Sunday, September 1, 2013

I hate the word "entitled"

(Inspired, partially, by this blog)

I applied for a job a little while ago, and for the first time in 5+ years (and some 30 applications) I actually got an interview.

I was told the company has had trouble finding people who want to work. Considering the job is very blue-collar, and this person used the word "entitled," I think he figures kids these days just don't want to work, like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh keep telling people.

I think that's a narrow way of looking at the problem. A more complete picture would consider that kids these days are told they have to go to college or they will end up slaving away in a factory, or McDonalds or something. So they go to train for something better. They expect to land a white-collar job in the tech industry, or as a manager, then they're surprised when the only jobs out there actually require doing hard, dirty, physical, blue-collar work.

Friend of mine told me about a relative years and years ago who got into the railroad business as a caboose operator. Worked his way up to engineer over fifteen years. That's how things used to be done. You get into a company, and you work your way up. Not anymore. For the most part, the burden is now on the employee to pay for school and learn the job, and then he's hired. Kids expect to skip starting at the bottom. They're taught they'll start at the top if they go to school.

"Go to college and you'll land that dream job that will earn you lots of money doing something you love without having to get your hands dirty," they tell the kids. Then they blame the kids for not wanting to start at the bottom, doing those crappy jobs. Well duh. They went to school to be above that kind of work! If kids are entitled, it's because they've been taught to be by the previous generation.

Here we are in a depression. There aren't enough jobs to go around, and yet diehard conservatives call everyone lazy for not getting a job, as if overnight America has stopped wanting to work. It makes me so mad when people simplify the problem by just dismissing people as lazy freeloaders.

Stop using the word "entitled." It does not accurately describe the problem in America.

We tend to oversimplify problems like that.

"If the government would just get out of the way all problems would be fixed."

"Income inequality is not a problem. People who do more work should be rewarded for it."

"Unions are holding business back. Get rid of the unions, give more freedom to the businesses, and everything will fix itself."

"All the problems in the world are because we've turned away from God. If we went back to God, everything would fix itself."

"The government has no right to tell us what to do! The Constitution is under attack! Freedom is under attack!"

I've heard people say all of these things.

It doesn't look at the issues from multiple angles:

There were a lot more problems before the government stepped between people and business.

Income inequality is a symptom, not the problem. Some people seem to think the debate is people who do more work should not be rewarded for it. Nobody is claiming that a person who does better work than someone else doesn't deserve to succeed while the other person fails. To dismiss the debate as such is misdirection. Nobody is saying there shouldn't be greater reward for success. The problem is that people who are not doing hard work are being rewarded disproportionally more than people who are doing the work. That the playing field is not level.

Union demands are rarely unfair. Even with unions, corporations still manage to make billions of dollars in profit. Unions didn't kill Hostess, and even the so-called liberal media makes sure to place union demands and the fall of the company side by side, never actually stating the unions are to blame, but silently implying it. Without them, business would keep all that profit for the nameless shareholders and executives, and not give anything to the people actually doing the work. Sound familiar?

When was the ideal time period when America was close to God and there were no problems? Was it back when the country was founded, and blacks were slaves and native Americans slaughtered and forced off their land? Was it in the 1950's, when segregation was an accepted fact of life and women were only allowed to do "women's work?" Think, people!

Kinda like Waiting for Superman, that documentary on America's school system that seemed to imply the blame for bad schools was on the teacher's union. It ignored any and all other factors (like state and federal government cutting funding for schools and police departments while giving tax breaks to big business), which pissed me off.

It's what we do as human beings. We oversimplify problems because it's easier than trying to look at them from multiple angles, considering all factors. Most people don't think that deeply. It's easier to label and generalize than take in multiple points of view.

No comments:

Post a Comment