mindlessly parrots" - MAGA hat, not hate. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Absolutely correct, Jim! Businesses that offer $15-16-17 an hour are having NO trouble finding employees, but too many business owners are used to paying $7 an hour, without benefits, so they complain. Too bad for them...

    Freckles

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Republicans have abandoned any interest in governing. They are only interested in keeping themselves permanently in power in a one-party state, and using that power to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks Chief. You are spot on, and I have learned to watch what you say and how you say it. I do understand that you sometimes poke the tiger to get the conversation started and to get people thinking. Sometime a throw away line seems to start WW III. Ah, Twitter! I appreciate your thought provoking time line, and will try to stay out of the airlock. See you on the flip side.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Please image that I've hit the LIKE button here. Or better yet, the AGREE button.

    ReplyDelete
  36. 100% on target. Businesses want to continue paying garbage wages, with zero benefits, and starvation schedules. Managers want to continue hiring people they can use and abuse. And now that they can't, it's Biden's fault. I mean, they gotta blame *somebody*, right? And it sure isn't going to be The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Formerly Disgracing the Oval Office.

    ReplyDelete
  37. There's also the personal cases I see that keep popping up in my fb feed of people testing the "jobs everywhere and no one wants to work" theory where they're applying for jobs and not getting call backs. May be trolls but it could also be a ploy by business owners to generate sympathy from customers while maximizing profits. Who knows?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Kettle stirrer! Said the pot stirrer. LOL Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Now THAT was a close.
    Another great piece.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I live near some of Wisconsin's depressed rural areas. In their opinion, none of their problems are their fault. They blame people that are actually trying to help them. But they have their crappy lives, and their guns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I live near some of Michigan's... (your words expressed almost exactly my thought - thx ~ I'd only have added, '...crappy lives, their crappy thoughts to keep them warm,' & etc.)

      Delete
  41. If an employer can't offer enough wages and hours to allow someone to barely survive, then don't complain to me about it! Thanks Jim for an excellent article.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Bravo. Evolution is truly stuck.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I read an article about a month ago. I forgot to bookmark it, so I cannot cite it. That's on me. Anyway, the writer of the article went through the process of applying for several jobs. Most of the places with "help wanted" signs never called him back. The few who did and in their ad or sign had indicated a starting wage higher than MW in the interview process restated their wage policy: the starting wage was much lower than stated (generally min. wage) and the higher wage was something the prospective employee could work toward.

    Is it any wonder these places are lacking in employees? They either don't bother to follow up on applicants or, when they do, change their tune on starting wages.

    ReplyDelete
  44. First, good essay as usual.

    Second, and small things, but dining rooms, and MAGA hat.
    Although hate still works, and maybe this isn't a typo. I think you meant hat.
    Cheers, glad you made it back from the great white north safely.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hit the nail solidly on the head with this missive. Big government is the problem right up to the moment the roof blows off the house and the flood waters inundate the fields. Then, THEN, "Government isn't doing enough for ME!"

    ReplyDelete
  46. It's actually amazing what enlightened businesses can achieve. There is a regional market chain in my area where all the employees are union. They never have strike problems - long ago, they cut a deal with their workers. When the big boys in the area (owned by Kroger and Safeway) go out on strike, they don't. Whatever the union wrests from large employers, they match, backdated to the day of the original walkout. Their employees never forego a paycheck, they are always fully staffed, and the grocer makes out like a bandit when the strikes occur, since people in this area don't like to cross picket lines (and, since their people don't strike - they don't have picket lines). Win-win-win (owner, labor, customer). But they are privately held, and don't have to satisfy idiot, greedy shareholders.

    And this dynamic is not limited to retail. We have 3 (non-profit) hospitals nearby that (until COVID) used no travelers, and to get a job at one of these places, you literally had to wait until someone retired (or died). The inpatient care at those hospitals is phenomenal (unlike some of the profit-driven places).

