What Did the Poor Ever Do to You?

I had a cushy seat job. Then I got laid off.

Now I’m back to doing what I was meant to do: warehouse labor.

I’ve held managerial positions. And one thing you learn quickly about the job is that it’s all bullshit. You only do things to make the company look good. It doesn’t actually contribute to any sort of “material bottom-line” if you will.

In fact, the higher up the ladder you climb…the more useless you become. Hell, I’d venture to say that the most useless person in the company is the CEO. Yet that person is probably the most expensive item in the ENTIRE COMPANY.

The far more important people are at the bottom. But don’t tell anyone in America that because that sounds WAY too much like “socialism”.

Sure, developers, engineers, planners, etc. all design a “product”. But it’s really just an idea. Technically, you can “own” an idea, but who actually has to execute the plan? Usually, it’s the mechanics and hard laborers that have to execute YOUR idea. And for some strange reason (because America hates poor people), the laborers who actually physically execute the purpose of the company are the low men (and women) on the totem pole.

And it’s because they aren’t “skilled”, even though that’s an idea that doesn’t mean shit. That’s a term that people use to help themselves sleep at night because they’re essentially ripping off poor people.

“So you want to pay people $15 an hour to flip burgers?” Some asshole is asking me.

Yes.

What purpose does McDonald’s serve? Come on, we all know why they exist. It’s to fucking serve burgers to their customers who demand their product! And who is serving those burgers? Is it the CEO? Is it the accountants and legal staff? Is it the developers?

No. It’s the mother fucking laborer that’s flipping the burger and serving the customer. That person IS McDonald’s.

And as a side note, every time I go into a McDonald’s…it doesn’t matter where….yes, there are usually fuck-ups, but guess what? Those assholes are actually WORKING their asses off to deliver YOU a product that you can shove into your fat fucking pie hole. And for some reason, people like to give these employees shit for fucking up an order that will probably only end up killing you later.

But think it through!

What if you were getting paid $7.25 an hour to serve the VERY REASON THE COMPANY EXISTS?

Honestly, I’m surprised people aren’t absolutely PISSED about this. Well, to be fair, there are people who are pissed. But how is this not an international outrage? The people who actually execute the purpose of the company, or the “unskilled” labor force…are the most expendable people in the entire organization.

That’s insane. But when you grow up under insanity, then insanity appears SANE. Which is why minimum wage has failed to keep up with the times and labor unions have dwindled. Because we’ve convinced ourselves that the strongman at the top is the true genius…the REAL shaker and mover of the universe.

And we’ve taken the power out of our own hands.

The CEO might conceive an idea. But does he execute it?

No.

It’s you and me that have to do his bidding. And we accept whatever compensation that he offers.

So again, we’ve convinced ourselves that we aren’t in control…even though an “unskilled” labor force greatly exceeds any “skilled” one. We’ve allowed those at the top of the ladder to peddle their fairy tales of “genius” and “hard work”….that they are the true saviors of modern society because they “sacrifice” capital to employ the labor force that is the majority population.

Capitalism is a religion. And we are being duped.

ANYWAYS….

Even though my cushy desk job was nice, it felt like I “sold out”. It was devastating when I got laid off, of course, but what was that job leading towards anyway? A career?!

In what?! Pretending to work?!

And I got paid WELL above minimum wage to do it. So because I was a college graduate, with a certain “skill set”, I looked the part. And on that criteria, the company felt justified to pay me what they did. Because there is no way they would pay a non-college graduate without a “skill set” to do that job. Even though a perfectly unskilled laborer could have EASILY done that job.

Why?

Because  that job existed only to make the company look good. It served no vital function whatsoever. (Which would likely explain why I was laid off)

And I had co-workers…that did the EXACT same job: nothing. Not only did I have co-workers, I had MANAGERS! What did they manage? I suppose all of our collective productivity of nothing. But someone had to do it. And they got paid A LOT of money to do it. So we had a lot of people getting paid A LOT of money to basically make the company look good which is pretty much a non-essential function of the organization.

Meanwhile, the entry-level employees that carry out the purpose of the company are getting shafted.

Look, maybe the company realized that they were basically flushing money down the toilet and laid us all off. But this just goes to show that just because someone has a fancy title and a fat paycheck…that doesn’t mean that they actually serve a purpose. And in all likelihood they probably don’t.

When I lost that job, I thought that my career was over. But those ambitions were only a mirage. Best case scenario, I would have continued being promoted….higher and higher to the point farthest away from any purpose.

The labor I do now is demanding. It isn’t “skilled”, and some dickhead would probably think that this work is beneath me. And if you think that, then go fuck yourself. But this is REAL work. I’m contributing to the “material bottom line” or to the purpose of the company’s existence.

We may be the “low men on the totem pole”, but without us….there wouldn’t be a company.

Debating Capitalism

 

Frank McCloud: He knows what he wants. Don’t you, Rocco?

Johnny Rocco: Sure.

James Temple: What’s that?

Johnny Rocco: Well, I want uh …

Frank McCloud: He wants more, don’t you, Rocco?

Johnny Rocco: Yeah. That’s it. More. That’s right! I want more!

James Temple: Will you ever get enough?

Frank McCloud: Will you, Rocco?

Johnny Rocco: Well, I never have. No, I guess I won’t. You, do you know what you want?

Frank McCloud: Yes, I had hopes once, but I gave them up.

Johnny Rocco: Hopes for what?

Frank McCloud: A world in which there’s no place for Johnny Rocco.

-From the film Key Largo (1948)

We’ve debated health care.

We’ve debated same sex marriage.

We’ve debated education.

Americans have a knack for debating anything and everything under the sun. That’s what we’re good at. And that’s what we should continue to do. And that’s why this is a great country.

Yet, there is one taboo. Neither left, and definitely not the right, will ever question it. It  dominated our lives. And it dominates our politics.

That is the religion of capitalism.

When it fails, we don’t blame the rich who are actually in control of the capital. We don’t blame the politicians, who have the power to hold the rich responsible.

We blame the poor.

We blame them for not having the right education…for not living in the right parts of the country….for not paying the bills because they’re wasting their money on nonessential things.

THEY are to blame for why capitalism failed.

But what about those who have the capital? The millionaires and billionaires that actually CONTROL the money? They’re not to blame because they’re acting in “rational self-interest.” They’re doing as the “invisible hand” dictates.

The rich MADE their money.

The wealthy made, with their own bare hands, EVERY SINGLE LAST PRODUCT THAT THEIR COMPANY EVER PRODUCED. It was them that HIRED the workforce. A workforce that had the GALL to ask for a livable wage. It’s the rich that are the true heroes of the story. Not the workforce that built their company.

We can’t blame the billionaires

They’re the innocent. The ones that were only supplying the demand. Just doing as the “invisible hand” dictates.

Workers don’t matter, but they hold all the blame.

The poor had a choice. If they want to be rich, all they have to do is choose. And they’re right. We can choose.

We can choose the endless and empty quest for MORE. Or we can choose to stop hating each other. Band together. And rise against those that DO control the capital.

If you want America to be GREAT, then MAKE IT GREAT. Come together to make this a better country. Where we don’t NEED MORE. We just need to hold the right people RESPONSIBLE.

Happy 4th of July!