[News] Economy Blameless! Number one cause of layoffs: employees

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 4 12:47:30 EDT 2009


      Washington and Wall Street breathed a sigh 
of relief today at news that the economic 
downturn is not, in fact, responsible for a 
record 5.1 million job losses and an unemployment 
rate of 8.5%. According to a report just released 
by the Institute for the Advancement of Middle 
Management and Human Resource Depletion, a 
bipartisan think tank funded by Wal-Mart, it is 
the downtrodden nature of employees themselves 
that has forced companies to lay them off.

      "These are good, solid American companies 
that subscribe to the bootstrap model, where each 
American is solely responsible for attaining 
success beyond his or her wildest dreams," stated 
Dr. Lars Lunchbucket, director of the Institute, at a Beltway mixer.

      "Obviously, the problem wasn't the 
employers," Dr. Lunchbucket continued, "so we 
studied the folks they laid off. After deep 
scientific analysis, we were able to ascertain 
that each and every one of the 6.14 million 
Americans now on the unemployment rolls – I 
believe mathematicians call this 100% – had 
failed to emulate this model of individual 
self-actualization. In layman's terms, they got 
dumped because they weren't rich and famous."

      Conversely, Dr. Lunchbucket explained, in a 
control group of movie stars, Nobel laureates, 
fascist dictators, and illustrious dead people 
such as Shakespeare and King Tutankhamen, there were absolutely no layoffs!

      Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner 
welcomed the Institute's findings. "I knew that 
if we kept throwing unwarranted tax dollars at 
rich and famous CEO's, sooner or later they'd 
realize our economy can't bear the weight of 
millions upon millions of competent, hardworking 
Nobodies simply doing their jobs," stated 
Geithner. "On the other hand, take someone like 
Julia Roberts. She's rich, she's famous, she 
really worked for what she has. Especially her 
face. That girl could walk into any office or 
factory in America and get any job she wants. Did 
you see Erin Brockovich? Hell, I'd hire her in a second."

      Jasper Phlegm, senior partner at the 
heavy-hitting corporate law firm of Shingles, 
Arse, Smegma, Merde & Beelzebub LLP, disagrees 
about Julia Roberts, preferring the bygone, 
halcyon days of Jimmy Stewart. However, Mr. 
Phlegm says he feels vindicated by the study.

      "We just laid off over 50 of our best 
support staff," said Mr. Phlegm. "Why? Because 
they pissed away their little lives buying 
groceries, driving their kids to cello lessons, 
paying the light bills. It's OK to play loveable 
losers in the movies. I cried watching It's a 
Wonderful Life, for god's sake. But to actually 
live like that – a Nobody from Nowheresville? Ghastly."

      Ironically, the American public, comprised 
largely of poor and obscure people who also 
believe in rugged, bootstrap individualism, 
appears to accept the study's findings. Except 
for a few self-avowed "Bolsheviks" who adhere to 
a rather arcane theory that the economic system 
itself is at fault, Americans have demonstrated a 
palpable lack of outrage at the hemorrhaging of 
their jobs. Psychologists suggest this response 
might indicate that, once individuals comprehend 
that they are not, in reality, rich and famous, 
they are likely to see themselves as "Nobody."

      "I know I screwed up," said Biff 
Longshoreman, 32, who recently lost his job as 
word processor at Shingles, Arse. "My wife just 
gave birth to our third kid, and he needs an 
operation, so I was working 12-hour days when I 
got downsized. They marched me out of that 
building like I'd just been caught embezzling – 
what a wakeup call. All that time, I could have 
been a contender. Instead of a bum. Let's face it, that's what I am."

      Dr. Felicity Sack-Boot, eminent 
psychologist and author of the bestseller I'm 
Rich and Famous, You're Not OK, has argued that 
self-hatred may actually play a healthy role in 
helping the unemployed adjust to downward mobility.

      "In order for the personality to mature 
under current societal norms, people today would 
be wise to embrace a whole new level of 
hopelessness," said Dr. Sack-Boot. "We need to 
learn how to crush our self-esteem to the point 
where our biggest life goal is to possess the 
same basic human rights that are typically 
afforded the average multinational corporation."

      Dr. Lunchbucket concurs, adding that the 
increasingly popular "Nobody" identity seems to 
be giving rise to a vibrant "folk" subculture 
that is perfecting memes of self-expression, such 
as family-style murder-suicides, squatting in 
one's own, foreclosed home, and do-it-yourself kidney transplants.

      While this may be acceptable behavior for 
the unemployed, cautioned Dr. Lunchbucket, people 
who still have their jobs should try to remain 
"upbeat" and develop psychological defense 
mechanisms that prevent depressive "bonding" with the jobless.

      "When these people moan and sigh about how 
they've wasted their lives," Dr. Lunchbucket 
advised, "It's important to put their agony in 
the proper perspective. You need to step up and 
tell them: 'It's capitalism, stupid – you're 
supposed to waste your life.' Then turn away and 
start visualizing yourself as really, really rich and famous."

                               ©  Susie Day, 2009

# # #

Baltimore Sun: 5.1 million jobs lost; 8.5% unemployment rate:


Reuters: mass layoffs highest on record; 6.14 million unemployment claims:


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:



Corporations with human rights: Joel Bakan, The 
Corporation, (Simon & Schuster, 2005) p. 16:


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