    You can find businesses like this all over the country, but somehow, happy employees who stay put (and bring their friends when openings occur) aren't very newsworthy, and don't generate the same angst (or headlines) that the pathetic "help wanted" entreaties of those looking for modern-day slaves do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In our little town within LA County, when the LA transit workers strike, or police, fire department have a sick-out, in our little town they stay at their jobs working hard, because, asyou said, our little town guarantees to follow what the big city’s contracts turn out to be. Our people stay working, not striking.

      Delete
    2. Salty: I'm in LA, too. The market is Gelson's, and the hospitals are Valley Presbyterian, Holy Cross and Saint Joseph's (Burbank). I'm guessing some of the other hospitals run by the same folks as run Holy Cross and Saint Joe's are the same way, but I know the San Fernando Valley hospitals.

      Delete
  47. I heard recently that jobs in US that are expected to attract tips (eg restaurant workers etc) pay less that $3.00 and hour, as employees are expected to make up what they need in tips. If this is true, is utterly scandalous! No wonder there are a lot of vacant jobs in USA - nobody in their right mind will work for that derisive wage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has been true forever. $2.80/hour for tipped employees. It's a deplorable practice because customers aren't obligated to tip - or they cheap out when tipping. And then there are those jerks that proudly announce, "I never tip." as if that's something to be proud of. 🙄

      Delete
    2. That's why the social safety net is so SAVAGED as an idea. Only desperation to avoid imminent death would make anyone do so miserable job for crap wages, so desperation levels MUST be maintained in order to make the peons do as they're told: leap to fill ANY labor needs at whatever rate the employer declares your life is "worth" TO THEM. Negotiation over labor rates has been murdered by the propaganda campaign slandering unions. Instead of "bargain together with your brothers and sisters" the alleged way to a better life is "Make profits by using others you employ at slave wages!" Be an exploiter yourself, don't place any limits on exploitation! It's a myth that plays better in a country for which racism has been SO prevalent in the wealth production and self definitions of its loudest voices-- the belief, for instance, that in America, some group exists who doesn't "deserve" the treatment of regular citizens.

      I've had people tell me that socialism can work in Scandinavia only because "they don't HAVE *n***rs there!" which is ALMOST true.. it works, not because everyone there is white, but because they aren't convinced "SOME people" in their country are actually lower animals who don't "deserve" equality and that the "superior" normal people can't "afford" to let them exploit.

      Delete
  48. That last line. It is a developing realization/ narrative.

    I like it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Kind of like how the quickest and easiest fix to the immigration problem is to stop each person at the border, do a quick check to make sure they're not a terrorist or whatever, give them a green card, and let them in.

    Suddenly there aren't any camps of would-be immigrants at the border, but of course Conservatives don't want *those* immigrants.

    ReplyDelete
  50. There was This "FLORIDA MAN" who did this for an experiment

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/florida-worker-applies-60-jobs-gets-one-interview-labour-shortage-complaints-b1942892.html

    ReplyDelete
  51. Once in a while I'll need to drive down I-44 through southwest Missouri. It's, well, a little different than St. Louis.

    ReplyDelete
  52. You hit the nail on the head---as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Fantastic essay. Your perspective both informs and challenges me as a reader. I hope it encourages good discussion on the issues you raise.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Sadly - nobody wants the provocative smartass to ask what they think are rhetorical questions to get conversations started.

    I've been there.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I enjoyed that post. However, and I'm only writing this because you once wrote you don't mind free copy editing, in one place you wrote dinning instead of dining, and in another you wrote about that old moron (my words) in a MAGA hate, instead of hat. Hate was probably a Freudian slip. Actually, you also wrote jus instead of just in the quote from the MAGA hat guy. I'm an editor by trade, and actually get paid to do it. Please continue your great work.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm looking at it from a slightly different direction that's only just starting to get any attention. I spent over a year unemployed and actively looked for work for about half of that time (after I was fully vaccinated). I never applied for anything that I wasn't perfectly qualified for and had years of experience in.

    Results: Mostly silence. Sometimes a form letter saying I didn't make the cut. Frankly, I came to wonder if a human ever even saw my application/resume.

