Saturday, February 7, 2009

What About the Stupid, the Lazy, the Moral and the Crazy?

I'm really tired of hearing how if you're smart, educated and work very hard, you can make it in this society. The latest was Obama, in his inauguration speech. He dissed those who prefer leisure to work. He lauded our ancestors who worked until their hands were raw. He left out the part about their dying by the thousands in their twenties, worked literally to death. Maybe he didn't think that that was an applause line. But even raw hands sound unappealing to me. As it happens, that's a consequence of my job, and it's painful.

If you have to be smart, educated and a hard worker to make it in this country, no wonder we're in trouble. Most of us are lazy and not too bright. Some of us are darn right crazy. And ain't we Americans? Don't we deserve to make a decent living?

The dirty little secret that our exhorters always leave out is that to REALLY make it in America, you have to be immoral. You have to be willing to screw your fellow humans, or defraud your fellow humans, and/or trash the environment, to make the big bucks. Or, on a smaller scale, you have to be willing to work for the war machine, manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, or in a prison, keeping your fellow citizens locked in cages.

We're always told that we need more population in order to get the work done. Well, then why are so many people not working while others work more hours than they want?

I have always like Roger Miller's song, Trailer for Sale or Rent, where he sings that "2 hours of pushing broom, buys an 8x12 4-bit room". Now that's what I'm saying! Two hours of work=a place to stay for the night. One more hour to buy food and a six pack and 75% of the people in this country would be satifisfied.

Let's figure out what we need in this country and divvie up the work to produce it. Lazy and crazy people can work less, ambitious people can work more, smart and moral people can have suitable jobs, and we'll all have a decent standard of living.

My friend, who has lived here all his life, tells me that the local mental hospital used to be a working farm. It was home for people and they produced their food and stayed for years. Now, people off their meds are shipped there for long enough to be stabilized and then thrown back onto the streets, or into an apartment house complex in town, where they are expected to entertain themselves. Sometimes their self entertainment gets them thrown back into the hospital.

I don't think that it should be involuntary, but why can't we have working farms for those who are unable to function in a regular job, because the voices distract them? Or their co-workers? There are plenty of people who show up at the ER as soon as they're let go, because they prefer to be in the hospital. Let them stay.


tsisageya said...

Actually, as you know, America is completely screwed up.

Most "natural" cultures have mostly leisure time.

Why must we always be smelting something?

Anonymous said...

Good points. My own past seven years have amply proven that one can be educated, smart, experienced, and grossly underemployed simply because there are no one chooses to offer one a job comparable to one's previous job. You can have health insurance which is provided by your job, and still not have enough cash to pay the copayments. Meanwhile, observe what many other industrialized countries do...their healthcare is entirely paid for, no matter what; their minimum wage is at LEAST double ours; they MUST take at LEAST a month's paid vacation every year. Back when we HAD a middle-class job, we had paid vacation only in theory--the company never actually allowed one to stop working long enough to actually take vacation... Someone remind me, what exactly is it about America which makes it so great?

wagelaborer said...

Our propaganda system.