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Right now I'm working a second job at fast food wage slaver-o-rama, and there is one extreme right winger there who I have named "Dudley Do Right."  He's libertarian, he just doesn't know it yet.  He hates Obama, thinks he will bring about an Orwellian nightmare, and is in general idiotic about all things politics.  The reason I call him Dudley Do Right is that he has a near pathological need to follow rules and loves order.  He refuses to be late from his break even by 10 seconds, he cleans everything even if it already is, and in general has no emotions.  Good employee?  Sure I guess.  We get into it a lot about politics, and one day I just turned and said to him:

"Has it ever occurred to you that the private sector doesn't know what it's doing?"

I hate the rhetoric we spew about government, private sector, etc.  The problem is these things are not "its."  The government doesn't have wishes and desires.  It isn't a thing. It's a network of people with ritual, societal approval.  Corporations are constructs as well, organizations of people with the legal protection of  the government and funding from consumers.  Obama won't be around in 4 years, so his only concern is what to do about the way forward and how will his actions affect future presidents.  If you remember governments and corporations are made up of people, then we can start to make sense out of what's going on.

I have a Master's Degree.  I speak 3 languages fluently, a total of seven at varying levels of fluency.  I write books and bring in a little money that way.  I am currently teaching at a middle school with very few children that might be on it's way out.  I put my best foot forward, and my presence has saved the school from what was certain disaster.  I even have some of the kids coming to me and telling me their parents cannot figure out why I continue to work at the school and not work somewhere better.  That's a definitely complex question, but for right now, I need money to get teacher certification.  I'm out of student loans.  I work my main job and then go off to "Have it your way" on the weekend.  If I were in another country, I'm sure I'd have most of my teacher certification stuff paid for, but here, I'll have to claw at it for 3-4 years.  I've tried scholarships, and they're usually a no go.  

I am thankful for the teaching job I have now, because I had put in over 72 job applications at various places and was largely ignored. Very few companies even spent an hour talking to me.  Most would just throw away my resume.  I even had a friend try to get me a job at his company.  I was passed over.  Why?  "Well, this looks like the resume of a linguist.  If this guy told me he wanted to be President of Human Resources in 10 years, I'd think he was lying."  My friend got mad, turned around at the recruiter, and said that if the company had used the same logic when hiring my friend (who has thus far received two promotions), they'd be up a creek without a paddle.

Corporate profits are up.  Large corporations and big business are swimming in money.  America has a very educated populace.  Libertarians and their "cult of logic" centrist allies have tried to make it seem as if America is filled with Italian studies majors who don't know how to work a wrench.  Dudley Do Right thinks so too.  Maybe it's just that corporations no longer know how to find talent.  They're so awash in money from government bailouts, subsidies, state corporate tax breaks, and money saved through tax avoidance that they do not feel the pressure to find and cultivate new talent unless it's the cookie cutter version their imagination allows.  

"You spoiled brat!  You should be happy to work the job you have now!  If you had the skills, you'd be in the job!  The government doesn't owe you a job!  YOU are the one that will have to make it happen."

Lunacy.  I work three jobs, so calling me lazy is ad hominem.  These were things I heard on DailyKos by cult of logic centrists, and, simply put, people like this never consider that the private sector might suck.  They never consider that maybe the lack of hiring is really a power play by most corporations to try and get skilled labor for cheap by complaining about poorly skilled, lazy Americans.  How many hiring officers have completely overlooked skilled talent because that person didn't have the right alphabet soup next to their name, or didn't have the right buzz words to fit everyone's prescribed role?  How many companies right now could hire people for $50k jobs that would heal the economy, but feel no pressure to hire and are so mismanaged that they don't even know what they need from moment to moment?

Save me the libertarian tripe that the company would dissolve because of its incompetence.  Even without government succor, there is a certain amount of inefficiency and largesse that can pool and still allow a corporation to do this when they are awash in money.

I would have soared at the company.  I would've added to their profit margin and I would have made them more efficient and organized with a touch of creativity.  Drive and outside the box thinking don't show easily on a resume, and you have to be talking to someone that actually can see that.  I explained to Dudley Do Right that American companies stab themselves in the eye for just a little bit more gain, but he didn't believe me.  Oh well.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's spilled over to the public sector... (6+ / 0-) where I used to work.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:40:56 PM PST

  •  I know they don't have a clue (23+ / 0-)

    because they keep repeating the same idiotic mistake over and over and over and over,....

