"Without job creators no one would be able to make a living, we should all remember that"
"You should be grateful there are job creators out there to give you work"
"If you don't like your pay you should start your own business and see how hard it is to create jobs"
It's hard to create jobs. It's a tough, down and dirty enterprise that requires enormous risk and profound sacrifice on the part of those generous souls who want to provide the masses with the means to make thier otherwise useless lives productive. We should all be grateful that these intrepid captains of industry are willing to condescend to open their businesses up to employees. Without the job creators we'd all be unemployed.
We should be grateful.
Not we should be happy, or content, not we should be pleased, we should be grateful.
If you are paid too little start your own business instead. After all starting a business is a choice that is available to everybody. If you are living in poverty and are unable to make good wages why don't you just come up with an idea and start your own company? Then not only can you lift yourself out of poverty but you can join the ranks of the job creators! What? You don't have any capital, you say? Well, get creative. Get a loan. Find investors. Go out and solicit door to door. Surely you know that anyone can accomplish anything in America if only they are dedicated enough to do it. You don't have the time to look into other options while working two jobs and taking care of your kids? Well you just should have thought about that before you had kids, or you should have gotten a better education or maybe you should have arranged to live in a different time when we weren't suffering through the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Anyone who is dedicated enough, hard working enough or determined enough can cut through the complicated realities of depressed wages and economic downturn, obviously. If you're working at a low paying job it's because you don't choose to find something better.
These three arguments go together. Now clearly it's not that difficult to poke holes in this kind of reasoning. What I find striking though is the underlying tenor; the unspoken reality that treats the 'job creators' (read: wealthy business owners) as the adults in the relationship and the workers as children. Creating jobs is hard work and the public should be grateful that someone is willing to do it.
Let's be realistic here. No private sector job was ever created because someone wanted to provide the public with opportunity to work. Jobs aren't a form of charity. When an employer hires someone they aren't simply doing them a favor (Before some of you hit me here, yes I know some people get hired as favors to friends or family. That's not what I'm talking about; I'm speaking in a broad sense. Although I would still contend that even these 'favors' are usually done by employers who were looking to hire someone.) Jobs are created when an employer has a need for some form of labor. Both parties are meant to get something out of it. The employer/employee relationship is supposed to be one of mutual consideration. In other words it is supposed to be an adult relationship predicated on both parties getting something they need, be it labor or compensation, and founded on respect.
The rhetoric of gratitude is predicated on a very different idea; one in which labor is not a necessity and employers would be just fine without their employees. This may not be what people mean when they make these kinds of statements but it is an underlying premise in this kind of language. It's an internalization of the concept that employers are somehow a cut above the rest of the public. Fundamentally it speaks to the almost aristocratic status enjoyed by a subset of the populace, and it indicates how that status is becoming institutionalized in our country.
At the end of the day no employee was ever hired without an employer - but no business was ever successful without employees. Business is a symbiotic relationship between these two forces. It's time for people to remember that.