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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not Enough Paper Hats

May 5th, 2011

As the Great Recession deepened last year, many conservative Republicans tried to have it both ways.

On the one hand, they attempted to smear President Obama's fiscal proposals as "job-killing." They played childish games and argued that his administration was "bad" for employment. They also sought to portray the collapse of new job creation as something that had only become a crisis a day or so after the inauguration of the new Democratic administration. 

They seem to really believe this in spite of the fact that wholesale statuatory implementation of Republican economic philosophy over the previous eight years had overseen a third less new jobs added to the American economy than were added under 4 years of President Jimmy Carter. Their course of action? An even greater devotion to that same monetary policy.

Simultaneously, the conservatives began a calculated campaign to portray the long term jobless as "lazy." Sometimes within the same breath, they were both blaming the Democrats for there being no jobs while accusing millions of Americans of refusing to take jobs that "don't pay as well." 

This past Saturday, FOX Business hosted a typical discussion that ran along these lines. Wait for the remarks by Ben Stein, who has become a prominent voice in the smear-the-unemployed movement as he reiterates this position:

That's right. We lazy Americans want "handouts" because we just "don't want to go to work." I have been known to respond to these folks over the last year with the catchy phrase, "there aren't enough paper hats to go around."

This morning, Scott Paul had a piece in AlterNet that examined the raw numbers from the McDonald's corporation's recent and much ballyhooed National Hiring Day. The not so shocking figures:

"Last week, McDonald's announced with much fanfare that, after sifting through more than 1 million applications, it will be hiring 62,000 new workers. As one sly writer noted, a higher percentage of applicants got rejected by McDonald's than by Harvard, though the prestige of flipping Big Macs is not yet on par with a Harvard degree. We will not "win the future" by relying on low-wage service sector jobs to lead employment growth."

It seems there actually aren't enough paper hats to go around.


  1. I love your analysis of Republican attitudes toward Americans. I just don't understand the reference to paper hats. Are those what food service workers wear?

  2. Indeed. The classic McDonald's uniform included the paper hat.

  3. Just another "Kroc" from the Republicans.