ALPERN AT LARGE - Economics is simply NOT a simple one-step observation-means-obvious-problem-and-solution process. It’s a two- or three-step process of thinking ahead that may be well beyond the understanding or patience of many who decry our economic problems.
Which is why understanding that employment—GOOD, career-based employment, and not just a “Mc Job” which is only a low-paying job working behind the counter at McDonald’s...is beyond the understanding of a frighteningly-large percentage of 2023 Americans.
And too many adults are being stuck in low-paying jobs for too darned long, while either voting in the same manipulative folks who put them in those lousy jobs…or not even voting at all.
In other words, a career in management of the food industry (such as McDonald’s) involving marketing, overhead cost analysis, and focusing on changing consumer trends and food preferences…is a GOOD and REAL job.
An entry-level job behind the counter is a great start, but only just that. Otherwise, it’s a crappy career choice, and not meant for long-term income goals.
Yet “crappy” isn’t so bad short-term—take it from a former pre-med who was a park janitor (lots of cleaning toilets!), little league umpire (lots of screaming parents!), and day camp counselor (lots of screaming but loving kids and parents) who’s now a physician overseeing and making judgment calls over nurses and patient priorities in an aseptic clean work environment.
Lots of considerations for Labor, and if more Americans don’t learn Fiscal Literacy or Civics, then they’ll wonder why they keep empowering business overlords, labor leaders, “civil rights leaders”, and politicians who are destroying their lives, and those of their children.
In other words, their actions and voting patterns are destroying their future…but yet they’ve been gulled into thinking they’re sticking it to “The Man” while ACTUALLY sticking it to themselves.
So here are a few ideas, if we’ve got the smarts and spines, to help recognize the problem, and reverse course before it’s too late to save ourselves, and our society:
- Prioritize and establish School Choice as the Civil Rights and Labor Crisis of our time. As of 2020, a survey of likely voters that including Democratic primary voters, including black Democratic primary voters, overwhelming supported school choice by over 75% (LINK: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/02/24/voters-strongly-support-school-choice-educators-should-listen-column/4831964002/).
If 77-78% of Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters were in favor of this school choice then WHY are those against school choice in power in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and as well in just about every other major city and county in the U.S.?
Teachers’ labor unions—not the overwhelming majority of teachers who would LOVE to get out from under the yoke of their bureaucratic AND labor overlords—are the most dangerous threat to employment and our children at this time.
Arguably, teachers’ labor unions are the most dominating uberlords in California and much of the rest of the nation, and those states’ single and overwhelming greatest threat.
Do schools dominated by labor unions’ manifestos allow and encourage free speech, rational and critical thinking, and open debate? Are we FINALLY funding courses in job skills, fiscal management and literacy, shop classes, and encouraging high school-to-job pathway options?
No. But woke, worthless ideas are being crammed into the heads of students who think those false and inappropriate narratives will actually get them somewhere.
- Blue collar career paths do NOT qualify as roads to lower-class and lower-education careers. Stop treating plumbers, electricians, tradesmen/women, and construction workers as if they were lower lifeforms, possess lower intelligence, and are unsophisticated compared to white-collar workers.
Earnings potential for blue-collar workers may not be as high (at times) as those with college degrees, but they are often VERY high, and have upside potential that cannot be denied for those who pursue them .
And for those myriad “enlightened” individuals with college degrees who cannot find jobs after graduation? Maybe they’re NOT so smart, and maybe they’re NOT so wise.
And taking it to the next level, I assure you that THIS physician is in no way, shape, or form, able to fix his car, plumbing, electricity/utilities, or roof when they need repair. The same can be said for any of you non-blue collar workers reading this.
A simple conversation with my plumber, handyman, or car mechanic will easily establish that they are smart—if not much smarter—than I am in a host of practical, political, and socioeconomic topics.
And it’s certainly the same for those of you reading this, even if you don’t believe it.
- Armies of hard-working, desperate, go-getting workers got smashed in the last pandemic…unnecessarily so. In highly-concentrated work and hospital environments, masks and distancing were absolutely critical and medically necessary.
But former presidential chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci’s admission that masks, lockdowns, and employment shutdowns were of little to no benefit in the majority of instances they were mandated is one that is NOT borne of ignorance or “not following the science”.
It was indoctrination, irrational panic, and manipulation that has now allowed small businesses, grassroots organizations, religious institutions, and schools to be destroyed in favor of “how it is supposed to be”. Those pursuing and enforcing the overly-rigid quasi-martial law created an Orwellian society that persists to this day.
If anyone even reads Orwell anymore, because certainly those who were wealthy, blessed, or connected to working at home (or even not working at all) did quite well from the dystopian pandemic society that was NOT necessary, and don’t give a goddamn about those whose economic and/or psychological and/or family lives were shattered.
- Both big employers and big unions can be job-makers and supportive to the employees who rely on them…but too often are NOT. This means that one can be pro-union and/or pro-big business, but recognize that there are too many employers and unions with their boots on the necks of those who seek economic gain, and not servitude.
No pay raises, or even offers to work more to keep up with the cost of living? Abusive work environments while proclaiming how “woke” or “worker-responsive” a given workplace is?
Lousy employers, run by lousy human beings. Cunning to boot, at your expense.
Union dues going up but not pay or benefits? Or maybe pay raises but yet forcing layoffs to budget for those raises enjoyed by the surviving employed?
Lousy unions, run by lousy human beings. Cunning to boot, at your expense.
Any difference between those abusing their constituencies? Not really…not at all.
- STOP ignoring those who are supposed to be in charge but hiding from you in plain sight. President Biden touting his economy as strong and with the “lowest inflation rate” in the world?
Governor Newsom ignoring the hordes of businesses and retirees bailing for their economic lives from California?
City mayors and county supervisors ignoring crime and a lack of enforcement making cities and urban centers unlivable and downright dangerous?
Illegal aliens (excuse me…”undoctrinated immigrants”) getting better funding and support than native-born, tax-paying Americans who need affordable housing and affordable health care as well?
A failure to create policies of creating more affordable housing built for families and individuals to live a quality of life similar to that of their parents?
Prioritizing the homeless and the wealthy benefiting only agenda-based and politically-connected special interests, and who end up getting housing and shelter before the hard-working and miserable middle class?
And yet we blame “The Man”, whoever that is.
And yet we keep hearing “Trump, Trump, Trump” in the news when we should be hearing “Biden, Biden, Biden” because only the latter is in the White House and able to create policy.
And yet we keep complaining about the explosive costs of fuel that lead to unaffordable of food, utilities, and basic needs for ourselves and our families, while repeatedly voting back to power those responsible for it.
It’s Labor Day! Time for a day off from work without knowing what the hell Labor Day is even all about!
And ignoring the fact that we have to go back to the same miserable workplace with all the problems we’re ignoring—or even perpetuating—every single damned day.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father. He was active for 20 years on the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) as a Board Member focused on Planning and Transportation, and helped lead the grassroots efforts of the Expo Line as well as connecting LAX to MetroRail. His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)