Saturday, September 24, 2011

The meanings of meaningful work

In my world meaningful work is when you do something that is useful to others in society. When you build a deck or renovate a bathroom you are doing meaningful work. When you drive a truckload of turnips from Ontario to Ohio you are doing meaningful work. When you teach children how to read and write you are doing meaningful work. When you do emergency room surgery that saves lives you are doing meaningful work.

When you look at the top 1% of income earners, what you don't find a whole lot of is meaningful work. Hedge-funders. Lawyers. Accountants. The entire accounting profession is a leech on the economy of meaningful work. If you had a straight-forward and fair tax code you wouldn't need accountants. You'd need book-keepers. Book-keeping is useful and necessary work. Accounting is in one way or another an accessory to tax evasion.

But the laws of the land are skewed to preserve the privileges of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us. Not hard to see why. When Bush or Obama or Romney or Clinton has a $25,000 a plate fund-raiser, it's the 1% buying 100% of the tickets. It ain't the kid who just got a job at the car plant at fourteen bucks an hour.

Most of us realize that this isn't how democracy should work. After all, how can that 1% tail be wagging this big fat dog? That's where the fear comes in. If it ain't the commies it's the fags. If it ain't the fags it's the Mexicans. If it ain't the Mexicans it's the Muslims.


That would be the freedom to work two or three shit jobs trying to pay the bills.

The freedom to be tased for driving while Black.

The freedom to have your grandmother groped before she flies from Tampa to Atlanta.

The freedom to serve Freedom in Iraq or Afghanistan because there are no jobs in Michigan.

The freedom to go bankrupt when your kid is diagnosed with leukemia at five years old.

The freedom to live under a tarp when the bank your taxes bailed out forecloses on your house.

The freedom to protest in a "free-speech" cage at the G20 meetings.

The freedom to eat dog food when you're old.

That's America baby.

Love it or leave it!

And for God's sake lets give that 1% a break already.

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