On The Money
Financial Advice for the Working-Class
What’s the Deal?
Look, I’m not an idealist. I don’t oppose government and capital out of principle. I’m just looking for a deal I can live with. If you want my participation, especially if it involves work, I want to know… What is in it for me? Frankly, the whole global economy/representative democracy thing looks like a pretty raw deal to me. I think I’ll opt out.
I can see where my parents generation might have thought they were getting a good deal, back when a guy with a high-school diploma could get a job that paid enough that he could afford a single family home, support a wife and a couple of kids, and buy an endless string of huge, tacky, unreliable cars. Sure, those jobs sucked. They involved long hours of repetitive work in dangerous, loud, hot, or otherwise unpleasant conditions, and they effectively drained people of their life force, but they provided comprehensive health coverage, pensions, and a couple weeks paid vacation every year. I could see where that might look like a deal you could live with. I don’t see anyone my age or younger getting a deal anything like that.
Worker productivity has risen exponentially in recent years, but workers saw no increase in wages. Instead, work became more concentrated, more demanding, and more draining, but wages did not improve. Mass layoffs and global outsourcing helped to suppress wages, while profits soared. Meanwhile, we lost health-coverage, because medicine has become such a ripoff. We lost pensions because of greedy Wall St. bloodsuckers, and we lost job security, because we’re all disposable in a global market.
Now that things like home ownership, job security, comprehensive health insurance and pensions have become relics of the past, the global economy really doesn’t offer as many “carrots” to working people anymore. These days, the motivation to work comes mostly in the form of “sticks”. Specifically, the cop’s nightstick, that he pokes into your ribcage while you are trying to get some sleep. Unless you have paid for a place to sleep, the cops will come and roust you. That is your motivation to work, these days.
Housing prices have skyrocketed in the last 30 years, while wages have stagnated. We don’t make any more money than we used to, but we come home more tired, and we pay a lot more for a place to come home to. Now that home-ownership has become a thing of the past for working people, we pay rent for a place to sleep, so we acquire no equity in our home, and as a result, we never get ahead. When it comes down to it, working for a living amounts to a kind of freelance slavery enforced by “cracker” cops on homeless patrol.
Increasingly, all over the world, people realize that the life of a worker in the global economy is not worth living. The deal is that bad. It’s so bad that at factories in China they have to lock the doors to the roof to prevent workers from leaping to their deaths. So, when you hear politicians promise more jobs, or hear talk about “the job creators”, remember what kind of jobs they create. Those jobs suck, and most of us would rather die than work at them.
It’s past time to walk away from the bargaining table. Your life is your own, and you belong on this planet. You have the right to take what you need of what you find around you, and to make your home on this green Earth. That is your birthright! That is the position you bargain from!
Don’t ever forget that its your life, and its your planet. You don’t owe them obedience to their laws, respect for their property or participation in their system. Don’t settle for the crumbs from the table. After all, its your your table, your plate, and your pie they are eating.