There have been some emails floating around that suggest to me several things, related to American jobs. Some of the connections are from way back; others recent. So here is an attempt to describe the jobs situation as I have perceived it.
Unemployment is the not having of a job. It is said that unemployment in America stands at 10%. Although I never got fired from a job, I did go through several RIF's and company failures, that put me into unemployment status. And it is very difficult. I tended to be loyal to an employer, despite some indications I was not being paid as much as the others, etc. Thus I was not one who was always looking for a better higher paying job elsewhere, and thus ready to jump during a RIF. I was out desperately trying to find a job, any kind of job by anyone who would hire me.
That is just what situation some employers like to have: people applying for jobs who are desperate, and will take a job at far below appropriate pay and do a job that is harder than a job should be; it all makes for more money in the company and that translates to promotions and bonuses for the managers, good stuff.
Applying for a job, one has to list all other jobs done, when and for whom, doing what, and often for how much money. This enables all the employers to pass around info about former employees to prospective employers of those former employees; and that info is not subject to verification nor refereeing. It thus makes for lots of control over job seekers. Political attitudes are not too hard to determine and thus is most likely part of what gets passed around, especially by groups that use lots of gossip "information" about people to control opinions of other people. "Blackballing" is an old term for this kind of thing in a very crude form. There is no way for the working class person to clean up that record passed around among managers of companies who hire people. Which includes most employers.
The Republicans, as it looks to me nowadays and to a significant extent in past decades at least, too often use jobs to gain political loyalty of their employees. There is no clause for anti-discrimination because of political attitude or affiliation, so this is not even illegal. A working man with family to support cannot afford to lose his job status; the forces to get political alignment with the right wing are thus often tied to having an income, to lots of young married folks with children, especially, they dare not take chances of getting blacklisted because of being a Democrat. In fact, it seems likely that this simple mechanism is all that keeps the Republican viable in a voter system that includes everybody; there just are not enough managers and business owners to have any majority whatsoever. But big business, when united behind a political party so as to get big contracts if their party gets voted in, and thus wealth for those companies and greater power in general, could be a powerful political force, and it seems to me the Republican party uses it nowadays lots more than the Democrats.
It was not long after Obama got voted in, that I noticed that there seemed to be a huge number of companies that started sitting on their hands re hiring, and were letting people go too. Was it due to the economy downturn, or was it sometimes deliberate shoving an economic downturn, I wonder. And I also wonder what the ratio of Republican workers vs Democrat workers got booted out of jobs; things like that are apparent to the workers even if not openly discussed. Lots of pressure on those who still have jobs to root for the Republicans, perhaps running scared. There many indications that Republicans are deliberately blocking job creation among other critical path items for America's recovery, clearly with intent to bring Obama and the Democrats down. (I'm old enough to remember the Mcarthy witch hunts that wracked America long ago, seeking those who were not helping America wholeheartedly or seemed so; it was Republican activity back then; if the parties were reversed in power now, it seems there would be some heavy-handed checking in on those who were deliberately dragging their feet re America's economic recovery.)
And that brings up another significant difference. Democrats in general consider all Americans as Americans, whether Democrat or Republican or whatever. But Republicans seem to consider only Republicans are Americans. It is an "our team vs their team, may the best team win and grab all the goodies" kind of thing to them. There are some Democrats that way too, and probably without that extra boost Obama would not be in office, since much of the campaigning process seems to be team fighting stuff, instead of issues to help America prosper. But the Republicans are far better at the iron grip on its members to go to war against the rest of America so as they can win big; America still is the major world power including militarily, and that is a tempting prize, for those with a craving to rule forcefully.
Another thing that brings up, is that the Republicans have frequently been accusing the Obama administration of doing the very things that the Republicans were doing the previous 8 years, consistently aiming at. And the grass root Republicans parrot those accusations vehemently, apparently forgetting what was going on in the previous 8 years. (Possibly that need to show loyalty to the bosses that are controlling the employers; don't dare look like not joining in the fight against the enemy. Enemy = the Democrats.) The "cutting Grandma off" accusation aimed at the Obama administration seems one of the most flagrant uses of this trick; the previous administration was attempting to dismantle the Social Security Retirement system that provides for "Grandma" for example.