    Cut people, cut hours and keep your stockholders happy. Why the "stockholders" have so much power I have no damn clue.

    I work for a very successful storage company who makes a shit ton of profit and they cannot seem to hire a workforce management person to schedule vacations and such...for 3 DAMN MONTHS!! So everyone get auto denied vacations, then we day trade and finagle our days off then the WEEK of the day we requested off we magically get the day off.

    WTF!! So now we have to send requests to payroll to use our vacation time etc etc.

    GOD DAMN IDIOTS!! What is it with call centers that keep fucking over their people. I have a theory about middle management, they just do stupid shit to justify their position.

  •  asdf (9+ / 0-)
    centrist allies have tried to make it seem as if America is filled with Italian studies majors who don't know how to work a wrench.
    Centrists of the New Democrat variety are always telling us that investing in education will fix the economy, and that we all need college education.  They ignore that there are not enough jobs for us all to have college educations.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:49:58 PM PST

  •  The private sector hasn't known what it's doing (15+ / 0-)

    for ever. We used to have laws and regulations to channel its energies, but those have atrophied over the last 30 years.

    Most economic systems suck, as the resources pool at the top, but we were once pretty good at distributing wealth. Now the US is bound and determined to become a "third-world" country.

  •  I can guarantee you the private sector... (19+ / 0-)

    I can guarantee you the private sector, or at least the people running it, have no clue.

    Oh, a few do, sure. But most corporate leaders are fixated on the short term of what they're doing and can't see how they are depleting the long-term resources of their companies. Most are well-indoctrinated in Capitalist Party orthodoxy (e.g., no one is indispensable), and can't even understand that the hierarchical, sycophantic system that the modern corporation has become is inefficient and wasteful. What madness we see in a John Schnatter (Papa Johns CEO) wrecking his company's brand trying to score a cheap political point. Or watching Carly Fiorina, appointed as part of a conservatively-correct corporate succession, trash one of the great American technological jewels.

    No, they have no clue. If we follow them, we follow them off the cliff.

  •  People complain when they contact the government (9+ / 0-)

    ... calling the Social Security Administration for information or waiting in line for a driver's license. And it takes forever. You know why? Because funding has been cut.

    Then you look at private businesses -- I worked for a company once that sent a few dozen employees to a trade show in Las Vegas. Hotel rooms paid for by the company. A booth in a convention center. A dinner for the biggest customers of the company. Then the next year nobody got a raise. WTF? If they took some of that money for that Las Vegas trip, or even cut back a little, they could have afforded to give out raises.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:40:21 PM PST

  •  You are to be commended for dealing with this ass. (6+ / 0-)

    It might be called  a serious "practice" by some religionists.  I think you are at least a minor saint for trying to bring this creature into reality-based thinking.  Also, his compulsiveness may cover up some serious problems that he fights to keep down, so have mercy on him as you seem to have now, but do continue to express for the sake of his functioning as a work horse of note at  this job which he needs.  You are filled with right on intelligence and I wish you every success in what you want in life.  

  •  they couldn't do what they do (9+ / 0-)

    without the ability to buy politicians, and elections, or without organizations like ALEC.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:54:20 PM PST

  •  Incompetent private sector management. (6+ / 0-)

    Isn't this that great "talent" (that's "worth" millions per year)  - they've been trying to shill us on for years?

    Like politics, the truly talented want no part of management.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:51:47 PM PST

    •  Owners don't really control things anymore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Managers do, and they care only about next quarter.

      I was trying to figure out who owns UPS, and it's a giant tangle of interrelated Wall Street firms: The Vanguard Group, State Street Corporation, BlackRock, amongst others, own about 4-5% of UPS. Who owns State Street? Vanguard Group, BlackRock, JP Morgan Chase hold 4-5% stakes. Who owns JP Morgan Chase? Vanguard Group, State Street, BlackRock, hold 4-5% stakes. The managers and officers of these companies are certainly siphoning off their portion of investors' money, but who are these original investors, and do they have any say in the management at UPS? How can they when ownership is so incestuous?

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:52:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even if you were lazy, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, ER Doc

    calling you lazy would be an ad hominem. It's an attack on you, not your argument.

