Monday, August 11, 2014

I'm spoiled and lazy but Walmart should pay me more money anyway!

My work volume has steadily increased and Matt Walsh has continued to harp on the same topics, so I could gleefully ignore him for a while. However, I just checked in and saw a post I could pretty briefly respond to. So here goes. First, a few general thoughts.

Matt continues to display his ignorance on a number of issues:  the job market, the economy in general, and human sociality. The most peculiar thing, though, is his inconsistent attitude toward corporations. When he is railing against liberals, Matt hates corporations and says that everything liberals do helps corporations. Liberals and corporations are in cahoots. When Matt considers the needs of the working class, on the other hand, corporations are great! Matt, without any reservation or any sense of irony, proclaims his admiration for Walmart and asserts his confidence that they give everyone a fair chance. (Oddly enough, he doesn't even seem to have a problem with small businesses being thwarted.)

Of course, Matt, as far as I know, has never worked for Walmart and probably has no idea what it is like to work for Walmart. I also have never worked for Walmart, so I lack some key knowledge, but I know and/or have spoken to people who have worked for Walmart. I even met a couple of garment workers from a factory in Bangladesh that supplies Walmart. From the U.S. side, there are documented cases (and law suits) of Walmart not paying employees for all the hours they have worked. And what I heard from the Bangladeshi workers - their grievances included, among many things, not having enough break time/time off to poop! Matt should at the very least think twice before he sings Walmart's praises and assumes their success is not in any way ill-gained.

To compound this ignorance, Matt also uses his traditional tactic of taking an email that is in no way representative of anything, and using it as if it is somehow representative of something.

To (perhaps repetitively) address some of the areas of ignorance mentioned above, I have pasted an excerpt from his post below, with my comments.

Matt Walsh writes:

I went to and did a bit of research for you. My very focused search for any job, in any category, anywhere in the US, yielded a veritable buffet of employment options. That's not how job searching works...

By the way, Matt, did you realize that every job that is posted is not necessarily available? See, some employers (like my previous employer) post jobs for "market research" purposes just to see what kind of applicants they get (experience, salary requirements) - for example, when creating a new position for an employee promotion. Other times, there is an opening, but it is filled internally, and external candidates never stood a chance to begin with. Or the job went to someone with prior connections to the organization.

From the first page alone I can see that they’re hiring production supervisors in Iowa, general sales associates in California, tire salesmen in Ohio, and maintenance workers in Florida, among other things. So that’s at least four jobs right there.  Those jobs require different skill sets, which a single individual presumably would not possess. You are not any closer to determining what jobs are available for "Bob."

Also, here's another fun fact. Did you realize that in a tough economy most of the applicants for a position may have qualifications that far exceed the minimum requirements. (From my last job search, when I used sites that kept statistics on the other applicants, there were people with PhDs and at least a decade of experience applying for jobs that asked for a bachelor's and 3 years experience.) So, even if you just narrow the jobs down to those that meet your skill set and background, the pool of jobs that you stand any chance of getting will probably be much narrower still.

I did a little more digging and found this interactive map detailing the fastest growing industries in the nation’s most populous metro areas. Have you thought about Salt Lake? Beautiful city, gorgeous landscapes, low cost of living, and they’ve got job growth coming out the wazoo (to use a very technical economic term). has an interesting write-up on US industries with the most job growth in the past year. Have you thought about getting into the wholesale lumber supply game?  Yes. That sounds like a great idea. Just pick the industry that at this particular moment as the greatest job growth. No need to think long term.

Bob, have you even paid attention to what’s happening in North Dakota? They have so many jobs over there, they can hardly give them away fast enough.  And Matt, do you know what kinds jobs they are? Have you been paying attention to the stories about the long commutes and dismal work conditions? Just this past March they stood up and said, “Attention, America. We have 20,000 unfilled jobs out here. Who wants one? You can have two, if you like. Anyone want two? Two jobs a piece. Anyone?”

Matt you keep making this assumption (in previous posts, too) that people can just move anywhere in the country to get a job. I guess if people have close ties to their families, that's not important? If "Bob" has a girlfriend whom he plans to marry... he should just leave her for a job? I'm surprised that someone who always claims that nothing is more important than family would not have any problem with economic forces that break up families and communities. Are our social bonds not the most important aspect of humanity, and the very thing that has allowed for the incredible adaptations and achievements of our species? Should we now value perceived economic imperatives over social bonds and a sense of community and place?

How willing would you be to move to North Dakota right now, Matt?

You might not like the average salary of a Walmart employee, but you should check out the average salary of an oil rig worker. Once again, Matt, you should check out the work conditions of the average oil rig worker. I’m talking about 100 grand, dude. Yeah, it’s physically demanding, but you’re a young guy, aren’t you?  Says the guy who writes blogs and begs for handouts for a living. Go let off some steam, drill some oil, and make some serious bank.

Get it together, Bob. The world is your oyster. If I was single, childless, and working low level retail in a shopping mall somewhere, you better believe I’d blow this popsicle stand and go wherever the opportunities are.  But you were single, childless, and working low level jobs... and you did not do what you are telling Bob to do. You stayed on the East Coast, went through a series of radio jobs (I've read unconfirmed speculation that you were fired from all of them), and now you are literally asking your readers to subsidize your blogging with donations. It's easy to tell people how to live; harder to live out your own advice.  Seriously, Bob, what are you doing? This is no way to live. Sleep walking through your Walmart shifts then coming home and trolling bloggers on the internet while you stew in jealousy and whisper curses at phantom rich people? You don't believe rich people exist? You’re better than that. I’m glad that you want to get married, but I’m pretty sure your girlfriend wants a man who has a slightly more comprehensive five year plan. She probably does not want him to get an oil rig job in North Dakota either.

I don’t know about Walmart’s devious exploitation of these tax loopholes, and I don’t care.  That's right. You only care about the exploitative things that corporations do when it allows you to yell at liberals.  The government collects about 3.5 trillion dollars a year in taxes, so excuse me if I don’t stay awake at night worrying that they’re losing a few bucks here and there. At some point we have to elect people who can figure out how to run a country on, oh, I don’t know, say a cool trillion or so. If we don’t then we will continue on this unsustainable path until our glorious American empire collapses into rubble, like so many before it. When that happens, I can guarantee you that historians 500 years from now will not look back on the ancient USA and say that we were ultimately undone by “tax loopholes.” 

Matt:  "I really think we need to get our finances under control, because otherwise American society will collapse... but I don't know anything or care anything about tax loopholes."  Solid, Matt.

When it comes to the collapse of societies/empires, you know what pretty much always does them in?  Unsustainable growth, debt crises, and rampant inequality.   (Yes, warfare plays into this, as the military/warfare is intimately connected to debt/currency and center/periphery style imperial exploitation and unsustainable growth.) In a nutshell: systems of exploitation of the many by the few, which ultimately disrupt the entire social order.  So guess what - tax loopholes are very much part of the systems of exploitation and inequality that can threaten a society.

1 comment:

  1. If you put EWTN, Breitbart, and some random writer for Pitchfork into that gizmo Jeff Goldblum built in "The Fly", I'm pretty sure Matt Walsh is what would crawl out.