Get Those Brows Sweating!

« July 2015 »

Memo to Jeb Bush: SURE YOU DID.

I know that technically, as I write this, Scott Walker is announcing what his allegedly hacked accidental Tweet over the weekend already said - he's running for President, because why the fuck not? Given how many governors from tanking states with shitty approval ratings are throwing their hats in the ring, it's a wonder Sam Brownback isn't the front-runner.

But there are fourteen other dudes campaigning too, and not all of them are Donald Trump. One of them is considered a moderate, even though he isn't. Is considered reasonable, even though he isn't. Is considered intelligent, even though he isn't. And is considered to be the likely establishment candidate that will get the nomination if the establishment still has any control over the crazies. We'll see how that plays out. His name is John Ellis Bush-Bush, and this is his prescription for the economy. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"My aspiration for the country—and I believe we can achieve it—is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

Bush later "clarified" his remarks, claiming that what he meant was that people who want to work full-time, but can only work part-time, should be able to get full-time work. Which is sort of noble if that's what he meant, which he probably didn't. But there's a larger problem with the context of his remarks, and another large one with his clarification.

The first is that the classic Republican correlation between productivity, hard work, and increased income is a giant steaming pile of counter-factual bullshit. If you work harder, and provide more value for your employer, your employer will not reward you with more money because, well, they don't fucking have to. Especially not in a world where Republicans have weakened and devalued unions. Nobody can make them give you more money for more work.

In fact, throughout the recession, every newspaper story about employees trying to get more money for more work had the same litany in the comments, all from conservatives, asking why these ingrates weren't happy to have any job at all, and to shut up and stop demanding increased income from their increased productivity. Yet Jeb Bush is still blaming a lack of productivity on the lack of growth and the lack of income.

And second, most of the people working part-time and wishing they could work full-time can't survive on one part-time job, so they're working multiple part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Usually more hours than a full-time job provides. So even if all the part-timers got full-time jobs, they wouldn't be working more hours. They'd probably be working fewer. Which makes Jeb's clarification, whether he meant it or not, another giant pile of Florida alligator shit.

And let's not forget that we live in a climate, largely created by Republicans and business-friendly Democrats, where it's more profitable for businesses to hire two people at 20 hours per week than it is for them to hire one who works 40. A climate that encourages companies to not even have "employees", but to treat their employees-in-all-but-name as "independent contractors", keeping the businesses from having to take even minimal care of the people who generate all of John Ellis Bush-Bush's precious productivity.

Bush can backpedal all he wants, but ultimately, he's blaming the fact that you don't have any money on you and your lack of productivity, instead of the person you work for who refuses to compensate you for your productivity. Let's hope that quote haunts him for the next year-and-a-half.