I work in the very conservative Livingston County, Michigan. You may know of the city of Howell because it’s where a former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Miles, lived for some time. Even recently mysterious pamphlets have shown up in the driveways of Howell residents condemning Tiger Woods for marrying a white woman.
Many of coworkers are among the most conservative people you will ever meet. During the general elections, they completely latched onto the most negative aspects of the McPalin campaign supporters’ anti-Obama smears. The word ‘socialism’ was bandied about like an epithet on a daily basis.
Many of these people just became socialists.
My company has long been an over-achiever. In an industry segment where double-digit profitability is rare, we achieve that year in and year out without fail. I have been here nearly 15 years and each year every employee has received a raise and a bonus. Every. Single. Year. Every. Single. Employee.
But not this year.
With up to 60% of our business tied up with the automotive industry and with the remaining 40% connected to other manufacturing sectors, we’re hurting. For the first time in our company’s history, we’ve let go of people due to poor business conditions. Call it ‘down-sizing’. Call it ‘right-sizing’. Call it what you want. It’s still unprecedented.
In addition to the downsizing of employees, the remaining employees have either had their salaries cut by 10% or their hours cut by 20%. To soften the blow for the hourly employees who have been forced to work (and earn) 20% less, they’ve been encouraged to take it as a week off every five weeks. This allows them to apply for unemployment support.
It has been amusing to say the least to watch some of the most virulently anti-liberal, Limbaugh/Hannity-conservatives line up to collect their unemployment checks. Yes, the same people who rant and rave about the horrors of socialism and how President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are leading us all down the evil path to becoming [sneer]”European“[/sneer] are availing themselves of that most socialist of inventions: the unemployment check.
They are actually collecting money for doing nothing. Can you imagine? Can you believe it?
Ironically, there seems to be little angst about it, at least none that’s spoken. They still make snide, snarky jokes about how “Obambi the Chosen One” hasn’t sent them their tax cut checks yet. How bailing out the auto companies (the ones who pay upwards of 60% of their paycheck) is an abomination before God and man. These same people who defended the eight years of George W. Bush and his irrationally exuberant swelling of our national budget and national debt are apoplectic that Congress and the president are daring to add to the national debt.
I can just hear them in the unemployment line, talking back and forth:
“MY tax money for a high speed train to transport salt marsh mice, nationally-endowed artists and ACORN members from Disneyland to Las Vegas to learn about how to prevent STDs? Are you KIDDING me???”
“I can’t BELIEVE they are spending, spending, spending. What Barry Hussein OUGHT to be doing is cutting the taxes of the CEO and other executives at my company. That would solve all our problems!”
“At least Jindal and Sanford have it right. It’s just great to see true conservatives sticking up for their principles and refusing to take handouts for unemployment benefits. Why should OUR tax dollars support those freeloaders???”
They have no ability to see the hypocrisy in their actions & attitudes.
I guess Newsweek had it right: We are all socialists now.
Even the Conservatives.
I’m just sayin’…