Views on politics and current events

Monday, September 11, 2006

From 'North County Forum'

I don't recall which right-wing scumbag called people who earned less than 12K annually "Lucky Duckies" in a WSJ op-ed a few years ago because they didn't have to pay income taxes but I'm sure David Brooks agrees with him.

According to Brooks long-on-anecdote, short-on-facts rant (below) -

"Through some screw-up in the moral superstructure, we now have a plutocratic upper class infused with the staid industriousness of Ben Franklin, while we are apparently seeing the emergence of a Wal-Mart leisure class – devil-may-care middle-age slackers who live off home-equity loans and disability payments so they can surf the History Channel and enjoy fantasy football leagues."

Fuck him.

As if some elitist pig who sits on his ass and receives a handsome salary shilling for the economic aristocracy like Brooks would know anything about real work or the mountain of shit middle class workers must scale every day, day in, day out in order keep low paying, no-benefit, dead end jobs with ungrateful, greedy, downright abusive and often literally predatory employers in our so-called "globalized" economy.

If the boys in the boardrooms are working their asses off, it's only because they laid off 40% of the workforce to achieve a temporary spike in profits so they can cash out their stock options and move on to some other company where they can do it all over again.

Moreover, I cannot possibly concieve of a more worthless, contemptible "profession" than that of "Conservative Pundit".

Crack dealers and prostitutes have more personal integrity and provide a much more valuable service to society than sleazy albeit, high-class journalistic call-boys like Brooks ever will. It's literally impossible to fathom the depths of moral depravity, arrogance and indolence that would compel an individual to take up the cause of the wealthiest, most powerful members of society against those they victimize and bleed dry.

Is it possible to sink any lower than that?

I don't think so.

And aside from bare subsistence, I really wonder what motivates many mid-to-low income workers to keep working at all, much less working hard, under current economic circumstances.
I can certainly see why Bill Gates and Michael Eisner would be willing to put in 100 hrs/wk-plus doing what they do. If my hourly wage was well into six figures, I might be inclined to put in a little O/T too.

But when you consider that executive compensation has incresed over 300 fold in the past 15 years while middle class earnings and purchasing power remain stagnant and in most cases have lost economic ground, a minor point Brooks conveniently chose to overlook, it becomes pretty easy to see why many workers simply get discouraged and drop out of the workforce altogether and why many who remain have little incentive to kill themselves so the CEO can buy his mistress a new Lexus again this year.

The truth is, Big Business in general and upper management in particular simply does not value or appreciate good, hard, honest work.
It places a much higher premium on Bullshit-Artists, Ass-Kissers and Schmoozers (otherwise referred to as Team Players) than it does on maintaining a competent, qualifed, experienced labor force.

How do I know this?
Because management has told me as much. Repeatedly.

And even when they don't come right out and say it, they clearly demonstrate it by their actions.
To most managers, good workers are "a dime a dozen" but a smooth-talking, boot-licking suck-up (ie; an individual with "outstanding interpersonal, networking and communication skills" ie; David Brooks) is worth his weight in "new business opportunities" and worth at least a dozen good workers. Whether a company can adequately service those new clients once they've secured their business is generally irrelevent.

Few, if any of Brooks' moronic assertions in this article are anywhere close to accurate and any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.
But if US Business thinks the American workforce lacks incentive, it only has itself to blame.

Business should know better than anyone that you can't always expect to get more out of something than you put into it. Unfortunately, years of easy, often obscene profits that come even more often at the expense of their workers have caused many employers to forget that. Rewarding good work, loyalty, efficiency, innovation, etc, simply isn't budgeted in this quarter's operating funds. It would adversely affect the company's bottom line, undermine investor confidence, and put the P/E ratio right in the old shitter.

Sorry old boy, a raise now would be out of the question. How about a new title with increased responsibility (at your current pay rate of course) or a nice coffee cup emblazoned with the company logo instead?
Oh! And keep up the good work.

"It's class warfare, and my class is winning" - Warren Buffet

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