Mythologized Jobs and Skills
Really? OK, there is some mythology to developing. But not compared to…
- Farmers, with that mystical connection to the land. The poor individual farmer being pushed off their land by industrial-scale farms. Only the individual farmer is a millionaire on paper. Nobody gives a damn if a city-dwelling clerk or line manager gets pushed out of their office. What’s up with that?
- Teachers, who are grossly underpaid for college grads, and have the critically important job of teaching children. But teachers work only 180 days a year, instead of the 270 everyone else works. And schools are low-quality assembly lines teaching 30 kids at a time because kids are programmed for learning and most of it isn’t all that important.
- Entrepreneurs, the backbone of the economy, creating jobs and innovating. Everybody knows the stories of Gates, Jobs, and Bezos. Except that only about two per cent of software startups live to break even. Did you know that the average lifespan for a restaurant is six months? So remember when you drive by that McDonalds that’s been there since 1967, that its presence means there’s a restaurant that didn’t last a whole month. And that fancy place you like, but it’s too expensive probably has changed hands a dozen times as old owners go bankrupt and sell their goodwill. The average company has zero(!) or one employee. There are 20 million of these. There are less than 20,000 that employ more than 500.
- Fishermen, those hardy souls braving sea and storm to eke out a living, who need to be bailed out so much because “the times is hard and the wages low,” as the old sea shanty puts it. Only, the reason why “times is hard” is because highly mechanized fishing fleets pull fish from the sea faster than the critters can reproduce. Fishers create their own crisis, then feel betrayed when governments attempt to protect nearly wiped out fisheries with shortened seasons. Put loggers in this category too.
- Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen-and-women, who (when they aren’t actually standing in the way of bullets) are thought to sit around all day looking for ways to get out of work. It’s a cushy life; salary, room and board provided, excellent retirement, medical and college benefits. Only, a soldier would qualify for food stamps on the wages they make, only soldiers don’t qualify. They can live (that is sleep) for free on base if they want to share a bunk room. I don’t know about the other forces, but marines pay for their own uniforms. The “allowance” buys like two outfits a year, and there are four distinct uniforms, all mandatory. They pay for their meals. The retirement is ok if you stay in for 20 years. The training is excellent if you can find a civilian job maintaining 35-year-old electronics. The VA hospitals that give “free” health care to veterans are so underfunded that it can take a year to get an appointment. Free medical in-service is provided by 19-year-olds with a few weeks training. And our presidents continue to find ways to put troops in front of bullets in wretched foreign sandboxes.
I know I missed a few. Programmers got it easy.