A foundation stone of the Right wing extremist view seems to be that "Left Wing Socialist" ways, is the claim that people who are not being driven by stick and carrot will just sit and do nothing, and won't work to be productive; this brings down the country, they say. This attitude that the carrot & stick's necessity is most popular to those who see themselves as wielders of those carrots and sticks, those who are managers and owners. (Investors probably don't care, just want that money rolling in no matter how it was gotten.) The believability of the necessity of the carrot&stick forcing people to work, probably is from something deep inside themselves, would like to instead go on their wealthy Caribbean cruises etc year around instead of once or twice a year; and project that laziness on the hordes of working class under them, and thus it seems plausible. (There are other psychological factors involved, too, such as urges to bully others through a hierarchy of bullies, dressed in suit and ties and Roberts Rules, yet still driven by bully mentality; among men it gets them more women, and among women an urge to carefully bully often gets a bigger piece of the pie.) And most likely those who have been enduring nose to the grindstone and shoulder to the plow as driven by the stick and lured by the carrot on and on for a long time pushed to exhaustion, indeed will most likely flop down and do nothing if the carrot and stick were to suddenly cease, I would think. But only for awhile.
A recent study actually investigated the phenomenon, and found interesting results that make sense to me, involving our intrinsic need for Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feDJ3zL23qw&feature=related
It seems more likely that the "gotta force those workers to not be lazy, to get work outta them" philosophy is founded in something else.
I think that generally people, once out of the survival mode, need stimulation to enjoy life, in my opinion; and jobs could be designed to provide some of that stimulation. But bullies are not likely to think of those ways, much better understanding the abusive controlling upsmanship of wielding the carrot&stick; bullies most likely have a genetic component, but also have been abused themselves and learned to abuse that way.
More generally the situation looks uncomfortably like the folks who drove the previous eight years are sweating out the fears of what they would have done to the Democrats if it had been Democrats in those years and it was the GOP turn now instead of Obama's. I can imagine the headlines, raging about those who had been attempting to "do in Grandma" by eliminating the social security retirement fallback for older folks, and getting the country into the lucrative war mode in two obviously unwinnable wars on the far side of the planet that destabilized the middle east and an enormous drag on the American economy, and bringing on Big Brother, all excused by the curiously perfectly timed "9/11" romp. From the time of Clinton's leaving office with the country living well and making big payments on the nationsl debt, look what incredible mess was done in eight years. The Right Wing Extremist would probably be having vigilante lynchings etc; and so they fear turnabout might happen if they let up on the pressure to get things to fall so they can take over more thoroughly again. In fact, it probably really scares them; and fingering their "patriot" AK-47 stashes would give a sense of survival.
Sure, grist for whodunnits. But the change would be hard to ignore if people were not kept in the fear mode - a mode that only happened in those 8 years, note. How else would an Orwellian "1984" have been allowed to get its fingers into every aspect of American personal and business life"? Here in America, once land of the free and home of the brave?
Much of it is a fear of corrupt greedy bosses taking over, I think. But is privateering's dispersal of power going to prevent that? Often-faceless corporate bosses can't even be voted out of power by their hordes of working class. And corporations guided only by the "bottom line" dollar amount for investor's is hardly the same guidance of providing the needs of the American people. Sure, if there is a dictator somehow weaseled into top office, one who has urges to rule the world, and has arranged a top-down organization to prevent being ousted, Americans would be in deep trouble. Probably no one wants that, except for those of bully mentality; and they only want it if they are able to climb up the associated ranks of control over others. Thus perhaps the thing to watch is for the formation of such bully hierarchies that have expanding fingers into the political system and are going for the presidency or equivalent group. "If the shoe fits, wear it" is not a saying meant for Cinderella, it is for a more general means of deciding what are ongoing realities.
We Americans have a lot of accomplishments available to be done. We have increasing means to be aware of the bigger picture, the lateral items to our focus of immediate endeavors. Humanity has become far to big to consider itself an endless hunter-gatherer endlessly predatory on the world's resources; along with the depositing of our junk behind us for Mother Nature to clean up after us and recycle. That mode ought to have ended when the industrial age started; nature just cannot deal with much of the kinds of stuff we make and ultimately discard. Becoming aware of what we as aggregate are doing to our world, is an important first step in the direction of becoming responsible for what we are doing. If and when we can tie the corporate "bottom line" directly into that bigger responsibility overall, then maybe corporate overseeing of those functions could be wise. So far, I have not heard anything - including from the right-wing-extremists - suggesting that progress is being made to re-create corporate structure so it fits into the bigger picture of this finite world. And that is the eye-opener here, to me.