Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Homelessness and the Progressive Mentality

The Imaginative Conservative:
The attempt to eliminate entry-level jobs by demanding that every position provides a “living wage” instead of a step on the ladder toward economic independence leaves millions stranded with no way to improve their economic condition. Progressives may feel good about themselves because they have voted to increase the minimum wage and allow the homeless to sleep in their cars year-round (with art!). But there simply is no substitute for work experience and the habits it inculcates if one is to build a decent life as an individual or a head of household. The alternative is not a hammock of governmental support, but rather the chains of welfare dependency, in which one dares not work for fear of losing benefits, and eventually loses the will to work for oneself and even for one’s children, instead surrendering to despair and resentment in crime- and drug-ridden neighborhoods filled with dangerous strangers.

In more general terms we in the United States are in the process of de-legitimizing work. One of many problems with a tech-centric ethos (the industry simply does not employ enough people to make for a tech-centric economy) is that it devalues work. The game-playing, puzzle-solving atmosphere of Google and other tech companies that encourage their workers to stay “on-campus” all the time is solidifying a world-view according to which ”smart” people are successful. It is not so much what the tech-savvy do for work, which is a limited activity, but what tech-savvy people are—smart, in a quite limited way—and how their personalities and lifestyles are shaped, that makes them valuable, at least in their own eyes. As for the rest of us, and especially for those who work with their hands, they are stand-ins, doing a job until automation takes over for them.

Particularly when one listens to the hypocritical virtue signaling of the likes of Messrs, Zuckerberg, and Gates, one senses an attitude of entitlement mixed with contempt that leaves little room for compassion, let alone a desire to allow people the means by which to forge lives of dignity. Importing workers who cannot leave or ask for raises for fear of losing their visas, exporting manufacturing jobs to veritable slave labor camps, and pushing for welfare and other government programs that provide a “safety net” that keeps the poor safely out of their way, today’s oligarchs see no need to maintain a society of opportunity for anyone who does not score well on college entrance exams or I.Q. tests. (Read more.)


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"But there simply is no substitute for work experience and the habits it inculcates ..."

Entirely depends on the kind of talents the person has or has not to be a freelance.

I think I for one have the talents, I therefore resent every attempt to impose on me this "morality" instead of opening the way for my writings and compositions to bear economic fruit, for others and for myself.

As to the rest, there is such a thing as "entry-level" works being offered time and again to someone not acquiring the kind of habits from work experience which the above writer has in mind.

That was my own experience of life before getting into trouble with the law in 1998.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

By the way, I am not trying to get "tech savvy" either. I am a writer on internet, not an internet technician.