Friday, May 31, 2013

They Took Our Jobs!

When I was growing up, the hill we lived on had underground wiring, so there was no cable service there.  We got satellite TV when I was in 7th or 8th grade, but at that time the technology was limited.  We only had one receiver because if we had more than one, they'd all show the same thing at the same time.  Pretty ridiculous, but that's how it was.  So, while all of my friends were getting into South Park, I was watching old tapes of Batman and Godzilla in my basement.  By the time South Park came on at night my dad was in control of the satellite and grumbling at a news channel.  He likes to grumble at news.

The only time I see South Park (even though I live in my own house and have internet now) is when a friend shows me an episode.  I haven't seen many, but I did watch and love the medical marijuana and Michael Jackson episodes.  Recently, my fellow warehouse employee, Joe, told me about a clip from the show that I had to see.  The clip is a whole string of moments in which angry Americans lament that "They took our jobs!"  My favorite thing about the video is that some of the people stop pronouncing the words, and it comes out more like "Da ook our daaaaaa!"  Awesome.

That brings me to the point I've been inching at for two paragraphs.  Phrases like "They took our jobs!' have become nothing more than buzzwords to be spewed by xenophobic jackasses who can't see the big picture.  The sentiment is most often directed at two groups: illegal immigrants from Mexico and the people in India who answer the phones whenever you try to contact somebody at an American corporation.  I think it's bullshit.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think people should be illegally immigrating from Mexico.  I think these people should fill out the proper paperwork with the proper authorities, just like Christopher Columbus did when he came here.  I also believe they should respect the natives and learn their language, just like our forefathers did.  And just in case you've got any wiseguy ideas, Mexico, don't even think about giving us Polio blankets.

Much the same as a lot of people, I get irritated sometimes when, after being on hold for eighteen minutes, I finally get to speak to a human being, but I can barely understand what they're saying.  Why is an Indian answering the phone instead of an American?  THEY TOOK OUR JAAAABS!  I've overheard at least two or three conversations where a person proudly boasts about cursing out the Indian person on the other end of the line.  This is roughly the same thing as proudly boasting that you're an arrogant douchebag who's incapable of taking two seconds to think about why an Indian answered the phone.  The Indian didn't craft some kind of magic lasso, toss it across the ocean, snag a job, and pull it back to India.  The Indian has that job because an American corporation outsourced the work, laid off its American workers, and somehow got tax breaks for doing this.

In 2011 alone, 2,273,392 jobs were outsourced from America.  Let me type that as words instead of numbers: two million, two-hundred seventy-three thousand, three-hundred ninety-two jobs.  (One of those jobs was mine.)  These were jobs held by Americans until a bunch of CEOs, CFOs, and board members decided to export the work to make their own wallets fatter.  The idiots who blame foreigners and bellow "They yook our yobs!" don't seem to acknowledge or understand that they didn't yake our yobs, our yobs were given to them so a sleazeball executive could afford a fourth house.

You can point your finger at illegal immigrants all you want, but they wouldn't make the hazardous illegal border crossing if they knew that nobody in America would hire them.  But business owners do just that.  It's the same concept as outsourcing; hire the illegals at a super-cheap rate to save a buck.  What's the alternative for people south of the border who want to come to the United States to get work?  Come here legally, get a job, then lose it in six months due to outsourcing and go on unemployment?  (The same people who bitch and moan about foreigners taking all the jobs also bitch and moan about the miniscule amount taken out of their checks for unemployment compensation, apparently not realizing that UC will be there for them when they lose their jobs.)

This is one of those 'hot-button' issues that isn't an issue for the reason ignorant people think it's an issue.  The foreigners that ook our daaaaaas aren't the problem.  The problem is that the corporations that run our country, the same corporations that have a disgusting amount of control of our government and have run the economy into a shit-filled hole, continue to outsource and/or hire illegal workers.  Is it possible for people to be so blind to this?  Or is it that ignorant assholes have latched onto "They took our jobs!" as an excuse to hate anybody with brown skin that speaks with an accent?  (Since when did ignorant assholes need an excuse to behave like ignorant assholes?)

Yeah, America has a big problem.  The economy still sucks.  The job market is still a toilet with only a few minimum wage turds floating around in it.  But nobody took your jobs.  The jobs were given to them.  Seedy corporations run by greedy scumbags took your jobs.  Isn't it about time to point the finger at them?

I wish there was a good solution that I could suggest to wrap up this article, but how do you demand that corporate control over the government be put to an end when the people that are supposed to represent us are on the corporate payrolls?  I'm not trying to incite a violent revolution, but I do fear that it will come to that some day, if Americans aren't too sickly and obese from eating chemically-engineered food to actually get up and do something.  So, that's it.  Unfortunately I have no ideas to offer, but I do know one thing: shouting "They jook our jaaaaaaaaaa!" will not accomplish anything other than making you look like an idiot.


  1. This is maybe the second time that Joe has been referenced in a blog post. I feel that the next blog should be about Joe. Maybe a "Meet Joe" piece so we all get to know him on a more intimate level. Think about it...

    1. Joe likes that idea. I've been wanting to make a video of the dances he does at work.