I came across this quote from Margaret Thatcher on Tumblr today, and I have to it sounds like the Iron Lady (called such because that was her favorite token in Monopoly) has it backwards.
Isn’t socialism, which at its heart seeks to improve the lot of the less fortunate, MORE individualistic? Didn’t Thatcher preside over a Britain that was majorly into layoffs, pretty much the least individualistic thing possible? When companies engage in layoffs, they’re pretty much totally ignoring the individuals working for them and instead concentrating on increasing profits temporarily. And “temporarily” is a key word there, because if nobody has a job, they’re not going to be buying too many products, are they? My LiveJournal Friend Jen recently made a post that addressed the related issue of how investors favor downsizing, yet oppose unemployment. As she writes, “You can’t have unemployment without employers un-employing people! Which is the exact thing investors were just rewarding a company for doing.” Similarly, Republicans are talking about how bad the unemployment numbers are under Obama, yet they’re the ones who tend to favor more corporate control and fewer employees. Didn’t Mitt Romney say he enjoyed firing people?
You think maybe that could be part of why unemployment is so high? And they’ll talk about reducing the size of the government, which again would mean massive layoffs. I guess their problem isn’t that people are unemployed, but that some of them are receiving unemployment benefits. The appropriate corporatist response would be to let them starve.
I read an article on how Romney said he didn’t want to cut the size of the military to pay for social programs, insisting that’s what they did in Europe. This is basically a straw man argument anyway, as I haven’t heard anyone talking about cutting the military, nor have I heard that Europe is being invaded particularly often these days. That aside, though, aren’t social programs exactly what we need in an economy like ours? You know, to help people find jobs, and to make sure they don’t slip through the cracks when they’re not working? I think my position might be the opposite of the one Romney promoted. As much as I don’t want to be killed by a terrorist attack, at least that’s quick. That’s not so much the case when you’re dying slowly due to no income and no health care.
I have to wonder if part of the problem is that there just aren’t enough jobs available. Or at least not ones the unemployed people can realistically do. It strikes me that employers haven’t caught up with the current situation. They still consider having been unemployed for some time to be a stigma, and there are still very few entry-level jobs. In other words, the people who can get jobs are the ones who already have them. It’s not that I can’t understand why employers would want to hire people with experience, but how do the rest of us GET experience? The supply of potential workers far exceeds the demand, particularly in my own experience. That said, just going shopping shows some obvious examples of where more people could be hired, like how there are always so few cashiers in pretty much every store, and they keep trying to make those totally ineffective self checkouts work. I also have to say that, if we’re going to refer to anybody who can potentially hire others as “job creators,” then anyone who takes away jobs has to be considered a Job Destroyer.