    I *didn't* apply to many more jobs because they required a college degree and didn't allow for any experience in lieu of said degree. So my impression is that the hiring process is more than a little broken and I'm seeing a few more articles starting to appear that bear this out. Guess time will tell. Meanwhile I finally did find a job that I'm quite happy with.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Great read.
    I didn't know it was a real thing that a petrol station employee can insist each separate toilet user buys a product other than fuel! What a miserable experience! A box of candy might hold 48 bars & the service station owner would happily piss off 48 customers in order to accrue the measily profit on a single box of chocolate bars? That is surely a business model of 'diminished returns'. And of course, as a newly trained employee you would have to implement this diminished returns business model throughout your entire working day, nay career! I'd find that to be the single best reason not to work! I.agine hsving to actively piss of every customer who visited?
    Great account Jim - thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I see sins all over the southeast and the change in who will tkae the crap jobs has been changing for years. It's just come to a head because of tRump and his crapstastic ruining oops, running, of the country. I love to read your work Jim. It's a shame that more people of a different persuasion won't

    ReplyDelete
  59. Awesome insight as always.

    ReplyDelete
  60. You're saying there might be a grain of truth in the 1619 project, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  61. A very tidy summation, Chief. I'm wondering how many are going to land here and screech at you, call you a Commie, or a Demon-rat or something. In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the beautiful features of blog over social media is moderation of comments.

      Delete
  62. Did you read about the that applied for jobs every day for a month? He got 1, yes ONE, interview, others employers said they wouldn’t pay the advertised wages/hours until he “proved” himself in 30/60/90 days. Nobody wants to be treated like crap for crap wages. It’s simple, tell and prove to your employees that you appreciate them & they’ll bust their butt for you.

    ReplyDelete
  63. A slight disagreement, cons and Republicans don't actually want SLAVE labor, they want SERFS. A slave implies an investment to be fed, housed and kept healthy in order to maintain that investment. A serf is a disposable unit that is dependent on themself to stay healthy and support a family, while owing labor to their overlord. THAT'S what they want.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Too bad you and your son didn't piss in the open in front of the door. Yeah I know cops would have been called. Poor Republican from the party of Ignorance and Stupidity. Maybe if you would have shown him your gun, he would have let you use the bathroom for free.

    ReplyDelete
  65. My dad (retired from the Border Patrol in 1980) was fond of pointing out our border "problem" is of our own making. We have 2 (metaphorical) signs on the southern border. One says "Stop! Do Not Enter!" The other says "Help Wanted! Inquire Within!"

    I'm also struck by the recognition that the US has been in the habit of importing labor, be it willing or not.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I kinda wonder if an extra 300,000 people of prime working age dieing last year has something to do with the labor shortage. The ones that are left have a choice where they spend their serfdom so the places offering better wages and conditions have all the workers they need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The shortage of workers has also been anticipated as boomers age and leave the workforce with not enough people to replace them.

      Delete
    2. Freda, I flat guarantee that no business actually anticipated that, in the sense of being prepared.

      Delete
    3. We are in the fourth year of a massive immigration crackdown (legal and illegal). I also assume that business cuts due to covid forced a lot of people back home, where they can now can't get back into the USA.

      For years we were told by the right that immigrants were driving down the wages of native US workers; they had their crackdown, wages are going up, and the right howls in fury.

      Delete
  67. Slave labor, as long as it’s the right flavor. Good writing Jim.

    ReplyDelete
  68. History repeats: Speaker of House 1861-63 Galusha Grow: Father of Homestead Act, provided land for the landless ( a leg up for the common man) vs The capitalist society of southern plantation/ slavery. Also, Lincoln used act as a political chip to all(black or white) 160 acres for there Service in war. Capatalist society needs labor. The Civil War just highlighted the Black Race as a subset of Slave Labor.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Sadly, I live in a state with idiot senators, Indiana. Here is what Mike Braun posted recently. "I visited the border, and multiple Border Patrol agents told me the wall is the number one most useful thing D.C. could do for them. Finish the wall!"
    He has his nose so far up TFGs arse, I'm surprised he can breath.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Your conclusion diagnosing the problem is precisely correct. The "economic models" and presumptive "definitions" relied on by the American outraged-right REQUIRE that the lives of people who work for a living (NOT those who work without the goad of economic necessity) be ASSUMED to be zero. ZERO. You are not allowed to value your OWN life at more than zero; your life is "worth" NOTHING. Whatever wages employers deign to offer you FOR your labor, if that labor is the performing of tasks non-specialists can do, or in other words, "anybody could do"... you are REQUIRED to accept in order to fill all employers' needs for people, AT WHATEVER RATE OFFERED. Because as "just anybody"-- in other words, just a PERSON-- your life's hours are worth NOTHING and the difference between living your day for yourself, and serving another, is negligible. Your life is only allowed to have any worth AT ALL when it's serving a boss, and everyone is supposed to be grateful for the chance to earn ANY wages.

