Capitalism and why we suck at it

wage

(I.) This meme found it’s way to my facebook page, which isn’t surprising, because bullshit is everywhere on the internet. These kinds of posts specifically are almost formulaic in how they operate. It’s always someone in a respectable position, as long as that position isn’t a successful capitalist but something we would consider ‘heroic but underpaid’ like a soldier, teacher, or in this case, a paramedic. These posts then go on to shame anyone that disagrees with them (read: aspiring capitalists), extols the virtues of low wage work, and then slings shit at ‘the man’.  When I read this, I reflexively agreed with it, which told me it’s wrong. I sat down for a bit to think about it. I should’ve just taken a shot and moved on. Can’t change the past though, so let’s find out why I’m alone.

 

(II.) First off, It’s important to note what the poster ultimately wants to be true, namely that you should take him seriously, his job after all requires a ‘broad set of skills.’ If you took out the ‘medical’ and ‘health’ parts, he’s describing what goes on in your average understaffed, overworked retail environment (read: every retail environment). Understand that I am not in any way attempting to denigrate his chosen profession nor am I trivializing the necessity of his work. What I am saying is that the poster is in fact trivializing you. I know this because you’d most likely defend him by saying something like “but his skills are different/he does important work, etc, etc even though you have no idea who this person is.

Why is this opening statement even necessary? Everything he says has nothing to do with his job. He proves this by pointing out that electricians are pissed too. No, unfortunately, he’s trying to signal to you that he’s an unsung hero in a system that doesn’t give a shit about him, but he pushes on regardless. He wants you to believe him. Believe in him. Wanna know who else wants you to believe in them? People in unearned positions of authority, people with insecurity issues, and salesmen. What’s even more unfortunate is that he believes in upholding the status quo.

 

(III.) The critical error the poster makes is in equating ‘life’ with ‘time.’ No, my job does not take up my life, it takes up time in my life. “Yeah but (insert semantic/quote/metaphor about life and time here)” Yeah, lovely semantics/quote/metaphor/whatever, tell me more about why you can’t be that thing you want to be. This kind of thinking is endemic to people who have a taste of money, but no access to capital. He goes on to shame those who are upset that the time and energy they have put into themselves to make their lives better have been effectively overwritten by people whining that burger flippers should make more money. He’s right to shame them, but the reasons why are wrong.

 

Those who are pissed about the wage hike for burger flippers and those who want the wage hike are missing out on the long game. They can’t see it, which means they’re being duped in a long con.  What’s the long game? To be a capitalist. End of story, that’s how you win the game of America. What’s the long con? Duping yourself. End of story, that’s how you win the game of America.

The burger flipper is fucked, because she sure as shit ain’t gonna do anything to improve her life now (i.e. become a capitalist). “Fuck you, she can finally have a savings account, afford healthcare, she can finally save up money  for XYZ, which will help her better her life.” Sorry, but your idealism is trumped by reality. If she couldn’t do that before, she ain’t just gonna magically have those skills because you pay her more. Her problem isn’t with not enough money, her problem is with not enough sacrifice. You don’t have to agree with me, just keep paying your rent and driving that honda.

 

The electrician is wrong because he assumed that the amount of money he makes signals his importance and worth as a person. He doesn’t see that his trajectory positions him to be far more successful than a burger flipper as long as he makes the right moves, and it’s the amount of sacrifices he’s willing to make that does in fact signal his importance and worth as a person. Once again, the problem isn’t with not enough money, but not enough sacrifice.

 

(IV.) Now that the author has convinced you of his importance and that those around him can’t see the truth, he opens fire on his true target ‘the man.’ Apparently in the warped reality in his head, CEO’s want us lowly sheeple fighting each other so we don’t see reality and revolt against those who hold the means of production in a glorious proletariat revolution. The problem with Marxism is that it inherently appeals to the narcissist in us. I’ll risk the Blow back by saying this: Unfortunately, your CEO doesn’t give two shits about you. They don’t care as in, they don’t care enough to have the energy to orchestrate shit like this. People that high up believe in one thing only :Making more money. We can sit here and debate the ethics of such a driving force, but good luck explaining that to the shareholders. They (Capitalists) don’t want us fighting over crumbs while they make off with almost the whole damn cake, we want to fight each other so we can ignore the missing cake.

 

“What the fuck are you taking about?” What I’m talking about is this. Have you ever googled “duties of a CEO?” No? Do it. Once you read into it, you’ll know the price to be paid for having almost the whole damn cake. It means dancing on a knife edge all day, every day for the rest of your workable life. Thing is, you already knew this. You’ve always been aware that the more power one attains, the more stress one comes under. More power= more responsibilities= more consequences = no thanks. However, most people can’t be content to call themselves failures of their own accord, and we can’t fight the capitalists, not because they’re more powerful than us, but because they simply don’t give a shit. The people running the world have no interest in fighting with us, not because they’re better than us, but because they have better things to do. So what do we do instead? Fight and blame each other for our individual failures.

 

(V.) The end of this sordid story has the author claiming the burger flippers won and ‘made’ the capitalists pay them more. In the same way that a child believes that they ‘made’ their parents give them that thing, yeah, I totally agree. Just because you score a victory, it doesn’t mean you’ve won. Kid gets what he wants, and the parents get some peace and quiet for a bit with the added bonus that that’s the last ice cream bar in the freezer.

Let’s play a game called “sum the vectors.” It’s a fun game. Since it’s always disappointing, you can’t ever be wrong, so everyone wins. The burger flippers don’t want to work at their job, which is why they are asking for more money, which works out well since capitalists don’t want them working there either. The intersection of desire occurs when burger flippers get more money  which allows the board to convince the shareholders that automation will be a better investment. See, they don’t want to work there, the capitalists don’t either, and both will get what they want.

As the old saying goes “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”