Monday, April 29, 2013

Non-Flying Economy

I have decided, after much consideration, that I am going to become a penguin. 

This penguin. (Source.)
Why? Well, let's start with the fact that everyone told me college was a good bet. I'm hunting minimum wage jobs now, sweating and panicking that I won't even be able to find a job that will let me maintain my current income. 

Know who's hiring? Skilled labor. Lots of freaking skilled labor jobs out there. If I'd gone for a CNC machinists certification, I'd be drowning in job offers right now. And I could have had that certification in the same amount of time it took me to get a useless freaking associates. I could have picked up a massage license in less time and for less money. Same for a mechanics certification. Hell, I could be a plumber. And any one of those would be serving me better right now than three years of a college education.

For that matter, why are we still telling kids that college is good for them? Currently, Americans hold somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion in student loan debt. And that's with just over half of all new college grads in America being flat-out unemployed, and unable to find jobs. 

There's also this unrealistic expectation of experience. "Hiring for General Manager. Successful applicants will have two years prior experience." How many general managers do you think there are, people? How many office assistants, how many of anything? How the hell are normal people supposed to get this mystical experience thing? 

Or even better, when the experience I do have isn't considered. I worked in the mall. Year-round. During Black Friday. For three years. I know customer service, and I'm good at it. But I can't get a hit to save my life, because I don't have a specific breed of customer service. I haven't worked in a pawn shop, I haven't worked in a video game store, I haven't worked, I haven't, I haven't...

Seriously, do you people expect the one perfect person for the job to fall out of the sky and demand it from you? 

I am here for the pizza delivery job! (Source.)
Someone who just happens to have worked in your industry in a position exactly like the one you're offering, and just happens to be looking for a job?

Other reasons to join the flightless birds, of course, fall under the "screw you" and "I hate you all" categories. 

I have, sitting next to me on this desk, a cheap atomizer that I use to deliver nicotine to my bloodstream via my piehole. I have a computer that fits in the palm of my hand that can take pictures, video, make phone calls, browse the internet, and make use of dozens of programs that range from following sports to organizing my life to shooting zombies with my index finger. I'm typing this on a top of the line Mac all-in-one with a second screen and $4k worth of software and peripherals on it (thank you school technology fund!) in a lab surrounded by 25 of these exact same setups. 

I have a car that sips gas lightly, costs next to nothing to maintain, will outlive me if I treat it well, and isn't too hard on the payments. When I drive my nice-ish car home, I'll arrive in a decent apartment complex in a moderately nice neighborhood. We might be able to order food, or we might cook something. But we'll have food, and it will be tasty and relatively good for us. 

My hubby and I are freaking broke all the time, but we're surviving. And even with our finances being strained to the limit, we can afford little things, we can afford all the wonders we have available to us.

On my way to work, I passed ten people who have no homes, no jobs, and are begging on the street for cash to feed their families. I hear rhetoric all the time for and against gay rights, women's rights, minority rights...and that's all well and good. But what the hell are we doing to help end homelessness, to help end hunger here in America? 

You know how much money we spend annually on fighting diabetes? $218 billion. Take a wild freaking guess how much money on making healthy food available to school kids? $11.1 billion.
School lunch. (Source.)
Apparently, 11 billion buys you a banquet dinner. With cookies
and milk. And a token orange, so it'll at least look healthy. (Source.)

And hey, guess what? My nutrition professor told my class (and yes you may all laugh, but then when you stop and think about it, you'll feel a little sick) class that the leading cause of people not eating right is that they don't have access to nutritive foods. When was the last time you saw a ghetto with its own grocery store? When was the last time you saw someone walking down the road with a sack of fresh vegetables? Hell, when was the last time you stopped to think about all the jokes being made about kids raised on macaroni and cheese or college students that live on ramen noodles?

So why don't stores open up in the neighborhoods that need them? Why are whole populations served by quickie marts and convenience stores? Cause there's no money in those neighborhoods. But the government will damn well subsidize corn. Doesn't help anyone, mind you, but hey, there we go. 

How are we faring on the situation of creating more jobs? Well, we kinda suck. And honestly, the economy is such a mess I have no clue where to throw in. How the hell are businesses supposed to hire more people with their insurance rates going up, more and more people being dumped onto the market, and a drive to run people through education they really can't use? 

Here's a novel idea: figure out how many of those nice little farm and business subsidies are actually doing something, grab those that aren't, and hand them to the Small Business Administration so entrepreneurs can get a leg up helping the economy recover on a ground level. 

Oh, and just to get back on the social issues horse for a moment, while all this is going on, we're still arguing over whether or not two guys or two gals can pick up a marriage license, or whether women get to decide what goes on in their uterus, or whether guns are magical death machines. 

The economy is still in the crapper and the middle class (which was invented for the sole reason that republics don't function well without them) is still shrinking at a vile pace. 

So I'm going to go be a penguin now. Penguins are fine with gay penguins, haven't invented firearms, are gender equal, mate for life, house and feed everyone in the flock, (alright, they live outdoors, but so what?) and everyone works together to survive. 

And, with any luck, I can rally my new tuxedoed brothers and sisters to the cause of fighting off the humans that are killing all our food. Cause hey, humans can't manage to help their own, so us penguins are going to have to look out for ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Well that's a damn cute penguin! As far as the job market goes you hit the nail on the head when you said that people are waiting for someone perfect to fall out of the sky. It's called a purple squirrel and employers are sitting on their hands waiting for one to appear. Why? Because they CAN!! So many people need jobs that they can afford to be picky. I have lost job opportunities that I am well qualified for and have the experience they need but I have a flaw or a quality they DON'T need and are waiting for that perfect person. Fucking assholes if you ask me! I'm going to join you in penguinhood. :)