About Getting Those Jobs Back

A Bell System switchboard where overseas calls are handled. Not all of the services shown are available during wartime conditions. December 22,1943 88-WWT-28-3 11900_2005_001

Hillary says it. Trump says it. We’ve lost too many jobs. We’ve got to bring them back. They are both living in a fairyland and too chicken to tell the truth.

Deep down where it counts, most business people hate employees! We’re a pain in the ass. We’re demanding. Some of us take-it-easy on company time.

When everyone in the newsroom knows of a person or two scamming sick time, you don’t think the boss knows? And what’s her takeaway?

So they hate us. With faster computers, higher speed connections and a pinch of AI (Artificial intelligence) they’re working to replace us. We’ve gone way beyond robots that can weld.

Back when I filled in on Good Morning America (when bags of money were falling from the sky in television) there were often 15 people in the control room and another eight or nine on the floor in the studio. They had a seamstress on staff.

Today I do every job providing weather for five stations in Nebraska. The industry is headed toward my garage.

An American made 1954 19″ RCA B&W TV cost $189.95. In 2016 dollars that $1669.66. Every component was wired by hand.

Let’s say we brought the brass industry back to Waterbury, CT. The skies were never quite as blue back then. Smokestacks belched round-the-clock. Jobs that took a crew of men when Anaconda left are now performed by machines that never go on vacation nor need insurance.

For the last 40+ years we have allowed business the upper hand over employees. They have taken advantage at every juncture. I would have too. We gave them a leg up and they used it. And they hate employees.

When I was a kid an operator connected long distance calls by hand, department store elevators had white gloved operators and there was a cameraman on every TV studio camera–sometimes two. Those jobs are gone. Driving jobs are next.

As a nation we have to make a decision. Do we want a country solely made of rich people and poor people? Most of the world has been that way since the beginning of time. It was 1950’s America where the middle class was born. We shouldn’t give that up.

But the jobs aren’t coming back.

What do we do? First, we need to swing the pendulum back toward labor a little. Companies ‘play the refs’ when it comes to labor laws knowing time is on their side (yes it is).

We need more antitrust enforcement — as we had during America’s most successful decades. Aetna, I’m talking to you. The same goes for all the airlines and the conglomerate TV and radio station owners. Yeah, your consolidation has served the public well, not.

We need to tax the wealthy and wealthy corporations based on the benefits they’ve received and are receiving from the United States. No one seriously thinks GE, Apple or Google are paying their fair share?

OK, with the exception of Tim Cook.

There must be a government safety net providing access to care and services in a way that’s not confusing, off putting or demeaning. We’re going to need fewer working people. That’s not their fault.

Consistently we have allowed business to receive 100% of the benefit from technology, often to the detriment of their workers. That’s got to stop.

Hard choices must be made. Meanwhile our pols are waving a magic wand at the problem then closing their eyes. Great.

One Response to “About Getting Those Jobs Back”

  1. Barb B says:

    Don’t you just love The Donald’s latest comment–Vote for ME, What do you have to Lose! I am so sorry that the Olympics have ended–it was a nice break from being “Talked AT” and all the Empty Promises. Neither of them knows what healthy conversation is. Some of the problem is, we all want it to be like it was back in the 50’s and 60’s.But today’s generation doesn’t have a clue what that was like. I worked as an RN both in CT and FL,. I made (sometimes) $130 for 2 weeks work in CT. That dropped to $80-100 for the same amount of time, in FL. And, with 4 people sharing a 2 bedroom apt, we still ate well and had fun.
    People want to work—but not the dirty work that needs to be done in the trades. Nor do they take into consideration what kind of a toll it took on one’s health breathing in all that soot and rubber shavings, etc. If a person lived into their 70’s that was good.
    Neither of them has a clue as to what it is like to live on a fixed income under $30,000 a year—and I guess they never will.
    How do we get your message, or mine or all the others across to these multi millionaire politicians??

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