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How many times have you heard the phrase, "I am/You are lucky to have a job," in the past five to six years? I know that I hear it and read it dozens of times a day.
At a time when corporations are pulling in millions and billions in profits those of us who work for the corporations are lucky to have a job. Hostess goes into bankruptcy and requests that the bankruptcy judge allow them to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to the very executives who drove the company into the ground and now that mediation has failed 18,000 jobs have been lost. But you have a job and are lucky to have it.
Your job barely pays the bills and in some months it doesn't. You are lucky to have a job because it provides health insurance. You still can't afford the co-pays so you don't go to the doctor. That $150 dollar co-pay you had to come up with when your child went to the emergency room—you had to skip a few meals to pay for it. But you sure are lucky to have that job.
This company that you are so lucky to work for just laid off another 3,000 people. You still have your job. How lucky can one get. You have survived three rounds of lay-offs. You are lucky to still have a job.
The CEO where you work just threatened to move the company out of the state if the company did not get some sort of incentive to stay. The city you live in agreed to cut the companies property taxes. Your property taxes will now go up to pay for the loss in revenue. The CEO got a huge million dollar bonus for holding the people of your state and city hostage. You still have a job though so you are one of the lucky ones.
Your company just made a deal to send all of their IT and call center work offshore to India. You are no longer one of the lucky ones. The CEO just got another bonus for saving the company millions of dollars by outsourcing. Guess he was the one that was really lucky.
Can we stop saying, "I am/You are lucky to have a job," as having a job does not necessarily mean that you are getting ahead. In many cases it is just about survival on the very edge. Just one thing out of your control and your whole world can come crashing down around you. An employer is lucky to have you—a person is not lucky to have a job with a corporation. We need to get out of this mindset that we are lucky to have jobs. As long as we as a people hold that mentality then the employers have the upper hand over us. As long as corporations have the upper hand we will never get ahead.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:45 PM PST.