Economic Eugenics

Miss American Pie bids farewell to the Working Class Jack as companies downsize, outsource, and offshore those jobs once proudly (and efficiently) done by American men and women.

This once great nation of producers has run out of steam somewhere between Pauperism and the ghost town of the eternal Proletariat. Our microchips are now potato chips, while our manufactured goods have been traded in for Big Macs.

All the while our politicians and economists, market mystics through and through,  whistle away the day, trusting  that their prophecies of a glorious era ushered in by classical liberalism will come to pass. They can only cross their fingers in hope that the increasing amount of evidence against them is nothing more than a mirage or mere bump in the road to Utopia.

It is rather unfortunate that these mirages, these mere bumps in the road, happen to be known by neighbor and foreigner alike as American citizens. The young, the poor, and those without a college education, these are hit the worst. But so be it! Survival of the richest is the way of the day, and economic eugenics is en vogue.

In days gone by, young Americans performed these jobs. They did for years. Many of them treated these jobs as stepping stones to something better. Some found them to took them as career-worthy vocations. While many of these jobs may be tedious and redundant, they didn’t look half bad on a resume. And with wages superior to Taco Bell, these young ones were able to save up for a home, a higher education, or even retirement.

Tough luck, kiddos. These jobs are going the way of the dinosaur, and their tales will only be told by those begin their sentences with “back in the day.”

Then there are those “down and outs,” the American poor. These men and women are hit especially hard. Many of these people are willing to work long hours on a line, if for no other reasons than paying the bills and supplying basic needs for them and their children.

While these jobs don’t require the skill level of a doctor or a lawyer, they meet many people right where they are. Truth be told, not everyone has the skill level of a doctor or lawyer. And many of these Americans have no ability or opportunity to further their eduction. All they want is some food, clothing, shelter, and enough money to make sure the bills get paid.

Sorry, folks, the rich and famous care little about you. Out of mind, and definitely out of sight, save for the burdensome fly-by during an election year or photo shoot. Place your bets on the lottery. The odds are in its favor on this one.

Take as another example the rest of those without a great deal of formal education. Jobs of this nature were a way to feel the pride that accompanies work and private ownership. And this could be done without having a degree (or even diploma) on the wall. They may have gotten married right out of high school. Maybe there were difficulties they were unable to overcome in a high school or college setting. They may have come from a family without sufficient funds to send them to college. Maybe they simply wanted to dodge the bullet of student loans that so many of their peers spend years trying to pay off. Whatever the case may be, they had their reasons, good or bad, and now their hopes have been dashed to pieces by belligerent ideologues and fideistic advocates of the Austrian school.

And let us not forget the elderly. While I failed to mention them at the beginning of this piece, it would be foolish to ignore the impact downsizing, offshoring, and outsourcing has on many of them.

This age group has really hit hard times. Social Security just isn’t what it used to be. Health risks continually increase, adequate insurance becomes harder to find, and the money simply isn’t there. In many cases it is nothing other than the death of a loved one, leaving them with less money and mess of bills.

Unfortunately, many of these people find themselves back on the line, working tough hours. That is, if they haven’t found a comfortable place as a Walmart greeter or McDonald’s cashier. Any way we go with the scenario, it feels like a lose-lose to those who’ve already lived a life of hard work.

The young, the poor, the less educated, and the elderly. Each of these lack the fitness needed to survive the rough ad tumble of a global economy. So let them rot in the cesspool of a service economy.

This wouldn’t be so sick were it not for the fact that market mystics treat the situation as inevitable, as a sort of social determinism or economic fatalism. These people were just dealt a rough hand. Better luck next time, right?

Lost livelihoods are nothing more than collateral damage in the cut-throat pursuit of efficiency (i.e. the cheapest labor the world has to offer) and never-ending capital surplus. It’s only too bad that the financial fanatics and their political tools have such a difficult time putting a name, a face, and a sense of personhood with the laborers they are tossing to the wind.

Or maybe I am giving them too much credit? Maybe they know, but simply don’t care…


Paleocrat Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 9:44:00 PM CST  

This post, as with my previous one, was originally posted on The Paleocrat Tribune. The original post with the comment section is linked to the title of this post.

Tom Laney Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 4:59:00 AM CST  

"Maybe they know, but simply don’t care…"

They do know and they do care. But only about themselves.

dad Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 8:58:00 AM CST  

"When everything about a people is for the time growing weak and ineffective, it begins to talk about efficiency." GKC, Heretics

You wrote: "The young, the poor, and those without a college education, these are hit the worst."
...well maybe...many of the poor, those without a college education already know how to survive with less and how to suffer. It is those who did go to college that assume their degree will be some kind of insulation against troubled times. They have a degree of comfort they are used to, this change may be most difficult for them. How much poorer can you make the poor? There may come a time when people will band together and say "Mr. President, Senators and Congressmen, you chose to bail out big business and it has not helped us. We are going to stand by our neighbors and we are not going to let our houses be taken, nor our land. We are going to work together and take care of ourselves."

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