More Work, Less Money = Progress
EXCERPTED FROM “How The Revolution Started: Essays & Impertinent Thoughts “(Eggy Press).
This year the United States economy recovered all of the jobs lost during the great Wall Street Recession.
But here’s the even better news: The newly created jobs pay an average of 23% less than the ones lost in the “downsizing.” According to a report issued by the United States Conference of Mayors based on 2012 Census data, higher-paying jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors have been replaced by jobs in the lower-paying sectors of healthcare and hospitality.
It gets better. From 2005 to 2012, the analysis shows, the top 20% of earners were responsible for more than 60% of all income gains in our fine and fair republic. The bottom 40% enjoyed a 6.5% increase.
You can call it “income inequality,” or whatever other whiny euphemism you prefer. We call it “economic justice.” You see, the members of our society who are the most important – the people who don’t actually do physical labor – deserve to be rewarded with the most money. That’s how our system works, of course. The most valuable among us get more of everything. The less valuable get less. What’s so hard to understand about that? Instead of complaining, those of us far from the top ought to thank our betters for creating so many jobs.
You can invoke “all men are created equal” and other outmoded philosophies, but we all tacitly understand that life is a [insert your preferred metaphor here] war/game/race, and not everyone can win. Some of us are losers, and maybe we’d all be better off if everyone just accepted it.
We don’t mean to suggest that a wider disparity in income between winners and losers is necessarily a good idea. If things get too out-of-whack – and when the peasantry realizes they’ll never have a fraction of what their superiors own – the mob could be lulled out of its waking slumber to some sort of horribly unpleasant action, like voting. Or striking. Better to keep things the way they are, more or less. Let the chasm widen slowly, almost imperceptibly. It’s harder to notice the ever-increasing distance that way, and by the time the uneducated and untalented and lazy come to their senses there will be a new TV show to binge-watch, and everyone will feel better.
The banks are bigger than ever. CEOs earn more than ever. Corporate profits are at historic highs, as are many stock market indices. The system is working. And so is America (for 23% less income than before, but let’s not quibble). More folks than ever are learning to say, “Hi, my name is [name] and I’ll be your server today,” and, really, isn’t helping others what our capitalist system is all about?