In 2004, I worked for a small company. (At least by standard definitions. It always seemed to me to be at least a midsized company, but then, I think those definitions are a bit whack. Still, we’ll stick with the standards for now.) When the time came for the annual raise process, one of the things that was said was that we should be happy because we were receiving “3 times the average raise.” Our president and CEO went on to tell us that the average raise in the country at that time was 4%. Now, at the time, I didn’t check, because it didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was a liar. I had not, in fact, received a 12% raise, and I called him out on it. The next day, I did get an adjustment and my pay raise was increased to that 12%. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t research it, because the actual average increase was only 3.5%.)
Those kinds of things can happen in a small company and they could happen back then, too. It was a bit before the economy nearly completely collapsed. It appeared the economy was, in fact, booming along.
Times are different, eh? This year, the average pay increase in America is expected to be 3%. Even less if you are working in the public sector. In the county where I live, those employees haven’t had a merit pay raise in 5 years. Federal Employees, generally, continue to be on hold for raises, and many of them are facing the possibility of furloughs thanks to the game of SequestrationTM that the Republicans and Democrats you all elected are playing this month.
Do I need to remind you, yet again, that those employees are your family and friends? We are not talking about welfare for some faceless person that you can demonize and look down on. People that you can pretend meet your stereotype of the drug addicted, slut that doesn’t have any desire to work but rather just wants to drain you for all you’re worth, right? We are talking about the people that are out there working for a living supporting the daily functions that you, yes you whether you like it or not, rely on for the smooth functioning of the government. And, yes, I did say smooth functioning of the government. I am not talking about all the BS in congress, and the bickering and backbiting of the presidency. I’m talking about the DOT, the food and health inspectors. I’m talking about the people who process the payments to the Medicare doctors, and the checks to the Social Security recipients. Air traffic controllers. So called security personnel. The civilian employees of the Defense Department. The Veterans Affairs department.
I am talking about 1 million or so people who are part of the backbone of the government. Not the ugly face of politics that so many people think of when they want to criticize and withdraw from it. I’m talking about the part that matters. You remember that part right?
I digress from the point I actually wanted to focus on today, because this too is an important point, and one you need to remember as you allow this game to be played out in your name. When there is pain that is felt, it won’t be at the top. Like any sanctions, it isn’t the leadership that pays the price. It is the rank and file. The people at the bottom. Maybe even in the middle. Sanctions are a political tool designed to foment revolution from within. Either by causing sufficient discontent among the masses that the leadership can’t contain it and relents on their own, or by causing sufficient discontent that the masses literally arise in revolt. Allowing this sequester to proceed is a calculated move by both the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership to put sanctions on the American people with the precise same intent.
And, lest there be any misunderstanding, that is the precise reason that I am somewhat in favor of them myself. I hope that this is a case of both parties having taken very careful aim before shooting themselves in the foot. I hope that they have very carefully calculated this out correctly and will cause just enough damage to the people and the economy that it will finally cause sufficient discontent among the American masses to lead to an end of the far right domination of the politics in America.
I think I’ll hold my intended topic for next week. It’ll keep.