The NewsHour, like its sister programs on NPR, is great at burying its ledes. Perhaps you were wondering why young Americans no longer want to go into paid apprenticeships in trades that can reliably pay six figures. Whaddaya fuggen know, the bosses are happy to go on the boob tube to complain that kids these days have poor work ethics, have drug records, have traffic records, got fired, by the way the wage progression is five or ten years slower than advertised in the bold print, and drive to interviews in cars full of trash.
That last one is a red flag. It corroborates my suspicion that housekeeping is worthwhile in a structure adequately serving as a house but that, space permitting, it’s civic indeed to leave incidental trash in yours, regardless of its effect on your boss and his lost feelings of accord. It’s widely understood on the streets that employers make excuses to walk by applicants’ cars during interviews so they can scan for prejudicial cues. A common one is car seats. It’s illegal to discriminate in hiring based on family status, so it’s risky to ask applicants if they have children, but we’re all about smalltalk under duress, here in America, and as Funny Uncle Joe knew and used to good political effect, we’re all about our cars. There’s something wrong with you for taking the bus to work. Why are you poor?
The story about the deteriorating youth work ethic is horseshit. There have always been lazy people; in the American South, they were often called planters; but this is not generallee a country that gives its people good reasons to work. Fewer Americans would quit or get fired if American workplaces weren’t so toxic. Improvements in work conditions and compensation reduce turnover. Everybody in business who isn’t a moron knows this; when they act surprised it’s because they’re bluffing in hope of a discount and don’t care about having a stable workforce. Lower turnover means more pie, but some of these characters wouldn’t pay for their slice like I do at Safeway. How the hell do you think they caught Robert Durst? Are we surprised to discover that a prevailing business culture giving license to employers to make jobs abusive and ill-paid coinciding with a secular consignment of the young to precarious contingent positions doesn’t result in an overflowing pool of eager young talent?
Vinny what’s-his-name in Seattle is a classic public broacasting crybaby employer. He went on TV to whine about how his applicants are shit and that sucks because he’s desperate for apprentices to help him with his plumbing businesses. Maybe that’s why so many marginal applicants show up. He says he’s desperate; let’s see how desperate he is lol. He’s basically saying, man, I need a girlfriend. No, I mean I need Dagmar Midcap in my bed right now.
How many shit-tier books do we have about cultivating a mentality of abundance instead of a mentality of scarcity? I guess that genre is another style of All-American abuse. I already knew it was a huge grift.
Aaron Bady made an impressively perceptive point after that militia crew in Michigan got popped for plotting to assassinate the governor and photos circulated showing the country dump where one of the plotters lived: “the obsession with rural clutter really does map onto an inability to conceptualize real poverty, with disturbing preciseness.” One of the reasons my cars accumulate trash is that I don’t litter. Others include half-cocked plans to burn paper trash and deposit bottle storage pending cashout runs. Chaka can. Chaka can.
The clutter of genuine poverty takes specific forms that are hard to describe but unmistakable. It’s an obscenity, as Potter Stewart would say. It isn’t a car full of trash as much as a car full of old clothes and knicknacks haphazardly mixed with bits of trash. It certainly isn’t owning a yard full of unsold junk with resale value; that’s property, not poverty. People end up too broke to afford groceries in spite of their junkyards; they don’t own junkyards because they’re flat broke or piss-poor. The chaotic clutter of genuine poverty is unmistakable. It can be found in any weekly motel. We’re still doing nothing about homelessness in this country, so there’s no need to hurry up and visit it before it’s gone.
For what it’s worth, Seattle has a severe homelessness problem, including a large population of warm homeless living in rundown vehicles. I’m in no mood to humor a Seattle plumber who brags about how much he pays his employees and then whines that his applicants keep pigsty cars. He was complaining about cars in conditions that many of his neighbors and much of the NewsHour’s audience would immediately take as evidence of homelessness. It wasn’t until I was on the verge of homelessness that I really started accumulating piles of shit in my cars. After I became fully, undeniably homeless, this became a habit. It’s still a habit, and I haven’t been homeless in over a year and a half.
Fuck you and your plumbing business if you think it’s a problem, and fuck the PBS NewsHour. They need to start sending Paul Solman on assignment to interview people who show some goddamn manners when they go on television.
No, this doesn’t mean I’ll stop listening to that shit. It’s a trunk full of deposit bottles and paper trash for the mind, if I may be so charitable about an organization that’s always asking me for money instead of paying me some.
Before we talk about your investments, what’s new? Anybody hiring so we don’t all have to keep trying to game the market for a living? Franklin upfront and I’ll try fixing your sink.