They are everywhere, in store windows, on construction site fences and buses’ backs: “We are hiring”, the signs read. But not all is bad, much is worse. The line-ups for elected offices and parasitic jobs, are getting longer by the day. Well, enough of that, I ran dry of humour and must descend to serious stuff.
Why has the “unemployment” situation changed? Changed to what? The lexicon says “employment” is the opposite to “unemployment”. But unemployment is when workers have no jobs. Then what is the word for jobs having no workers?
That there is no word for that could be because having jobs begging for workers is anathema to Capitalism. This system dominates the society by hollowing out the right of people to access the resources of the society, contribute their labour and reap a fair share of the ensuing wealth. In other words, Capitalism maintains an artificial oversupply of labour compelling people to compete with each other for “scarce” jobs. This keeps wages low and the people in an endemic fear of unemployment, resulting in a “manageable” society. In other words, the absence of a word for “jobs without workers” is redundant where the “system” excludes the situation it would denote.
Globalization has added larger dimensions to the facility for labour control. It empowers capitalists to gather their marbles and go to play where labour is cheap. But they keep for themselves the “market” of the society from which they stole the manufacturing. This denies the society the natural syndrome of “production and consumption”.
“Unemployment” is an oxymoron. Work is meant to address needs. The absence of needs results in leisure, by definition. Forcing people to work when there is no real need for the product, be it either “junk” or surplus to real needs, results in profits but it amounts to slavery for the workforce. This reality reveals “unemployment” as the substitute for the out-moded slavedriver’s whip. Which means that unemployment is incompatible with democracy.
But why does this “no-word-for-it” event happen now? To merely enumerate the causes requires space larger than a column. Hence I will look at only one of those causes, one others miss. This being the “Parasitic Jobs” trend which sucks jobs away from the productive sector left behind after “the trustees of the society’s investment in tools” bolted for exotic lands. Now I need do the Humpty Dumpty thing and explain what my words mean.
A Parasitic Job is one that produces no material value hence is detrimental to prosperity. The overall characteristic of such “jobs” is that they pivot on the system of governance imposed on the society, be it Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Theocracy or Fake-Democracy. Parasitic jobs root in the gaps between the “System” and the “Normal”. As such they cannot survive a closure of such gaps to allow for real democracy to happen and this shackles the society.
Parasitic “jobs” are found in all strata of the social pyramid but in this article I refer to such jobs in the lower and middle strata. Jobs such as in the PR (Public-Relations), and Government-Lobbying, “industries”. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the ensuing unbridled globalization, the parasitic kind of industries have taken flight. Parasitic jobs are appealing and are filled, thus reducing the numbers of workers available to do substantive work. When the plumbing of the house or of our body malfunctions, neither PR persons nor Lobbyists are of use. And, to some degree, this is what is happening now.
In 1989 the government legalised Political Pimping, a.k.a. “Lobbying”. By 2020 there were some 8,000 “duly registered” Lobbyists. Former PM Jean Chretien, I do not know whether is he “registered” under the Act or simply “freelancing”, was caught “lobbying” Canada to become a dumping ground for Oriental radioactive waste. “Chretien involved in secret plan to bury foreign nuclear waste in Canada”, was the title of the 2021 item on CBC’s “The National”. No, Chretien did not face “attempted treason” charges, his “Rt. Hon.” remains intact ...
The PR industry boasts being the “Fastest growing industry in Canada”. In 1991 there were 24,000 PR practitioners – they expect to be 36,200 by 2026. Their task, honestly stated, is to neuter the remaining potency of the 4th Estate, the “Free Press”, so as to further weaken our badly hollowed democracy.
We cannot trade what the PRs and Lobbyists produce for the the products of the industry which the “capitalists” catapulted from Canada to distant lands. These goods we must now import. That those who stole the industry from us make more profit gives us no reason to celebrate.
We are fast running low on trade-ables and soon there we will not be much left to trade them for the pots and pans we cannot any longer make in Canada. We are already trading them chunks of “our home and native land” and we need change that while we can.
Her real name was Caudia Alta but we loved her as LadyBird, the moniker being for what in Canada we call LadyBugs. While birds of a feather flock together, “opposites” often marry. LadyBird did to Lyndon B. Johnson, infamous for the cry: “LBJ, how many kids did you kill today!” which topped the hit-parade in the 1960s.
LadyBird was richly endowed with kitten-persistence. While the VietCong were at loggerheads with her husband, LadyBird was fighting to beautify the world.
Her Herculean labour was cleansing the landscape from the road-side billboards and planting daffodils, instead.
While driving the Pat Bay Highway to Victoria, I am inspired by LadyBird to suggest reconciliation: That is to replace the ugly grove of Colonial-Relic- Billboards with indigenous plants. How about that?