There were three posts yesterday. The first was “John Boehner’s Theory of the Leisure Class:”
And, I’m back — I’ve been in a grueling battle against deadlines, which is not quite over, so blogging may remain scarce for a while longer. But I’m sticking my toe in for the moment — and whaddya know, oops, he did it again. John Boehner says that unemployed Americans are pretty clearly malingerers, bums on welfare who have decided that they don’t feel like working:
“This idea that has been born, maybe out of the economy over the last couple years, that you know, I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country,” he said.
“If you wanted something you worked for it,” Boehner said, adding, “Trust me, I did it all.”
I could point to the overwhelming economic evidence that nothing like this is happening — after all, if what we were seeing was a mass withdrawal of labor supply, we should be seeing wages for those still willing to work taking off. What we actually see is this:
I could also point to zero interest rates and low inflation as evidence that we’re living in a demand-constrained economy. I could ask how, exactly, Boehner believes that increased willingness to work would conjure more jobs into existence.
But what really gets me here is the fact that people like Boehner are so obviously disconnected from the lived experience of ordinary workers. I mean, I live a pretty rarefied existence, with job security and a nice income and a generally upscale social set — but even so I know a fair number of people who have spent months or years in desperate search of jobs that still aren’t there. How cut off (or oblivious) can someone be who thinks that it’s just because they don’t want to work?
When I see stuff like this, I always think of the opening of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre:
Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn’t know anyone who knows of a vacancy. This is exactly the reason why he gives you such generous advice, out of brotherly love, and to demonstrate how little he knows the world.
Yesterday’s second post was “Phoney Baloney (Personal and Trivial):”
Just to say: What is it with the huge lines waiting for the new iPhone? Yes, smartphones are quite useful and sometimes even fun; I’m not a heavy app user, but I’m still on the thing many times a day. But even if the iPhone 6 has nifty new features, how can you get so excited over something that is, when all is said and done, an incremental change?
OK, I guess there’s a social aspect — after all, I’ve never been able to get enthusiasm over cars, either. Although if there were flying cars on sale … but what we actually got was 140 characters.
Also, you kids get off my lawn.
And as usual the work week ended with music. Here’s “Friday Night Music: Cheryl Wheeler, Summer Fly:”
Now that I’m revisiting … I couldn’t find a live performance with good sound, so here’s the record performance. I think this was my favorite song of hers; resonates with a lot: