“Jobs” is a Four Letter Word
We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
School has begun again and I, a 47 year-old law student, am quickly falling behind in my readings. I am, apparently, easily distracted, (perhaps I have ADD, or ADHD,) and somewhat lazy, or even “slow,” or dimwitted, and am therefore feeling a bit of stress about finishing my final year of law school. Also, I suffer from poor health, and insomnia, and I am somewhat self-destructive. So, bearing all of this in mind, you can imagine my morning as I awake on the couch at 4 AM, with the television blaring some infomercial, and I rise and make coffee, and start chain smoking cigarettes, and begin stressing about what I must accomplish this weekend, yet I browse the Internet and stumble across a few interesting articles.
Over at the BBC I read an article, “Vietnam workers kept like slaves at factory in Russia” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19197095) and I think how closely that resembles the state of the US workers. Most of us work everyday to create profits for the owners of our “factories” and in return are given our bowl of rice as a reward.
I recall back in a torts class, as we had covered employer liability, and “control-theory,” and the “master/servant” relationship, that the professor took the time to interject her personal view. “I wish we could use a different phrase for that, but that is the phrase that is used in all the books, and cases, and so …” Yes, I could see how that could raise personal feelings, how just the phrasing could offend a person’s sensibilities, even a well-paid law professor (whose actual role in life is to create a profit for her corporate masters.) But I, personally, appreciate the honesty of the phrase master/servant relationship.
I don’t care if you are a law professor, or a Vietnamese worker in a factory in Russia, you are a servant creating a profit for your corporate master. That is the purpose of a “job,” to create a profit for the “rentier” owner. The story about the factory in Russia lingers in the back of my mind as I browse through other articles …
“Getting Beyond Red Herring Politics, Jill Stein and the 99 Percent,” (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/24/jill-stein-and-the-99-percent/) catches my eye as I recognize the name of the author, who occasionally posts at MyFiredoglake, where I occasionally ‘hang out’. First off, CounterPunch is running an advertisement above the article, “Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch: THE PATH TO FULL EMPLOYMENT.” I try to ignore that and read the article, which basically is a rant against President Obama, and attempts to convince the reader that both Obama and Romney serve the interests of the 1% and therefore a citizen should vote for neither. The article suggests that a citizen should vote for Jill Stein instead.
The purpose of a “job” is to create profits for the owner of the business, be it a corporation or a sole-proprietorship or a partnership or whatever. There is no partnership between capital and labor. Marx was entirely correct, the basis of capitalism is the exploitation of labor. Meanwhile, Nucor Steel (http://www.nucor.com/) is the most ethical corporation I know of currently in operation. Nucor practices profit-sharing, and has never laid off an employee due to lack of work (http://www.nucor.com/careers/benefits/). Nucor is one of the best steel companies in the world, and Nucor creates a profit and the stock appreciates and they pay a dividend:
In June, Nucor’s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.365 per share payable on August 10, 2012 to stockholders of record on June 29, 2012. This dividend is Nucor’s 157th consecutive quarterly cash dividend, a record we expect to continue. (http://www.nucor.com/investor/news/releases/?rid=1716407)
I can’t find it now, but I recall reading that Nucor also paid over 60% of profits to their employees. Beyond profit-sharing, I am also a supporter of employee-owned businesses, especially corporate ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans). A whole ‘nother story that I won’t get into here and now (SEE http://www.nceo.org/articles/employee-ownership-100 ) … but you can see my angle — if the employee’s are owners and they get equity ownership, they participate in reaping the profits that the workers create for the corporation; instead of just receiving their bowl of rice.
Over 50% of corporate stock is owned by the 1%. I’m not gonna’ take the time to hunt down evidence of that right this second, you can do that if you care. But the bottom line is that a job creates profits for a corporation that usually go solely to the owners, unless the corporation has the etics of Nucor and shares the profit. As the profits go to the owners they are able to reinvest in owning more corporations and employing more servants. Therefore, a normal job will continue the mal-distribution of profits and shore up the wealth disparity.
Again, whether you get a big, steaming, bowl of rice, like a law professor, or a meager bowl of rice, like a Vietnamese worker in a factory in Russia, you are a servant creating a profit for your corporate master. And if you start a small business without profit sharing you are just attempting to exploit a small pool of workers. So, when Mr. Gruzalski begins his article with, “Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President of the United States, promises a Manhattan-project jobs program …” you can imagine what I am thinking: “Jill Stein, advocating more servants to create more profits for the 1%!”
And don’t even give me no shit about claiming that I am asserting that Mr. Gruzalski is evil, or I am against Jill Stien, or even CounterPunch, or even that I shouldn’t be using no double negatives in no damn sentence. I’m as pissed and as sick and tired of this shit as anybody, and I’m in pain and slow-witted and I can’t even figure out how to explain to the masses, or get them to actually comprehend, the simple fact that jobs is a four letter word. And I’m only on my third cup of coffee …