What I'd like to do right now is bang a drum loudly.
This will be short, sweet and angry.
I heard this bright guy on CNBC this morning say something I could hardly believe... or stomach. He said this: "American autoworkers SHOULD be making $30,000 to $40,000 a year."
I bloodied my knuckles reaching for his throat before I realized the television was in the way. Thank god I don't have one of those delicate plasma contraptions.
"Should" is the word that got my goat. CNBC has joined the other cable networks in this latest exercise in disrespectful aggravation. The new strategy is to put two or three or five twits on the screen and let them scream at each other for ten minutes. Most of the time you can't tell what they're saying because they're all screaming at once. Which is a good thing. But this morning, for some reason, the other two twits were quiet when this brain surgeon went to work.
What's missing in this intellectually bankrupt media strategy, of course, is critical analysis, clarity of thought, and any semblance of Socratic dialogue. In other words, journalistic principles. Someone, I wanted to scream, ask him a damned question.
Ask him why he said "should." By what criteria "should" an autoworker be paid $30,000 a year? Because he doesn't work hard enough? Because he doesn't produce anything of value to society? Because he doesn't (not true in all cases, of course) have a college education? Because he doesn't work on Wall Street? Because he doesn't wear an Italian suit? Because he doesn't look like me and my pals? Because he plays softball on weekends? Because the Chevy he drives, in the words of Tom Wolfe, doesn't make the proper steely crunch on the gravel of the circle drive of the summer home in the Hamptons the way, say, a German, any German, automobile does?
Why, pray tell, does the man, or woman, not deserve more than 30 grand a year?
I'll tell you why. Because at that wage he won't be able to send his children to college where they might wind up blowing the curve for this bright guy's brood. That's one reason. Maybe because the union man tends -- again, not in all cases -- to vote Democrat. Perhaps because the other folks in this guy's MBA class didn't aspire to work with their hands, either, so it just doesn't seem quite right that the autoworker would have a nice home, a fishing boat, and a membership at the local golf course. (The most e-mailed story at the New York Times last week was, "The Case For Working With Your Hands," by the way...) Maybe because the very idea of an upwardly mobile middle class just makes the hair stand up on the back of this guys perfectly coiffed head.
You know what...CNBC and this self-satisfied Rockefeller can take their $30,000 a year job and shove it. A working man, or woman, produces more of value in an hour than these folks do in a month and they're worth a lot more than 30 grand.
-- Lofflin, whew! Glad I got that off my chest. It's been gnawing at me all day. And you thought full puppet nudity was outrageous...