Monday, August 29, 2011

American wage slavery hits a new low

I've been working for two companies that send temporary servers and bartenders to catered events, usually weddings, university and corporate events. Sometimes private homes. Lately the amount of work has dwindled to one or two shifts per week, and now like many Americans I'm having trouble paying my mortgage.

I'm already a frustrated worker, was displaced by Bank of America when they took over Lasalle Bank in 2008 and have been underemployed since. I'm noticing that employers are taking full advantage of the competitive job market by offering only part time and/or temporary work. Corporations are cutting costs and avoiding paying medical and other benefits. And as usual, our government is entirely pro-corporatocracy and hates poor and working Americans ...

But the powerlessness that I feel culminated in panic when I went to a job interview with a catering company a couple of days ago and was told that because they have a contract with one of the employment agencies that I work for where they're not able to take employees from them, that they're unable to offer me work. The contract includes a buy-out clause which makes it expensive for them to buy me out so that they can employ me.

After realizing that he had just informed me that I'm, well, a slave, that my labor and my person is entirely OWNED by a company that only offers me one shift per week, if that, and will not allow me to gain the dignity of a living wage through another employer, my interviewer felt uneasy and perhaps guilty about this arrangement that the two employers have and informed me that one way to get around it is to still hire me for the position we were discussing, but to do so through the employment agency, as a temp.

What this means is that they would more likely be paying MORE money for my labor, since instead of paying me directly they have to pay a portion of my labor to the temporary agency ... who, without performing any work, exploits my labor and takes a portion of the fruits of my hands. I signed away my labor when they hired me.

I imagine that if I hear back from this catering company, it will most likely be for a part time job through my temp agency, since other employees will constitute even cheaper labor by virtue of being hired directly and not through an agency.

And so in this new American labor culture of cutting costs and paying slave-masters for the wage of poor workers, I am basically fucked.

I don't know what it's gonna take for this country to get straight, for the American poor and working class to get its fair share of the pie. I'm so demoralized, so down, feel so betrayed by my corporatocratist government and the way it hates the poor and working American.

It's such a huge insult to our intelligence when the Republicans and capitalists in this country speak o 'trickle down economics' and all their rhetoric and propaganda. Wealth has NEVER trickled down. Those 'up there' are too greedy to let the trickle get to those of us 'down here'. They want more and more, and they're getting more because they OWN our government. For the last four decades, the wealth of the rich has literally multiplied while the wealth of the poor has remained static.

I recently read that a full third of the new home purchases were the result of foreclosures. There are numerous ways that the banking cartel and the wealthy are ensuring that more wealth passes from the hands of the poor, even the new poor who can't afford our homes, to the hands of the already wealthy who are still now able to buy new homes. The foreclosure craze is big business for long-term investors.

So is war. Costly as it is for the taxpayer, we know full well the connection between oil investors, military investors, and the Bush presidency. We know full well that Cheney used to be on the board of Halliburton and gave this corporation most contracts in Iraq. How much money was transacted in all this, that we'll probably never know. It may be so vulgar a truth, that it better stay hidden.

But this we allowed to happen because we thought ourselves powerless, and because so many ignorant and/or religious voters allowed themselves to be hypnotized and ensnared by media and by their leaders and voted against their own class interests.

Dear Fellow Americans: please realize that if you are living from paycheck to paycheck, YOU ARE NOT MIDDLE CLASS. YOU ARE POOR. You belong to a class of people who are voiceless, nameless, and when you watch the news, realize that they're being packaged by a particularly greedy breed of parasites that keep you poor.

I remember watching a news channel after the Japan earthquake earlier this year where, rather than a humanitarian crisis the discussion revolved around what stocks to buy in order to turn a quick profit: timber, they said, was to be the next bubble because of all the construction that was needed. Yesterday, hurricane Irene had not even left the northeastern tip of the U.S. and they were concerned for stockholders who held insurance stock. The news ended on a positive note, because only 40 % of the damage was covered and the insurance industry would not be hit so hard. How do these people sleep at night? Where are the values of those who watch and really believe this to be 'the news'?

They feed us so much bullshit! There's even a career description for capitalist propagandists, which was concocted specifically in order to avoid the word 'propaganda': Public Relations. This 'career path' was proposed by none other than the nephew of Freud, Edward Bernays, who effectively taught companies to use Freudian ideas regarding appealing to unconscious desires of people in order to sell them products and even ideas. This is a vast and interesting subject that I won't delve into, but anyone interested in pursuing will find much information online.

I refuse to close with a positive note. Things are not okay. I'm so ashamed of how my American dream was stolen. I don't know if I can recover it. I don't know what else to say. Or do. In my eyes we are, officially, a poor country plagued by a minority of powerful, vocal, wealthy, greedy pigs.

No comments: