Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

Who Works Hard
AJ Robinson

I recently heard it said by some conservative politician or pundit that poor people are poor because they don’t work hard. I would have passed out, but I was too busy working at my less than minimum wage job. Frankly, I would have welcomed the chance to sit down, as I was still fighting a bad chest cold, but I couldn’t afford to miss another day of work. When you’re a member of the working poor, every day is precious. Sick time, vacation time, personal time etc. are not things you get. You’re working, hard, and earning money or you’re losing money.


There's no middle ground.

Then I remembered something else I recently heard. Congress had taken a long summer vacation and, by long, I do not mean two weeks. Back when I worked as a civil engineer, just getting one week off was tough, but I did manage to get to do it, occasionally, but not the Congress, no, it took off a month.


Nice Job if you can get it.

They came back to work for a very brief time, did absolutely nothing, despite the fact that there were many things that needed their attention, and then they left town, again. They all went home to run for re-election. They won’t come back to work until the middle of November.

Now, it could be argued that what they are doing right now is work, hard work. Running for office means eating a great deal of “rubber” chicken, smiling for a lot of cameras, eating cookies that range from great to rock-like and kissing lots of babies.

Yet, that is not their actual job. No, they’re supposed to be in Washington working on things, such as, immigration reform, the minimum wage, Wall Street reforms, funding the CDC to deal with Ebola, dealing with ISIS and confirming a Surgeon General. The latter is something that is particularly important, especially given the current Ebola crisis.

Ah, but the Senate cannot do that. Know why: because the president’s nominee has an “issue” with guns: he thinks they’re dangerous. Go figure! That means he’s on the National Rifle Association “hit list,” which means they have told the GOP Senators not to vote for him, which means they won’t. Far be it for Republican senators to go against their bosses. It’s kind of a pity, as we could really use a Surgeon General right now.


I have to wonder.

Will anyone bring up this point during the current elections? IT seems to me that the Democrats should, but I have a feeling, for some strange reason, no one will do so, and no member of the media will either. Again, go figure!

I keep coming back to that initial theory: the poor are poor because they are essentially lazy. I find the theory lacking in supporting data. From what I’ve seen down here at the bottom of the economic ladder, the poor work harder than does anyone. As for who works the least, that’s easy to determine. A bunch of men and women who take more vacation days than anyone else in the country are lazy, in my book. A group of women and men that, when they are at work, mostly do absolutely nothing; those are lazy people. In my case, whether it was back when I was an engineer or now as a part-time bartender and full-time writer, if I worked as little as those people, I’d lose my job.

Hmmm, now there’s an idea. It would be great if the voters did so next week at the polls, but, to be honest, I don’t see them doing so.

Again, go figure


Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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