I really hate to second-hand my information, but sometimes that’s what it comes down to. When I’m racking my brain trying to figure out what to write about each week, and I’ve started to exhaust personal experiences that would be relevant, I have to resort to hitting the search engine. It feels like a cop-out to write about what’s already been written, to just filter other peoples’ research through my vocabulary, but it’s also an exercise in accepting my limitations. No training, no credentials, and no idea what I’m doing — I gotta start somewhere.
This week James shoots his mouth off about: People who drop out of the workforce. I know I’m totally showing up late to this party, as most of the articles I found on this topic were dated January and May of this year, when some record numbers were reported. Basically, well over a million people have given up looking for jobs this year, and the number of adults working or looking for work is the lowest it’s been in 30 years. This is due to many factors: people whose jobless benefits have dried up before they could find work; people who lost jobs later in life and find themselves unemployable in a job market that favors the young; weary and weathered laborers who feel better off collecting disability; historically economically oppressed minorities who were never given a chance in the first place; the fact that we currently have the largest prison population in history; the list goes on.
(In any case, employment numbers are maliciously misleading because a significant chunk of the workforce is undocumented and/or under the table yet far more essential to the day-to-day functioning of this country than the top earners who decide what the numbers mean. For that reason alone, I don’t take these numbers very seriously.)
Everyone’s hoping for the unemployment rate to keep shrinking. Our economic recovery depends on it! Whatever. That’s easy to say when you’re a functioning member of society with kids to feed or a mortgage or a car or some shit. But I’m an irresponsible smartass with no responsibilities whatsoever, and my opinion matters too, dammit. And I think “economic recovery” is the last thing we need.
Do you want to keep serving people whose interest in serving you runs only as deep as you can line their pockets? Do you want to spend 40 or more hours a week of your whole adult life walking on eggshells around people who can cut your earnings and pension or downsize you at the drop of a hat, leaving you destitute without suffering any repercussions? Do you want to continue handing over a third of your earnings to the government so that they can spend half of that on blowing people up in the Middle East while your social security and medical care evaporate? Do you call this FREEDOM?!
“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” my ass.
Just a peek at the figures in the articles I pulled up made it readily apparent that hurdling over our unemployment and deficit slump and restoring pre-George W prosperity would require constant, consistent and completely uninterrupted financial growth in every aspect of the economy over the better part of a century.
The articles/common sense also reveal that this is impossible. The American Dream is just that, a dream. We need to wake up and get real. This hole is too deep to dig out of, so let’s just drop to the bottom of it already. I’m proposing that every single American citizen should drop out of the work force. It might be the only way we can take a little bit of power away from the ruling class and make them pay attention. This might be the only way we can exercise what little power we have.