Those Who Will Not Work*

*should not eat

                As happens every time I write one of these, the biggest difficulty I face is trying to decide on a topic.  To be sure, there were plenty of possibilities during the Trump Administration.  I realized that idiocy never sleeps, no matter who is in the White House.  Eating Tide Pods, lectures from Hollywood scolds, and never-ending bitching from the likes of Morning Joe and the chimpanzee class carried on in spite of the Mean Orange Man.  Who, while demonstrably better than the demented muppet we now have, wasn’t perfect himself.

                I’m talking to you, Space Force.

                Still, I have an even greater number of things to discuss now that we have the Idiot-in-Chief and Her Royal Scabby Knees in office.  The border, skyrocketing taxes, “wokeism”, China, Russia, Iran, and the aforementioned dementia make for a veritable cornucopia of lunacy.  Not to mention the Left losing their shit over Caitlyn Jenner throwing her/his/whatever hat in the ring for Governor of the Circus of California.  Just because Ms. Jenner has the balls to declare herself (okay, I’ll just pick a pronoun already) a Republican.  Incidentally…balls?  Not sure.  Don’t know.  Don’t want to know.

                Today, though, I’ll talk about the erosion of the American work ethic.

                A couple weeks ago, my girlfriend and I had lunch at a local “Mom and Pop” restaurant.  Eschewing chains like Wendy’s, Burger King, or, God help me, McDonald’s, we decided to actually sit down to eat rather than ordering cheeseburgers at the drive-thru before pulling into a parking spot.

                Unfortunately, though, we were told there would be about a twenty-minute wait.  Not because there were an inordinate amount of people queuing up for their signature souvlaki gyro (which is awesome, by the way).  No, it was because a shortage of staff impacted the number of diners who could sit down and be served.

                When I asked the hostess (who happened to be the owner-short staff, remember) why this was so, she told me that, despite a number of openings, she could not get people to work at her restaurant.  Not because she was a Simon Legree who used a cat o’ nine tails to motivate her workers to keep the unsweetened ice teas refilled.  But, because potential employees didn’t want to work.

                We quite rightly mourn those hundreds of thousands of our family, friends, and neighbors who were taken from us by COVID-19.  I consider myself lucky that neither I nor any of my family fell victim to this cruel scourge which traces its origins to a lab in China (which is why it’s not called the “Polish Flu”).  Whether by accident or by design,  the damage it wrought will be felt for years.

                Luckily, several types of vaccines have been developed and we are starting to see some easing of the draconian restrictions placed upon us.  Some more than others (e.g., Florida), but some.  I refuse to believe in the efficacy of masks (aka “Face Diapers”) to arrest this plague, and I fear they may be with us for quite some time, but things look a little brighter.

                NOTE:  The wisdom of taking a vaccine to combat a disease with a 99% recovery rate is another topic for another time.

“Hasn’t affected me.”

                One of the biggest reactions to the Coronavirus pandemic was the shuttering (in some cases, permanent shuttering) of many businesses in a thriving economy.  Part of me agreed with this approach in the early stages because we had little idea of what we were dealing with.  Then, as time went on and I realized this wasn’t the second coming of the Black Death (or “Death of Color”), I supported opening many of these businesses back up.

                Unfortunately, on the way to reopening, more than a few people remained uneasy about returning to work, especially those which dealt with the public, specifically the restaurant business.  Personally, I think these folks are cowards.  Unless a customer is sneezing on you or giving you a bear hug while coughing up a lung, I fail to see that you’re in any greater danger than catching a very bad cold.

                Okay, I could be wrong and probably more than a little insensitive.  I’ll grant that.  I see many people who are still genuinely terrified.  It makes me sad that they have put their lives on hold, but I shouldn’t doubt their sincerity.

                However, there are those who find it’s more financially advantageous for them to stay home, collecting unemployment, rather than waiting tables, slinging hash, washing dishes, and, yes, teaching our kids.  Unemployment compensation is $600 a week.  This, incidentally, works out to $15 an hour for a 40-hour work week.

                Golly, where have I heard that figure before?

                Not only that, but those collecting unemployment are not expected to report in on their success, or lack thereof, of finding work elsewhere.  Instead, once they make a claim of unemployment, they will continue to suckle at the teat of the federal government until the “emergency” is over.

                This practice may change sometime this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Uncle Sam extends this practice indefinitely to further solidify a dependency class.  Bread and circuses, if you will.

                The result of this is a number of people who refuse to work.  They see nothing wrong with getting something for nothing.  Who cares if someone else’s taxes pay for their lack of drive?  The suckers will always be there.

                The only problem is that when fewer people are pulling a wagon loaded with more and more of these slack asses, eventually the mules will drop dead of exhaustion.

                I have zero problem with helping those who cannot work.  I do have a lot of problems with those healthy individuals who stick their hand out for a handout.  Teach a man to fish and all that.

                A funny line in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” was, when asked why Cousin Eddy was unemployed, Ellen Griswold replied that he was “holding out for a management position.”  Well, I have serious doubts that many of these leeches at the public trough would work if they were even given a management position.

“Pfffttt! As if.”

                In an odd sort of way, while I would never accept something for nothing, I can see their point.  So, how about placing limits on their never-ending vacation?  If you’re not going to decrease the amount of unemployment (it should be decreased, but I really can’t see that happening), what about insisting that recipients actively search for work?

                It’s not the taxpayer’s responsibility to subsidize perpetual good time rock and roll and happy times.

                In the meantime, I plan on visiting that restaurant owner.  Maybe I’ll submit an application.  I’m not as young as I once was, but I remember how to bus tables. 

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