As the Occupy Wall Street protest and its derivatives continue to highlight the grossly unfair economic system of the United States, a syndicated columnist–and proud member of the fortunate 1% who isn’t struggling–thinks that we should turn to old situation comedies for life lessons.
That’s right. While millions and millions of Americans struggle to find jobs, earn decent wages, find affordable housing, and even put food on the table, Cal Thomas thinks that I Love Lucy can help those struggling to find a job.
As if simplifying Occupy Wall Street into a personal “I can’t find a job” protest weren’t insulting enough, here are the suggestions that Mr. Thomas thinks that those without jobs could benefit from:
Have a sense of humor
Nothing is funnier than wondering whether a split Congress with a strong Tea Party influence is going to extend unemployment benefits (wasn’t that one Lucy’s scripts?). I guess one thing is funnier (this one always cracks me up): Knowing that you’ve been unemployed for more than six months means that many employers won’t even consider hiring you.
I wonder how funny it would be to Thomas if newspapers refused to pay for opinion columns written by people who are incredibly out of touch with what’s going on in this country.
Take a job, any job
Thomas cites Lucy’s stint in the candy factory and attempt to become the spokesperson for Vitameatavegimin as examples of the diligence required to succeed in the job world.
What Thomas doesn’t realize is that there aren’t enough jobs to go around because of the economic policies supported by Wall Street and politicians, especially Republicans. Many Americans are currently working in two candy factories, both part time. Combined, they don’t earn enough money to pay the bills purchase health care–funny stuff.
I look forward to the day that that Cal Thomas asks me if I want fries with that while stuffing the extra fries that are flying down the assembly line down his shirt and into his mouth.
Loyalty to something higher than yourself
Lucy, whose character didn’t have much luck as an aspiring star, was able to focus on her husband and neighbors. This is the type of thing that Thomas thinks we should all do.
I”m trying to figure out what this has to do with anything. We all have families and friends–and we also have bills. No matter how wacky and lovable our neighbors might be, the bills still come every month. We need jobs, in addition to other things that are important to us.
Live within your means
Thomas thinks that we need to live within our means. Or, put another way, Thomas thinks that we are causing our own problems. The economy is not the problem; it’s those spend-crazy Americans.
The United States doesn’t build things any longer. We’re a service-industry economy. That’s not what Americans want; that’s what was forced upon us by the economic system–you know, the system that’s being protested against.
Many people spend more than they earn because the cost of housing, food, fuel, vehicles, school, and so on, costs more than a service-industry economy will pay its workers. What’s more, if people stopped spending money in order to live within their modest means, then the national economy would collapse.
Remember President Bush’s advice after 9/11? Keep spending money.
Never give up!
Mustering up his best Knute Rockne impersonation, Thomas implores us to never give up. Lucy’s character never gave up on her dream to be a star, and we shouldn’t give up, either! It’s not about education and talent; it’s about persistence.
Talk about condescending.
Not giving up is the point of the protest. Rather that sitting idly by while the prospect of the proverbial American Dream dies, the protesters are trying to change the system through peaceful protest.
Cal Thomas might not think that’s important as loving our wacky neighbors, but many of the remaining 99% of us do.