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:12:35 AM PST

  •  That's what kills me (11+ / 0-)

    Who said the private sector wouldn't kill the golden goose if it didn't get them three more cents of profit? The private sector has no goddamn sense (let alone morals) anymore.

    Here's what else to ask Dudley Do-Right: "If you're willing to keep working here whether you get a raise or not, why would the company give you a raise?" When companies can get sued for giving raises to non-exempt employees why would following the rules and cleaning everything twice lead to a raise if they knew you wouldn't or couldn't quit? What is your capitalistic motivation for staying here, Dudley?

  •  One minor quibble (6+ / 0-)

    Article is dead-on, but I disagree with your characterization of these people as "logic-centric." Even when they seem cold, keep in mind that most of their views are based on very emotional, fear-based, knee-jerk reactions to the world around them.

    I also have a quibble because I consider myself pretty "logic-centric," and I've come to the opposite conclusion of folks like your co-worker.

    •  Oh my coworker is a cold hatred (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bisbonian, Bryce in Seattle

      Republican/Libertarian, I'm talking more about the centrist crowd around here that thinks that there is always an ultra logical way to deal with human behavior.

      These people think police having drones is fine, they think that companies always work logically, Democrats need to be more moderate, private sector is great.

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:13:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pseudo-logical (0+ / 0-)

        I'm a generalist, but my degree is centered on logic: Mathematics and Philosophy. I also have a great love of languages, which I exercised in the Peace Corps in South Korea, and elsewhere.

        One of my favorite exercises in logic is the belief paradox: Many people believe that they believe something that they do not in fact believe, as demonstrated by their own behavior. The most obvious is Biblical literalism among those who contradict Bible teachings without restraint, but Libertarianism is a close second.

        This is theoretically separate from the liars who don't even believe that they believe what they say, but it is extremely difficult to tell which is which.


        Person who believes in the right to do anything that does not harm another person of any consequence in any way that matters.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:14:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are SO RIGHT. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (Pardon the unhinged all-caps in the subject line.)  

    I've been telling people, "Anyone who thinks the private sector can do better and more efficiently than the government has never actually worked... you know, anywhere."  I realize that's a very broad generalization, but seriously -- that coworker who can't figure out how to reboot a computer?  The CEO's slacker nephew collecting checks for doing nothing?  The constant shuffling of executives, the empty buzzword slogans, the moronic and unnecessary changes to make Wall Street think they're a bunch of dynamic take-charge go-getters?  

    I tell you what, the only way the corporation where I work is better than government is if you compare it to the government of Somalia.

    I interviewed for a job recently, and while preparing I came up with a response in case they asked, "What don't you like about your present employer?"  And as I was rehearsing the wording of my response, I realized I had to be careful because it was too easy to make this corporation I work for sound like a Soviet-style bureaucratic monster of inefficiency and stupidity.  

    Seriously, it reminds me of the things we used to make fun of about the Soviet Union when I was a kid in the 70s.  I often think of the saying, "Choose your enemies wisely, because that's who you will become."  

    But yes, you're 100% right.  Our Captains of Industry are idiots.

  •  Hell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have a vendor where I spent over 50k last year that won't return an email and won't take an order over the phone. They have "custom software" that sucks and can't tell you if your order is ready to pick up at the warehouse and dosent speak to the inventory system. Every time I put in an order I have to beg to have someone tell me I can actually pick it up and then I get treated like a pariah for wanting to know that I can get the order. It's an hour drive away and since they outsourced the warehouse no one speaks English or has a clue about anything.

    They bought the company two years ago, fired all the local staff and moved the offices to California. Two years later they fired all the California staff and move operations to Georgia. Everything is run by the accounting department and they are far too good at their job. I have never been treated so disrespectfully for trying to spend money.

    They will win the battle but I will win the war. I'm working very hard to not sell their product anymore. See how that works with your new 30+1 day or cut off accounting policy.


  •  What I love too.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That everyone keeps telling us how we need to retain all those folks who are here
    on those student visas cuz we're SO SHORT on skilled labor. Pure BS! What we're short on is young,
    cheap, easily taken advantage of labor! I just heard Cory Booker say this on "Real Time" Friday night.
    When is someone going to call them on this Horse Shit Meme! I have 30 years of experience as a
    systems engineer, and with some fairly noteable Co's, but since I'm 50yo, and not cheap, and
    no longer willing to work 80 hour weeks for $40K/yr, no one wants to hire me anymore.

