Via Megan McArdle, this isn’t gun related, but this kid acts like he’s the first person in the world that ever had to hold down a shitty job to make ends meet. I can remember being 15 or so, and my mom telling me “You’re not just going to sit around the house this summer. You’re going to go get a job,” and I resisted this tremendously, mostly because I have never liked people telling me I had to do X, Y, or Z. But I’m glad my parents made me do that.
My first job was working with my Uncle, involved helping dig up water mains to houses and installing pressure reducers under a water company contract. My cousin and I were helpers, but we helped dig the holes, helped the plumber do the hookup, and then helped refill the holes and tamp the soil back down. It was very difficult work, and we didn’t get paid much. We were cheaper than renting a backhoe, and were less likely to break the water main (though we did once, and that was… interesting).
My next job was not such a screaming violation of child labor laws, since I was 16-18 when I had it and it did not involve grueling manual labor. I worked in the meat packing business 20 hours a week. I stamped expiration dates on sausage packages before they went out to stores. My pay was slightly higher than minimum wage, and I got paid a dollar less an hour than the boss’s son, who did the same job for a while. Compared to my previous work with my Uncle, it was paradise, even though it was still arduous, monotonous work.
And yet somehow I never felt exploited, or felt like “the man” was keeping me down and mistreating me. I liked having the money, and was putting a good bit away for college. Because my mom was sick, she couldn’t work, so it was understood I was going to have to put myself through college, mostly. I worked part-time through most of my college career, though doing engineering work that I was being trained to do. My dad made payments on the loans while I was in school, but after I got out and got a job, I took them over. I lived at home for a while so I could pay down my debts from college a bit, and moved out at 26, thinking at the time it was kind of disgraceful to still be living at home at that age, even though it was just my dad and I (my mom had passed on by that time, and sister moved out).
I’ve had crappy jobs since with sadistic bosses in my professional life. At my last job I went through four CEOs, one of whom, who served the longest, was an absolute nightmare to deal with. But I never considered that I was being subject to that through anything other than my own choice, and I have a hard time understand people who think otherwise. I have absolutely no sympathy for spoiled shits like the kid in this article. None. A few days ago, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame was talking about this very thing. I think our efforts to remove adolescents and young adults from the labor pool is doing a grave disservice to their motivation and character, and this Administration has done nothing but try to make it worse. Any why not? If the spoiled and pampered vote the right way, that’s all that matters isn’t it? I really do increasingly feel like we have two Americas, and those two Americas aren’t anything like each other. They aren’t even on the same planet. This is just more evidence.