On Friday, January 30, as an unwelcome surprise to both of us, my husband, Mr. Comic Mom, was laid off. Three weeks and over 100 résumés later, he had two job offers. Although he has not yet found a so-called permanent job — although, really, all jobs are temporary — he is making more money than he did, at a job that’s been promised to him through the end of September. The weekend after his layoff, he was already polishing his résumé. That Monday, I became his manager, his job bitch, as I deemed myself, making sure that he sent the requisite ten résumés each day and helping him to make sure that his résumé is close to perfect. Before the end of February, his efforts had paid off and he had gained employment. Granted, there was luck involved in this endeavor, but also a lot of hard work. The efforts of our entire family centered around our main breadwinner’s ability to continue to buy bread. Although education and experience don’t always ensure a good job, my husband has amassed both and his résumé is a fabulous one. He was not born with any silver spoons shoved into his mouth, however, nor was I, and we’ve both worked hard for any success that we have.
Evidently, his success at finding a job so quickly in a crappy economy makes him one of those evil capitalists, the kind that folks who write for the statist Los Angeles Times seem to loathe. Specifically, I found out recently that we made the wrong move by working so hard to employ him so that he and I and our three young sons can eat and have a roof to sleep under at night. It would have been better, according to Times’ darling Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the rather depressing titles, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream and Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, if we’d become poor.
Funny how just last night, I was telling Mr. Comic Mom about Karen De Coster’s excellent article, "A Nation of Helpless Idiots," and then today, I learned that we are not helpless enough, according to Ehrenreich. We had both laughed last night about how, despite De Coster’s excellent and insightful writing, the Times would probably never publish her writing. I don’t know why we laughed about this strangeness; it’s not that funny when you think of how undiverse the Times is, but then again, when I’m dealing with the statist propaganda of the Times, I have to laugh or else I’d tear the paper to shreds in anger.
So, how did we nasty capitalists screw up by attempting to provide for our family? According to Ehrenreich, it is not progressive thinking to look at finding a job as a job in and of itself. In fact, her article is indeed titled: "Trying to Find A Job is Not A Job." We should have been community organizing something; we should have been angry and petitioned our rulers; we should have been demanding that Emperor Obama give us free health care. Mr. Comic Mom wanted to receive unemployment benefits instead of a paycheck about as much as he wanted to stand in line at a soup kitchen instead of sitting at our table with our own food.
In most parts of the world, from Paris to Beijing, mass unemployment brings the specter of mass social unrest. Not here, though, where 13 million people have accepted joblessness with nary a peep of protest.
Yep, that’s us. Mr. Comic Mom was one of the 13 million people who was too busy trying to feed his family to waste time carrying signs that protest . . . what? Well, we should have been protesting something instead of sending those résumés. Ehrenreich’s supposedly progressive attitude would have had us joining "one of the emerging efforts to organize the unemployed, like Food AND Medicine in Maine, the Unemployed and Anxiously Employed Workers’ Assn. of Allen County, Ind., or the nationwide group United Professionals," the latter of which was started by none other than Ehrenreich herself. Instead of sitting down to a healthy dinner at the Gingerbread House, we should have "[pitched] in with one of the several organizations fighting for single-payer health insurance, or at least a huge expansion of public health insurance for the unemployed." Instead of planning and working toward finding a job, we should have taken unemployment benefits for as long as possible and banded "together with laid-off friends and co-workers to discuss how [we] would design an economy that [makes] use of people’s precious skills instead of periodically tossing them out like so much trash." I know; I know. We are capitalists and as such, we are awfully, awfully selfish.
Nowhere in the article does Ehrenreich discuss how this whole single-payer health insurance thing is to be funded; nor does she have much faith in people’s ability to be creative and make money without the government’s help. She seems also to skip over any information about how governmental regulations and economic manipulation by the Federal Reserve may have resulted in this economic mess. No, it’s much easier to tout socialism as a solution to all our problems. And in a world in which Emperor Obama is worshipped by almost everyone, why let nasty old outdated capitalism get in the way?
As a result of Mr. Comic Mom’s new job, we can now stimulate the economy without using a dab of governmental assistance. We were able to pay a comic friend of mine, whose day job of a landscaping business was slow, to do some major yard work. If Mr. Comic Mom’s job continues to work out, we’ll pay my friend more to help us redesign our front yard. We were also able to pay for some electrical work that gave us a safer and more beautiful home. And we hope soon to pay for a badly needed sliding door at the Gingerbread House. Ah, but these are capitalistic things that we pay for with money that Mr. Comic Mom has earned. As everybody in Obamaland knows, we should instead be applying for some kind of governmental grant.
It’s hard to find an article in the Times these days that doesn’t praise the Emperor who has no clothes. Even an article about Yusuf, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, reveals that years of supposed enlightenment lead to believing that the Emperor does have clothes:
"I wanted to sing out," said the artist regarding his reentry into the music business, "for a more peaceful world again and looking at it, it’s still very bad and we’ve got to do something to change that. But already, the fact that America has a dynamic new president — who happens to be a black man and who happens to have a middle name of Hussein — has said that the world can change . . . It’s great."
Photo Credit: Mr. Comic Mom
And isn’t it, though? The world is changing so much because we no longer have a nasty white guy as Emperor. The world may indeed seem more peaceful despite the fact that Emperor O. seems to like to kill people in other countries just as much as his predecessor, King Jorge. There’s been no end to any war that I know of in Emperor O.’s first 100 days. But that’s okay. Those folks who are dying are on the other side of the world, aren’t they? So, they don’t really count. And really, isn’t it more important that we raise a ruckus about giving everybody supposedly free health care than worry about the people whom our tax dollars help to kill?
After all, if we don’t look very closely, it almost seems as though the new Emperor does have clothes. We should forget about our own selfish desires to provide for our family and trust Emperor O. to provide for us. We should all stop driving our cars and ride on the socialist bandwagon. We should protest and complain about something instead of looking for a job. After all, isn’t that what Jesus Obama would do? Come on now; I can almost hear everybody singing Kum Ba Yah.
Tricia Shore [send her mail], a former English lecturer at North Carolina State University, lives in Los Angeles, where she has become hip enough to be on MySpace and Facebook. She’s a comic mom and thinking mama to three curious sons and the lucky wife of Mr. Comic Mom, all of whom live in the Gingerbread House with some rather ornery cats. You can see her in "Mommy’s Night Out Comedy" at the Ice House Annex in Pasadena this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.