Monday, November 04, 2013

Surviving the post-employment economy

From Al Jazeera courtesy of someone on facebook:

Individuals internalise the economy’s failure, as a media chorus excoriates them over what they should have done differently. They jump to meet shifting goalposts; they express gratitude for their own mistreatment: their unpaid labour, their debt-backed devotion, their investment in a future that never arrives. 

And when it does not arrive, and they wonder why, they are told they were stupid to expect it. They stop talking, because humiliation is not a bargaining chip. Humiliation is a price you pay in silence - and with silence.

People can always make choices. But the choices of today’s workers are increasingly limited. Survival is not only a matter of money, it is a matter of mentality - of not mistaking bad luck for bad character, of not mistaking lost opportunities for opportunities that were never really there.

You are not your job. But you are how you treat people.

More here

This is what thirty years of conservative economics have brought us: the end of a way of life, and all the expectations and assumptions that go with it.  I mean, when you get these high levels of unemployment in the STEM fields, you can just throw out everything you think you know about having a successful life.  While a simple bachelor's degree long ago stopped being any guarantee of a career, this is now happening with all degrees, in all fields.  So you can do everything right, everything everybody's told you your entire life is what you need to do, study hard, get good grades, work your ass off, pay your dues, all that stuff, and still end up on the street.

While this is bad enough, horrible really, the fact that many Americans haven't yet figured it out is possibly worse.  That is, the bourgeois, the white suburbanites who overwhelmingly vote Republican in most states, for the most part, continue to retain cultural attitudes that they are somehow better than the working class and the poor, that they are more like the rich than they are like people who get their hands dirty for a living or who have no living at all, that they are heirs to the "American Dream," and that because they're such good people, doing all the right things, they deserve it.  So they continue to side with political and economic forces that that couldn't care less about their "American Dream," and which behave accordingly.

So get this through your head, white suburbanites.  You don't matter anymore.  The so-called "one percent" you have foolishly embraced all these years has sold you out, and you helped them do it.  And now you're dirt, pond scum, just like everybody else.  All your hard work, all your education, all your misplaced beliefs mean nothing.  You're not one of them and you never have been.  And now you're just like the rest of us.  The sooner you take this to heart, the sooner we can all start doing something about it.

These bastards can't thrive without your support.  It's long past time to cut them off.