March 21, 2006

collier bleu

my dear kelley got me going with this post on the french workforce. economic speak turns me on, especially when it's in french.

but for me, it was sadly symbolic of our own economic issues. union labor, it seems like an outdated system of entitlement to me. i'm open to criticism here, in fact i'd like to hear some.

when i moved from texas to illinois in 1995, i had culture shock. not only had i moved north of the mason dixon line, the state economy was a 180 from what i had been raised with in texas. illinois had a state income tax (though a minor 3%), a massive welfare system, and blue collar industry like i had never witnessed in texas. with the industry in illinois came union labor, another foreign concept, to me at least. not that union labor doesn't exist in texas, i'm sure it does, but it wasn't the leading source of employment where i was raised.

in illinois, i had a lot of clients that worked for firestone, caterpillar, adm, and many others. most of them were in unions and i remember being freaked out by them. they'd come in to talk about money and they were pulling down high 50's for income, paying almost nothing for medical insurance on their entire families, and incessantly griping about how they were getting screwed by the big bad corporation.

for a young (24) girl from texas, i remember feeling like i couldn't relate. working on commission only, no steady income whatsoever (especially then), $400 a month in insurance premiums every month for my spouse and i, and benefits? job security? even today, after 13 years at one employer, my job security depends soley on what i was able to produce in the last few months (the ole what have you done for me lately). no money, no pride, and no future employment...reality is a bitch like that.

but i got to say, i feel adept at working hard, performing on demand, arp arp arp (trick seal). i love what i do and it's worth all the risk, even though it has a tendency to make me a little manic from time to time. reading blight's peace on the french, well, i hate to throw stones, but i've seen lazy and stupid. i've seen face to face that which is breaking many of our largest corporations. entitlement is a slippery slope, and we have plenty of issues right here.

course no one's rioting, yet. is it luck or a significant measure of the problem? you tell me.

Posted by shoe at March 21, 2006 07:36 AM | TrackBack

Your company loves you?

Posted by: Catfish at March 21, 2006 07:54 AM

interesting question, catfish.. but a big "NO"

no love for me at the company. in fact, all love was mandated out of the workplace in 1997 due to heavy losses in sexual harrassmant lawsuits.

thanks for asking though, i give and i give, but what do i get? a paycheck, and that's all i'm after.

Posted by: shoe at March 21, 2006 08:37 AM

Seems to me Catfish is "lookin' fer love in all the wrong places" (or as Buckwheat used to sing it, "Wookin pa nub im anna-wong paces").

When have we ever found saints in organized labor or saviors in ward-healing politics? God is gracious -- everyone else requires a hard day's work for a good day's pay.

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