Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

It was most refreshing to see a major photo blog mention, even in passing, the economics of present day photodom. No, not about how to save pennies on the latest, greatest software- but how the whole shebang we (somewhat) know and love has priced itself into the stratosphere. Forget about collecting prints, you're damn lucky if you can afford to make your own!

Museums cost $20, photographic paper costs more without silver than it did with. Work this one gig for free, and you're guaranteed more nonpaying jobs than your fastest burst rate will allow! Yes, you're in control... only you can choose between Canon or Nikon, Photoshop or Lightroom! New lenses, bodies, software, apps- ever forward... It's the digital age; if you can't take advantage of all the new and wondrous opportunities all around- you have no one to blame but yourself!

Of course, it's not just photography. When my parents first came to NYC in the early '50s, they had a host of unskilled jobs to choose from. No, they sure didn't pay much, but they kept you off the street- their first place of residence on mainland USA was in... SOHO- a $15 cold water flat that afforded them enough to save up for an apartment in Brooklyn. And work they did, every year's end my father also worked the PO for the Christmas rush. That was always the American dream- work your ass off and you'll survive, no matter who you are (and we'll even let ya pick up a couple of chachkas along the way). And if you had skills, an education- the whole damn oyster was yours!

Today, unskilled jobs that provide an actual living wage are as nostalgic a dream as the the sixties themselves. And a quality education will rocket you into fast debt and a guaranteed death race with the thousands of others competing for the same job. The middle class has been quietly killed off while we work harder, longer hours for less pay, less benefits and little hope of upward mobility. The fifties brought education and prosperity; and in turn, the sixties brought self awareness and a certain degree of enlightenment as to how things actually work- and the one percent has been reclaiming their sovereignty with every trick and low blow ever since. It's no longer about a successful working class, it's about a subservient and cheap labor class. Equality, shared responsibility and proportional rewards are for losers.

1 comment:

Stan B. said...

Email comment:

I agree—however, not wanting to sound mean spirited what sense does it make to allow uneducated individuals into this country in a land where manufacturing jobs are dying off at a rapid rate???? How can they make a reasonable living??? Unfortunately there is also a large group of people in this country that view success as being on government entitlement programs. Although I have been a NY democrat my whole life, I am quickly tiring of their act. Ps-- don’t have much use for the uber wealthy around here either

My response:

My post was not addressing immigration per se, but specifically the demise of the working middle class (and the rise of the working poor)- we definitely do need a common sense approach to immigration since we obviously can't absorb every economic refugee in the world. That said, it was also "common sense" that illegals kept wages artificially low by taking low paying jobs and therefore denying legal Americans the same jobs at a decent wage. Common sense- I bought into it too. Except that history has shown that US manufacturers have continually outsourced those working class jobs overseas, they no longer exist here, period- even at the reduced wages payed to illegals. And amazingly, the one state that went hell bent on banishing every single illegal from their choice source of employment had to hurriedly readmit them a year later when no legals stepped up to take those jobs- and their whole slaughterhouse economy commenced to go down the tubes.

Interestingly, those rich, son of a bitch, so called job creators tend to evade their fair share of taxes through their offshore assets and loopholes (while receiving various tax incentives, ie- corporate welfare)- illegals pay more taxes proportionately simply on what they purchase- and receive no benefits.