Austerity Measurement: The Job Killer In Me Is The Job Killer In You

—by , January 13, 2011

God, all this work is killing me. Ever feel like you should quit your job and raise llamas in South America for a living? Even if you don’t have one right now? I get that all the time, although I’ve no knowledge of llama-raising. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a llama in person, although I might have at a zoo.

I bet there’s someone at a zoo who feels the same way, even though he works at the zoo and is probably sick to death of llamas. Maybe he wants to raise alpacas instead. Odds are, he probably won’t. And odds are I won’t either.

But he might have killed a job to get his gig at the zoo. Probably unwittingly. I’d say he replaced someone. Maybe the other person didn’t mind having his job killed. His job was dying, and he retired to put it out of its misery. Or, perhaps in order for the zoo worker to get his job, municipal taxes were raised, forcing a few private businesses to strip hours or lay off workers.

This guy could be a serial job killer, and not even know it.

I killed a job when I left my last one. I replaced someone who, in all honesty, probably didn’t need to be replaced. I do my job and his job, even though I’d be way better at just doing my job and letting him do his job, since doing his former job gets in the way of the stuff I should really be doing.

His name is Simon. Sometimes, when there’s something related to what was his job, I’m jokingly referred to as ‘New Simon.’ Simon had been there long enough for there to be a New Simon.

It’s a good thing I like the guy who calls me New Simon, or else, he’d get a brief talking-to about that. Maybe I’d take it up with personnel.

Unlike the zoo, this is a different, private-sector example of a lost gig, particularly when the person who’s been replaced is being replaced by someone who may be doing twice the work. Net-net, there was two jobs—one existing and one to be filled, and I filled both at once.

Job killing.

Of course, I left my old job to take the job killing job, and in doing so, made a position available, which was filled. So in a way, the universe is righted, as I gave birth to a job when I killed another. Everybody wins, except for Simon.

I think he’ll be okay, though.

I may be being a bit hard on myself. Maybe I’m not the job killer. Maybe it’s the economy’s fault or the handiwork of the ever-present ‘bottom line’.

I wasn’t born a job killer; I was made one. It took time, hard work, and a little naïveté. In hindsight, I wish I didn’t kill that job. Would have been easier to have just one job to perform well than two to perform adequately. But I know that job killing didn’t have anything to do with a law. If anything, from a public policy perspective, it was easier to create a job than kill a job over the last few years, based on tax breaks.

So why did I end up killing a job?

There are many tertiary reasons jobs are killed. Often, competition or technology makes them obsolete. But ultimately, avarice is the job killer. And it’s not the greed in me or the greed in you, but it’s the greed that’s institutionalized. It’s the greed built into an upper class that demands higher returns on investment year on year. Government mandated healthcare doesn’t kill jobs, the greed that drives up health care costs does.

The richest 20 percent of Americans control a larger proportion of wealth than at any time prior to the Great Depression, and instead of raising taxes on the upper crust to redistribute funds into public infrastructure and encourage job growth, public policy has kowtowed to them so an elite political class can live as the plutocrats’ anointed foot soldiers.

If the richest one quarter of all Americans put 1 percent of their net worth directly into job growth, they would be able to put 1 million Americans on a $40,000 a year payroll for a decade with enough money left over to build six rail tunnels under the Hudson River linking New Jersey and New York at the estimated cost of the canceled ARC Tunnel project ($8.6 billion) assuming a 150 percent cost overrun on each tunnel (a total of $21.5 billion for each tunnel).

Tax increases don’t kill jobs, health care costs don’t kill jobs, politicians don’t kill jobs.

Greed kills jobs.


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