Listening to Mighty House on WCPT-820 Saturday morning, the discussion turned to how the millenials entering the workforce expect a good job and benefits to be handed to them and are unwilling to pay their dues. Callers and Hosts lamented the lazy, entitled attitude of the younger generation.
This feeling about how the modern American worker is unwilling to do the menial tasks, or expects to much, or doesn't work hard enough is nothing new. Plato expressed dismay at how the young greeks weren't as industrious or studious as the young egyptians.
But, why should any American Worker exhibit unquestioning loyalty to Corporations? Why should a young worker bust his ass, put in his dues with the expectation of reward after achieving a level of seniority? Why would any worker give his time and life over to an American Company? Long ago Employers and Companies broke their end of the deal. Over the last 45 years, "American" Companies have turned their backs on the American Worker and actively sought to undermine the standard of living for every American.
Over at Fortune, Gene Marks tells employers what to do with a long-time, loyal, hard-working, dedicated, 20-year employee; Fire his Ass! Why You're Not a Jerk for Firing a Longtime Employee
So why should millenials or any American Worker break their backs, work overtime, miss holidays, weekends, family get-togethers, when it is incontrovertible that companies will dump that worker, raid their 401k, and off-shore their job as soon as a "Free Trade Deal" allows them too?
This false nostalgia and back-in-my-day bullshit of how American workers used to have can-do spirit and were willing to work-your-way-up-the-ladder should go the way of the private union. When Labor had a more equal footing with business in the mid-20th century, after bloody battles in the 19th and the efforts of America's Greatest President FDR, workers knew their sacrifice and hard work meant they would be rewarded. But, since then the Republican Party allowed itself to become the lapdog guardians of the 1% and began to crush Labor laws and protections.
Before his ousting for being insufficiently orthodox, Republican Eric Cantor was leading the effort by Republicans to ensure Companies could work employees hundreds of overtime hours and then never pay them for that work. Fortunately, that scheme failed and under Obama's NLRB and Department of Labor, other Conservative machinations, like Wage Theft and classifying hourly employees as management, have been severely punished.
This is why Republicans are furious with President Obama. For years the right-wing efforts to get Americans used to less benefits, lower pay, longer hours, and less employment security, while abolishing Unions and worker's rights had been progressing nicely under the direction of the Republican Party. And here comes Obama, ensuring employees get paid for overtime, expanding SSI coverage, increasing wages, and undercutting the right-wing dream of reducing the American worker to mercenary status pitting their time against any other worker in the world in a worldwide race to the bottom.
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