I saw something this week that pissed me the fuck off.
This came across my feed. A picture of an actual fucking vinyl banner someone put up. This has to be the most fucking wrongheaded way of solving the problems in south Louisiana that I have heard yet.
In fact, let us use this as an education moment. You have problem seen this TYPE of sentiment everywhere. ERMARGERD PEOPLE AREN’T WORKING. Its a bit different for Lafourche Parish because of the hurricane (and I will address that too).
But, dear congregation, let us use this piece of ignorance as a teachable moment. I’m going to give you a whole host of reasons why this is fucking stupid, and eventually get to the main thrust of this person’s argument.
1. I’m sure Jesus is real chill with you using his name to disparage others.
This is the slam dunk. I’m sure your lord and savior is like super chill about you using his words to rub other people’s dick in the dirt.
Isn’t there a whole fucking thing about the beam in your eye? You may want to look into that shit.
2. You cannot use YOUR morality to motivate any human being to do something they don’t want to do
Conservatives are already working on making this a cause celebre. So, I am behind the ball a bit. But, let me be clear.
It didn’t work for the War on Drugs, abstinence only education, anti-abortion preaching. And it wont work here.
You cannot make human beings do what they don’t want to do. No matter how much YOU think they shouldn’t do something.
To be blunt, making work sound like your societal obligation is not going to fucking make anybody go get paid $10 an hour to be screamed at by a Karen for adding pickles to their quarter pounder.
Your missing workers aren’t going to come back out of a sense of obligation to your company. YOU, conservative, killed that shit in the 80s. Again to be blunt, you cannot expect an employee, whom you provide no protection or comfort for, to just come back to work for the sake of your perceived convenience.
I cannot fucking stress this enough (and I want to kill this before it gets bigger), it is not part of the societal contract for you to go to work. You have no obligation to anyone in America. That’s one of the few benefits of this fucking country.
3. South Louisiana’s problems are not going to be fixed by more workers
Another easy one. All of the Hurricane Ida region has bigger problems than a lack of hammers on roofs. If you are talking about damage to every fucking structure in the region, it will take YEARS to fix all of it.
WHY? Easy enough, as discussed, we don’t value disaster recovery. The whims of economic recovery have to turn your way. And they turn slow and the wind doesn’t blow hard.
Based on the capitalistic necessity (which you claim to value), everyone who wants to make money is already overbooked. There isn’t an army of people waiting in the wings that could be putting roofs on (more on that later).
In other words, no. No one will save you.
4. There is not a massive amount of people doing nothing. They just aren’t doing what YOU want them to do.
Alright. We made it to the big show. Let me get my point out at the top: No, there isn’t a massive amount of people not working. They just don’t want to do the shitty jobs you want them to do. You cant survive in this stupid fucking world and not work.
Don’t believe me? Fine. I am going to use Lafourche Parish as a microcosm for the US writ large. So, lets go number by number.
If you want to play the home game, the census data is freely available.
Ok, person who has money to make a fucking stupid ass vinyl sign. Lets start at the top. 97.5k people live in Lafourche Parish. So that’s the maximum number of people who could be working. So how many are.
- 43.3k people are listed as your current laborforce. This includes 1.7k people who are unemployed (this is your unemployment % of 4%. Its a percentage of your laborforce, not of your population).
Ok, so about half of people are employed. So who are the other 54,300ish people who are not part of your laborforce. Well lets break that down.
- 22.5k people are under the age of 18. It is possible some of those are in the laborforce, but generally speaking, that is mostly a population of exclusion.
- 15.6k are people over 65. Again some may be part of the laborforce, but most aren’t.
- 12.3k are disabled. Now, some conservatives may argue that disabled people can work. Those people have never had to file for disability. I am not going to make an argument that they should work, and I don’t think they should either.
So after all of that, who is left that in theory could be working, but are excluded from the laborforce……If you can’t do math, that’s around 4,000 people. Almost exactly 4% of the last census data for Louisiana.
Where are they? They could be evacuated. They could have other circumstances. There is a thousand different reasons that are too complicated for me to even begin to calculate.
But, I will tell you what that 4,000 isn’t. Your saving grace.
Fucking a community does not live or die on 4% of its population. Or at the very least it should not.
5. The same percentage of people have been in the labor force for the past 30 years.
Oh wait, what. The same ratio of people are working?!?!?!
It has confounded economists, especially right now. The prime age workforce rate is basically flat. So that means for as much as people complain about not being able to find workers, those workers ARE working. Even during the RONA it dipped below 80% for like a month.
The laborforce is like a fucking tanker truck. It doesn’t move on a dime. It takes time and shaping. But, it isn’t like we are seeing any significant changes in how many people are working compared to the past 30 years.
If there isn’t massive amount of people more than the past 30 years working, why does my Wendy’s close unexpectedly? Ah, now we are getting to your ACTUAL issue. People are totally working. The hustle, as the kids say, is alive and well.
They just aren’t doing the work CONSERVATIVES want them to do. Where is any fucking growth working in the service industry? And especially now in the modern age. Conservatives have incentivized personal growth to the point where you can’t exist in American society if you don’t think of #1. There is no pension. No safety net. Obama didn’t have the balls to divorce healthcare from employment. Now you are just aware of the hidden cost of healthcare, but otherwise its less value that what you had before.
In my opinion, what is going on is simple: the employment value equation is fundamentally broken in the United States. People are finding a way to make it work on their own. And its not working at Wendy’s.
What is it? Well, that is tougher for economists to tell you. Its a combination of gig economy, online commerce, and just industries continuing to evolve.
Regardless, conservatives only have themselves to blame. For as much as they fetishize the working man, they have done everything in their power to weaken the working man’s ability to make a living. The difference is my generation and younger aren’t going to put up with it. They will find a way to get the system to work for them. And it doesn’t involve whatever conservatives WANT to do.
So, person who had enough money to commission a vinyl sign, you are dead fucking wrong. And you will continue to be wrong. There aren’t a million people “just sitting at home” waiting to save you. No one will save you. You got what you wanted. Capitalist free markets at work. You are welcome.