Saturday, March 22, 2014

Burial Rites of the Unemployed Tribesmen of North America

It is a strange thing to be studied, ethnographically catalogued and academically theorized upon like a member of a dying tribe of exotic nomads slouching towards a sad but somehow inevitable extinction.

Probably good for my soul.

I have considered writing a lot more about the experiences of the long-term unemployed and underemployed, labor markets and suchlike stuff (about which I know quite a bit) but as I am not at at D.C. think tank, or a major DC/New York publication, outside of my role as part of a doomed demographic, I do not actually exist.


Anonymous said...

Of all the horrible, very bad things the republicans have done to this country, this is the worst.
Turning a once thriving middle class into vast collection of highly skilled terminally unemployed.
These stats, along with the average age of the fast food worker now being 28, are too depressing to contemplate.
They have successful extracted every dollar of wealth and savings from us, and moved it into the bank accounts of the investor class.
Thus plays out our real time march to the Hunger Games....

P.S. I am your age and in your position, with your approximately your skill set.
What the fuck are people like us going to do?

Denny Smith said...

A poor man's Robert Reich?

Your last writing on same brought it uncomfortably much closer to home for many, and I include myself in that group.
I strongly encourage your pursuit of that topic.

Horace Boothroyd III said...


You bring to mind the myths imparted in Ec10, the farmers driven off the land in the Enclosure movement; profitable sheep could then be raised, leading (after centuries) to the triumphs of the industrial revolution. Part of the story concerned the Yorkshire weavers, an ancient craft society that slow starved to nothing in competition with the newly invented mills.

Like you and Drifty and me, an entire segment of skilled and prosperous labor (Ivy League scientists are a segment of labor, we beg for our scraps from Capital just like everyone else) is being crushed. Not, however, to clear away the underbrush for the rise of a coming triumphant world but to service the interests of sheer brutal avarice.

It comforts me not in the least to see the financial elite gorging on the intellectual seed corn of the nation.

I have managed to carve out a tiny niche in which to weather the coming storms, for which I thank the gods of good fortune, but I have no advice for anyone else.

Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

@ M Boothroyd
Your farmers analogy could be amended to this:
What if the metallurgists and mechanical engineers would have been run out of the work force?
While TED and FRED and ZED wax and wane about STEM degrees and what not
I and others sit out here with skills beyond eclectic, shunned from the shrinking work force for not other than age and a massive pool of unemployed to choose from.
Don't for one second think you are safe.
I have been surviving for the last decade by creating my own niche businesses on the internet and general computer repair and networking, but that cannot last with thousands of children raised on the net being born every year.
...and if you think job seeking is bad in the cities, you should see it out here in flyoverville.
If I had not made a few key real estate investments for my old age back in the 80's...I would be begging on the streets for food at this point..and that may still come to pass.
My entire point being this is no longer a glitch, it is a function.
Highly skilled, permanently unemployed is now the new norm.
Dystopian fiction is becoming the new reality and the blame should be deposited where it needs to be, like a bag of flaming dog shit, right on Boners (and Reagan's) front porch.

Anonymous said...

If ever there were a topic, timed and right to be mulled and rolled over, this is the one.
This world is about to look very different from the one we imagined.
We should focus on it, if for no other reason, than to document it's sad progression.

bluicebank said...

"For the first time," the voice said, "we have a huge problem of long-term unemployment."

Well, that's one way of avoiding how we solved it in the past.

Compound F said...

For as much as I criticize, and I do, it's because you are actually far better than what you do sometimes. Lose the hang-ups on Greenwald, yes, even Dumb Dems v. Thugs; unleash yourself. My hunch is that you're far better than that, but no one will ever know if you don't give it a whirl. Two cents, made of zinc.

Compound F said...

Point being, rip the system, not the parties to the system. I hope I came thru, clearly. Best wishes.

ZaftigAmazon said...

We are progressing towards the point where we may be better served rolling flaming cars into gated communities, versus trying to get our political representatives to listen to us. One of the little-known aspects of the Great Depression was the movement of the U.S. Army into urban areas, because the powers-that-be feared riots. With MOTUs invoking Hitler, it may be time to invoke the French Revolution.