    Yeah, they want my skills, ask the 100s of head hunters who contact me every week, and offer me
    the shitty deal I outline above. Then get offended when I say "No, I won't do that and commute 2 hours a day on top of it"

    So yeah the only lack of skilled workers we have are cheap, young and inexperienced ones. Preferably
    that employers can hold a H1 visa over their heads and treat like indentured servants.

    I'm lucky, I have a job and it pays OK. The place sucks, I'm crapped on every day and have to eat it,
    cuz no place else will hire me. (reasons noted above) I live in fear of being laid off cuz I know I'm eating cat
    food if that happens. My health is in the shitter from stress and depression.

    So yes, please, take my SS, my medicare, and allow some kid to have a visa/citizenship so he can
    have my job at a fraction of my pay too!

    There's plenty of skill out there, ready and willing to work hard, and they're not just with degress in "Italian studies majors" trust me, I have a lot of engineer friends in the same boat!

    Unfortunately the private sector knows exactly what it's doing! squeezing every drop of productivity out of it's workers for the least possible pay, and keeping them scared to death by keeping unemployment as high as possible. Then brain washing everyone that the reason it's all screwed up is "The Debt"! HAH!

  •  Unfortunately, some of them do know . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Bryce in Seattle

    . . what they are doing.  They are using the economic downturn to decrease the cost of labor in order to create a generation of wage slaves.  They are in process of extracting as much wealth from the American economy as they can manage, despite the bad effects on the broader scale.  They have adopted a convenient philosophy, whether objectivism, libertarianism, or whatever, as cover for their actions.

    From their narrow perspective they know exactly what they are doing.  It is in the big picture where their ignorance is obvious.  They are constructing an economic prison where they expect all of us to reside complacently.

    The cure is to tunnel out.

    So many brilliant people such as Sujigu are being neglected that they could start their own economy, and it would prosper.  In the end, this is what we must do.  The idiots are destroying the structure of the American economy -- and creating an oportunity for us to rebuild it to suit ourselves.

    Bene Scriptum, Bene Intellectum.

    by T C Gibian on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:49:10 AM PST

  •  Talking to ideologues... (0+ / 0-)

    Step one: know your adversary.

    I've said this before:

    The obvious conservative propaganda circa 1954 makes it a lot easier to spot the lies.

    The Chamber of commerce has promoted this type of propaganda since at least 1954.  “It's Everybody’s Business” is my favorite example blatant conservative propaganda. It's 20 minutes long but a very concise cartoon. I love the huge red iron fist that stabs the constitution at 15:30 minutes; it just screams propaganda.

    The main points are:
    *Investment creates businesses, jobs, productivity, general wealth, and strengthen the middle class.
    *Businesses must compete in a free market.
    *Taxes reduce investment harming American prosperity.
    *Governmental corruption (aka special interests) is all too common.
    *So trust the free market to run the country rather than government.

    Some of this can be true some of the time, but you have to look at the details. The most surprising thing is how little the propaganda line has changed.

    Step two: reductio ad absurdum.

    We can be certain that since the above is true that business fraud and corruption are, if not completely impossible, incredibly rare. A competitive market will quickly ostracize anyone engaging in such activity. Even if someone were able to lie effectively, it's absolutely impossible that they could bribe the local law enforcement officials to get away with it. ... By the way, did you know that the  Golden Gate bridge Inc stock has a guarantee return. Since you're a good friend, I'll sell to you 10 shares at $1,000 each at a %10 discount! What do you say?

  •  Pay Attention! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bryce in Seattle

    Anyone who believes that the American professional class is competent has not been paying attention. We've known about the "Peter Principle" since 1969. The only new thing is that the personal incentives to cheat are so great that executives no longer care if the the company tanks as a result of their actions. During the real estate bubble, banksters used the acronym IBGYBG - short for "I'll be gone and you'll be gone". That is, we can make so much money off these phoney deals that we won't care if they eventually sink the company because by then I'll be gone and you'll be gone.

    In short... it's no longer just that managers are incompetent. It's also that managers no longer care about the company, the customers, and the shareholders, let alone the employees. They are managing the company strictly for their own benefit.

    I would recommend buying a copy of Matt Taibbi's "Griftopia" or Chris Hayes' "Twilight of the Elites" and give them to Dudley as a present.

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