Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taking Care of Bidness

As I look for another job, I can't help but notice that the opportunities are drying up out there. Why are there so few available jobs? The real question, I believe, is why do we, as a society, have so little use for human beings?

We are fast approaching a world in which most human beings will be obsolete.

In any sane system, the people first to be laid off in a crunch -- especially one of this magnitude -- would be the CEO's who caused the problem in the first place. They have screwed up the economy, already having done more damage to the country than the terrorists did on 9-11, and if they were axed, we would save enough money for a great many jobs (the jobs of the people who actually do the work, anyway) to be saved. If these corporations honestly wanted to trim the fat, they would start at the top, not at the bottom.

The injuns and the chiefs do not, by any means, bear equal responsibility for our economy's woes. The overwhelming bulk of the blame belongs to those who held all the power and insisted upon making all the decisions.

If we entrust all power and authority to cheap, weak, cowardly, childish people -- people who refuse to assume any responsibility or accountability for the power they wield -- then we are surely doomed. We can afford this folly no longer. Especially since they're pilfering our tax money to bail themselves out of it.

An alternative economy is now urgently needed. Indeed, on a small scale -- flying under the radar -- there has long been one. Farmer's markets, independent bookstores, mom-and-pop shops, non-chain restaurants, cooperatives, independent contractors, freelancers -- we're all out there. And we will be the salvation of the economy. Perhaps even of our entire society.

People must be able to make their own way in this world. They certainly don't need to do it alone. We can form cooperatives, put on festivals, come together in collaborative associations and creative ventures of every kind. The possibilities are endless.

We must, however, preserve and protect our right to exist, to earn our own daily bread, and to transact the business necessary to do it. The big corporations, and their toadies in the Republican Party, have done everything possible to crush us. Totally contrary to their grandiose claims, they are the enemies of true free enterprise.

I now hope to make my living as a freelance writer and a temporary office worker. At some point in the future, for a time, I may again take a regular office job -- probably in insurance, as this is the field in which I have toiled for must of my adult life. But eventually, I hope to work totally as a writer, either for myself or for a larger organization.

As long as I am working at a clerical or administrative job for a large company, it will, indeed, be a temporary position -- no matter what they choose to call it. There are no "permanent" jobs, any more, in the corporate world. I know that now. I forgot it for a while -- but I will never forget it again.

People, we must take care of ourselves -- and of each other. If we don't, absolutely nobody else will.

We need to organize -- to unionize, whenever possible. We need to share information about how companies treat us, whether well or ill. We need to make sure that no company that treats its employees indecently or unfairly can any longer attract quality personnel. We don't need to belong to unions in order to accomplish that.

They have every right to expect an honest and reliable day's work from us for every honest and reliable day's pay. They do NOT have ANY right to expect any more than that. And they have made it pretty clear that neither do we. They deserve exactly as much loyalty as they are willing to give -- but not one iota more than that.

Our survival is up to us. We must fight for it every step of the way -- and in order to fight, we must unite.

We must, as one of this nation's founders once said, all stand together -- or we will all hang together. Let the new American Revolution begin!


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