Tell me about it

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund at 3:10 pm by George Smith

From the New York Times, something obvious but germane to our Culture of Lickspittle:

Why, then, are well over a million and a half Americans over 50, people with decades of life ahead of them, unable to find work? The underlying reason isn’t personal, it’s structural. It’s the result of a network of attitudes and institutional practices that we can no longer ignore.

The problem is ageism — discrimination on the basis of age.

“Age discrimination in employment is illegal, but two-thirds of older job seekers report encountering it,” it continues.

Lots of practices in our corporate Bund are illegal. But you have to have agencies willing to police it and take corporate America to the mat. None of that structure exists. And so we have a civilization that marinates its people in a daily sauce of banal contempt. Which is what the article documents, in vignettes.


Recruiters say people with more than three years of work experience need not apply. Ads call for “digital natives,” as if playing video games as a kid is proof of competence. Résumés go unread, as Christina Economos, a science educator with more than 40 years of experience developing curriculum, has learned …

Discouraged and diminished, many older Americans stop looking for work entirely. They become economically dependent, contributing to the misperception that older people are a burden to society …

It’s a grave social ill, so to speak, right?

So let’s get back to that and again read from the wisdom of someone at the American Enterprise Institute:

What do unworking men do with their free time? Sadly, not much that’s constructive. About a tenth are students trying to improve their circumstances. But the overwhelming majority are what the British call NEET: “neither employed nor in education or training.” Time-use surveys suggest they are almost entirely idle—helping out around the house less than unemployed men; caring for others less than employed women; volunteering and engaging in religious activities less than working men and women or unemployed men. For the NEETs, “socializing, relaxing and leisure” is a full-time occupation, accounting for 3,000 hours a year, much of this time in front of television or computer screens.

The AEI scholar, is Nicholas Eberstadt. His essay assumes most of the subjects he’s writing about are uneducated and without training.

This is largely horseshit. There are huge slices of American workers, sophisticated, science-trained and able, all dislocated from the American experience. They range from computer science programmers and engineers to science instructors and all points in between. The Times piece anecdotally hears from another miscellaneous bunch, this time focused on age disqualification.

Ageism is only one of a slew of problems. What is required as remedy is to literally destroy all the received wisdoms about capitalism, its alleged lubricant to democracy, and work in America ingrained in the last few decades and to recognize that there has never been a shortage of human capital here.

What we have is a system, an establishment, that is fine with discarding that, as long as it does not personally affect them, the entropy is monetized, and maintains an illusion of standards and opportunities.

“Age segregation impoverishes us, because it cuts us off from most of humanity and because the exchange of skills and stories across generations is the natural order of things,” writes Ashton Applewhite. “In the United States, ageism has subverted it.”

Yeah, nice words from a wise person. The rest of the time, grave social ill or NEET?

On the money or what?


  1. Christoph Hechl said,

    September 7, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Well, to get a job, there must be one available. If you need more jobs, the typical way to have lots of people employed is work on infrastructure projects.
    Ideally this gets done by government, so the people eventually own their infrastructure.
    For this the financial means would nedd to be directed away from military, security nonsense, bank bailouts and suchlike.
    Anyones guess how likely that is to happen…

  2. George Smith said,

    September 7, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Not at all. On the Democratic Party’s side there is the usual non-plan, be more friendly to business with tax incentives. One involves a tax reward for “profit sharing.” In this case, corporate America gets a tax rebate of a certain amount if it can demonstrate sharing profit with employees. It’s more BS. What happens is corporations say they’re sharing profit, produce some paper flim-flam and merely raise some employees pay when they feel like it, as per usual.

    You’d be better off if the government just gave money directly to people, or “helicopter money” as it’s called. But the usual pattern is always to give money to business.

    HRC came up with the non-starter of partial debt forgiveness for students, promptly laughed out of town. Both sides want to set aside a substantial amount of money for an infrastructure bank, which means instead of having a government agency run repair and building with direct hiring, money, as usual, all goes to the private sector for market solutions. Which means it gets pocketed or run off with. And, naturally, the retraining thing.

    With the Republicans, it’s the now horribly discredited tax cut for the wealthy/trickle down economic plan. Trump has no plan but he does say stuff that hooks into the animosity over globalism and loss, things you’d never hear Clinton say. Instead they’ve gone the other way with the “America’s still great” piffle, which it is, as I’ve said, from their point of view.

    When Obama was in office he convened a group a businessmen as advisors for job creation. They included all the CEOs who’ve engineered offshoring and tax avoidance schemes. You may recall the best they could come up with was to encourage more tourism, to attract more visitors to the US as it was seen as desirable for vacationing. This would grow the hospitality industry, more jobs for hotel maids, waiters, porters, servers, concierges, that sort of thing. It was to laugh. I wrote about it. It’s buried somewhere in the past archives.

    Here are some links, dug ’em up




    Here’s an excerpt from the third link:

    So we get demands for more investment in domestic fossil fuel exploitation, the same stuff you can see in commercials everyday on MSNBC, ads from Exxon and the national propane lobby for expanded aggressive exploitation of domestic “fracking” in shale aquifers and mining Canadian oil sands.

    We get the old model of expanded hiring of foreign scientists and engineers because they’re governments have a much more attractive track record of paying for their education here.

    And we get Immelt’s biggest practice, more rent-seeking, in reduced taxation on the biggest corporations, tax repatriation holiday, less regulation on pharmaceutical industry, etc:

    “It also recommends lower corporate taxes for new companies in their first three years, a reduced capital gains rate for investors buying equity in young firms and other measures to encourage people to launch start-up companies.”

    After you’ve seen this run up the flagpole with no results except expanding mega-corporate profits and stagnation for everything else it just makes you nauseous.

    I’m sure it contributes to the rage that’s out there this election. Sure Trump is a billionaire born to it. And the Clintons now belong to the same club. Every damn week, more articles about getting 150,000/hour in contributions from the special people on Long Island or an 18 million dollar payday for being an advisor to some low-rent network of universities in foreign countries.