Cheap SneakersFour US Senators in April of 2013 attended Senate hearings on long term unemployment. The rallying cry for the whole of the 2012 election, jobs and unemployment. Ninety-six Senators, with their notable absence, expressed indifference.
When flight delays occasioned by the sequester tripped up business and middle class travelers, congress and 100 senators took three days to craft a fix and release the FAA to speed up the flights and limit delays to normal times.
The reason for each, manifestly dichotomous behaviors, tells the whole story of the dysfunction of the United States government and in turn our culture and its’ likely demise.
Senators don’t really care if they pay $100 or $200 for sneakers, and though those built by sweatshop labor and imported for half the price as those made in US are attractive – everyone likes a deal – the senators real interest in cheap sweatshop sneakers, like on time air travel, is simply convenience.
Nobody wants to be late or hang out in airports, and no congressman or senator wants to work any more than they need. The contributions by big business, which thrives in a non union environment with high unemployment underlying all, is a guarantee that workers will work harder, not complain and not make complaints to OSHA, so to prevent the explosion in West Texas, which killed and injured more than the Boston Marathon bombing all together.
The extraordinary and dirty little secret of long term unemployment, in part a natural result of the exponential growth of technology by allowing one person today to do the jobs of thirty people thirty years ago, is that though less costly to retrain and subsidize and fix, long term unemployment is an absolute disincentive and prophylactic for the growth or safety of Labor Unions, and labor unions are the single greatest protection of both a middle class, a collective body of workers representing their own rights and some internal controls of a reckless plutocracy whose wealth, in a single decade, has closed out the future of over a hundred million middle class and poor, whose future and social mobility was protected as recently as ten years ago. So what is the relationship between sweat shops, cheap sneakers and on time flights?
Though congress chose on time flights rather than head start, cancer treatment and food subsidy for families, of whom tens of millions live below the poverty line, they did it for a reason. There are no mistakes and the purpose in all is self service.
Long term unemployment guarantees cheap sneakers and cheap sneakers guarantee unnatural competition for jobs and unnatural competition for jobs weakens labor unions and workers rights and guarantees rich corporate profits and rich corporate profits guarantee well funded lobbyists whose corporate sponsored bank accounts in turn subsidize the re-election of the 96 senators who, rather than work too hard, their average working days one hundred thirty one in 2012, can take their tithe and re-election funds from huge corporate sponsors. At the end of the day, one might ask how are ‘on time’ travel and ‘cheap sneakers’ related? They are both the outcomes of convenience, the unintended outcomes of which may be poverty, unsafe working conditions, Ammonia nitrate explosions in West Texas and collapsed textile factories in Bangladesh. Most extraordinary, such diffidence and absolute indifference to the rights of the general populace, insures the perpetuation of the very system which now and in the foreseeable future serves the self interest of the ninety six.