Apparently, Jeb Bush now is urging Americans to work longer hours to help the economy. It seems that working Americans aren’t spending enough, which means that corporations aren’t making enough money. Financial disaster looms!
Talk about blaming the victims! First you gut the earning power of the working classes, then you scold them for not having the full-time, living wage jobs that fuel spending across the economy.
Of course, what’s stopping too many Americans from working longer hours is that they’ve been fired from jobs that the same corporations have moved to countries where exploiting workers is even easier, or they’ve had their hours cut to avoid responsibility for job security, health and retirement benefits, and other socialist sappers of shareholder profits.
These days, too many of the deleted and deflated are working part-time for minimum wage in entry-level service industry jobs, the kind that used to be the exclusive domain of pimply teens in silly uniforms.
Of course, lecturing the losers has pretty bad optics, so Paul Ryan, the Republicans’ self-appointed economist in chief, has ridden to the rescue, explaining that what Bush III really meant was that many Americans who were stuck in part-time jobs wanted full-time jobs instead. It isn’t that they wouldn’t work if they could — it’s that they can’t get the work they and the economy need.
That clears the air, until you remember that at fault is the very neoliberal, free market, globalized economic and political system that these heavyweight Republicans and their lighter-headed friends have been advocating for years.
How do you maximize profits without minimizing spending, by far the biggest portion of which is spending on workers? How do I get a job at the local manufacturing plant when the company left town years ago? Try as they might, Burger King and 7-11 are never going to hire enough people to fix the economy.
Paraphrasing Barbara Ehrenreich, American wage-earners used to have good jobs at the unionized factory and shop at Wal-Mart. Now, they work at Wal-Mart and shop at the local Sally Ann store.
Still, get out there and try harder. Work more hours. Earn more pittance. Spend it on our stuff. Feed our profits. That’ll fix everything!
I’d laugh, if I weren’t throwing up.