The Powerful Have Us By The Throat

The poor and middle class need opportunity, not a patronizing crutch to rely on. They don’t need an overprotective nanny, and definitely not a societal shunning. Yet this is what both sides of the political spectrum give. As usual, partisan politics exacerbates the problem. The left appears to treat the symptoms of what ails the poor and middle class—underemployment and unemployment. The left wants to give these downtrodden individuals something that’s been depreciating in value since the removal of the gold standard—money. Unsurprisingly, the right’s motives are equally dubious. The right wants to abandon their fellow downtrodden citizens as if they’re coyotes left to fend for themselves in cities and towns that cannot provide honest work for everyone. If the downtrodden people were an infected limb, the left would dispense pain medication, and the right would indiscriminately snip chunks of flesh. Taking the analogy further, the right may even want to completely sever the infected limb. Even if the right were to commit such an atrocious act as to murder the poor and middle class, the infection will remain. A new poor and middle class will emerge after the harrowing elimination. This new vulnerable subset of society will fulfill the role of the old exploited classes, the proletariat. The vulnerable classes have little control. The poor and middle class did not set the economic systems in place. The poor and middle class have no authority over the guided or misguided fluctuations that constitute the global economy. In other words, the lower classes are not the source of the economic infection.

People speaking on behalf of the rich tend to make insane rationalizations as to why downtrodden individuals exist. The skills gap myth looks to be a convenient cover for hiring cheap labor outside of our borders or not hiring at all and clumping work rationally assigned to a team and dropping that load onto one employee. Duplicity may be the forte of big business but people, as in consumers, engage in the cowardly practice as well. In response to the arrogant rich trying to adopt the role of ‘job creator’, consumers claim that, rather, they had created the jobs. Not unlike usual quarrels between the left and the right, each contested side is wrong. Investors, business owners, employees, and the consumers each have a hand in creating jobs and when all are in a cooperative state, a healthy economy will flourish, provided that the economic system is well designed and well maintained. What matters more than the division between businessmen and their consumers is their relationship, which optimally should be in the spirit of cooperation. Unfortunately, the corporate motto appears to be, “Pity, we can’t find any unicorns.” We should be wondering about the worth of a nation if she can’t find a use for young college graduates. We should be wondering about the character of this nation if she continues to wage war on foreign soil while the quality of life is deteriorating at home.

The downtrodden job seekers not only struggle to pay bills and pay off debts but also must face the ignorant hordes chanting that they are “entitled and lazy.” Imagine navigating a barren wasteland of disciplined, college educated individuals devoid of any hope and with a bleak realization that the prestige once held by a college degree has been terribly inflated. Imagine coming to the epiphany that an overpriced higher education, maybe a launching pad for a career in the past, wasn’t worth the effort after all. Now imagine a boot pressing against your neck. You’re told that you’re not hustling for jobs, which are evaporating like dew on the desert dunes. Now imagine that you’ve never enrolled in a university, you have no professional network whatsoever, and you were born to a segment of society deemed least favorable. Where would you go? If you were entrepreneurial, you’d sell drugs. If you wanted to work for someone else, you’d have to compete with the coveted employed, the overqualified college grads, and the swarms of workers who had just been laid off for the same low wage, service oriented jobs. These scenarios lead us to believe that building a professional network is the most important skill in a job seeker’s repertoire. However, building such a network usually requires using people for personal gain. Meeting business professionals in this way encourages deception, betrayal, and petty competition in which cheating the system grants the best rewards. Simply put, the downtrodden classes lost faith in the system.

Corporations haven’t reimplemented apprenticeships and other training programs. If corporations commit to their poaching strategy and their compulsive insourcing and outsourcing, we’re inclined to believe that short term gain is one of their objectives. Giving less experienced individuals an opportunity can be gratifying and rewarding to a company. Such an individual will experience a stronger sense of loyalty and a stronger sense of gratitude than a job candidate poached from a competing organization. Big business owners may realize these benefits, but building up a workforce runs counter to their plans. The corporate state has no use in empowering the individual. The corporate tentacle invades, not supports, each of our lives. Hegelian totalitarianism, which promotes subverting the power of an individual, appears to dominate the minds of these powerful transnational businessmen. In essence, people of immense power do not care about us. Society is guided toward unflinching kleptocracy, where the end justifies the means and corporation and state merges into one body of absolute control. In similar fashion, the CIA and criminals join forces to achieve an end, like staging coups in foreign countries to remove from power democratically elected leaders. Good people are phased out of the power structure, and street criminals exhibit more honor than goons on the government payroll. In a Hegelian society, the vulnerable will pay. The powerful will justify preying on the vulnerable.