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Jan 14, 2012

Working-Class Hero

There was a day in America when there were so many jobs, employers couldn't keep employees. Workers would come in late, sometimes not even show up and quit without notice. The "man" just tolerated it because employees would just go get another one because they were so plentiful.
Anyone remember this? It wasn't that long ago. In the late 1990's the national unemployment rate was around 4%, and in my home state it was like skim milk, less than 2%.
I don't want to debate the cause or the differences in the economy, and I'm certainly going to avoid the political exposition. However, I have been considering the social lessons learned from this era, especially on teens and the young working class at the time.
Back then, I recall reading an article about the over-abundance of jobs. The journalist discussed how he worried about his teenage son because try as dad might, the concept of a good work ethic was simply not being grasped by the kid, who told "Pops" there was no reason to go to work for he wouldn't get fired for it and if somehow he did, he would just go get another one. The columnist feared what would become of his son in a day when jobs were not so plentiful.
Ok, fast-work fifteen years to today. I can't help but wonder about that writer's son. He'd be in his early thirties now. Did he learn the ethics of work? Or is he struggling to find a job today? Was the story just that of the typical father looking at his son with post-generation reflection, or did that spoiled time actually ruin that youth (and many others of his age)?
Is it possible many "Occupiers" could get work but (like this journalist's son) potentially never developed the proper respect for the job market and never developed good work habits to hold a job without realizing this importance? Is the unemployment rate a two-way street, created out of the coddling from a copious cycle?
Now, by no means am I implying there is no economic issue or that the high unemployment rate is some sort of publicity scheme. The problems are real. However, is it exacerbated by a generation who never learned how to work or respect the job market? I can't know, but I do know that we Americans are a spoiled lot who feel quite entitled.
Politics aside, this could explain the diametric opinions of the problem. There seem to be just two camps: the occupiers-camp who feel the jobless are blameless victims owed something by the rich and the ivory-tower camp who feel the bums should shut-up and fill out an application. Surely, the truth is found somewhere in between.

1 comment:

  1. Since we have read of the occupiers being well fed, with cafeteria-type lines set up for them, we can assume that someone with money is subsidizing the cause. Maybe this IS their current job and they are even being paid to "occupy"? Or maybe they have no work ethic, just as you have written,(and no need for one as long as they are well fed). Nevertheless, there does remain a serious problem with unemployment.