    In pursuit of that "gratitude" workers allegedly owe ANY employer for any wages at all, the life of people must be MADE to depend absolutely on employers' use of them. No one can be allowed to live unless a boss needs them, and people have to FEAR death unless sufficiently servile, begging for work and thanking anyone for any wages whatsoever. In other words, they want a system set up to drive servility and desperation, with useful camps of homeless and dying people to show everyone who IS working just what awaits them if they don't please their boss.

    As a person, just a person, you're nothing, and valuing your own life as more than nothing makes you a BAD POOR-- ungrateful! lazy! greedy! DEFIANT and DISOBEDIENT! How dare you talk back or NEGOTIATE the terms off any job as though you and whoever requires your use were equals? You must leap to fill every labor-hole a business wants plugged at the wage the business says it's "worth".. TO THEM.

    "Mere labor monkeys" defying the commandment to fill every job offered at any wage whatsoever makes some people ENRAGED as though they are being personally violated, because according to their ideas of status, mere workers are so far below the People Who Matter, and the presumed status/worth difference is such that "failure" to obey AT ONCE, and with GRATITUDE makes workers bad by definition-- lazy, uppity grifters!-- and they will continue to argue for what they consider the only "right" form of correction to make workers behave properly- the same discipline they recommend for sinners and badly behaved animals. Punishment. Make them SUFFER until they obey! This attitude has been quite obvious in the burst of outrage over this so-called "labor shortage"... which might be more accurately called an "Obedience Shortage".

    ReplyDelete
  71. You nailed it again, Chief. And the last line? Priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Fucking nailed it. The GOP believes in personal responsibility for everyone...except themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  73. spot on as usual Jim and you being a dick is one of your enduring qualities and one reason I follow you among others

    ReplyDelete
  74. From @meansnowflake Oct 20
    Alright you guys, I have been doing an experiment for the past 5 weeks. I have been in the workforce for 25 years. Most of the first 14 years I had two jobs (pre-kids). I have worked in insurance, veterinary practices, lawyer's offices, car part sales, exeucutive assistants,
    Personal assistants, nanny, and throughout these 25 years, I have frequently served tables as a 2nd or 3rd job depending on the point in my life. I have been applying for 4 jobs a day. I am on Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, Linkedin, and quite a few others. I have gotten one scam
    And 3 interviews and 2 e-mails (both 1.5 wks ago) telling me that I made it to the next round of hiring after tests they had me take. 1 interview was for a delivery driver for a parts store for $15/hr. When I got there, he told me that was for the manager position and it wasn't
    Open. He offered me $9/hour. The other 2 interview/offers I have received were both from restaurants looking for servers. I think most of these companies are out here pretending nobody wants to work, putting ads out, and not really wanting to hire people at the wages THEY offer.
    If you don't believe me, try it for yourself. It's insane what they are telling people versus what is really going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bingo! kittenknit is accurate, as I have seen from other job hunting posters. Few actual interviews, and then offering minimum wage.

      Freckles

      Delete
  75. Further proof that the political philosophy embraced by the Republican Party is neither capitalism nor conservatism; it's feudalism.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Another great posting. I am such a huge fan of yours. I don't know what the age span of your readers is, but I'm over 80, and I appreciate your intelligent and well written postings. Sarcasm and humor are added plusses.

    ReplyDelete

Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.