I'm still brooding about Third Way's
advice to the perplexed, discussed here
a couple of days ago. The burden of their
song was that the "middle class" -- whatever
that is -- is doing great, but naturally they
want to do better. Third Way's fresh-faced
young up-and-comers helpfully provided
a few pointers.
Seems like a long time ago now
that blow-me Bill was able to sell
his line --
"play by the rules
and our party will do you for the rest."
That DLC joyride hit a big deep dark pothole,
rounding the bend into the new century.
Lotta geeps suddenly had
a "this is all total bullshit" moment,
and the Clinton line needs a makeover.
But the tower trolls'
smiling hopeful apologists at Third Way offer -- what?
The promise of a fresh deck? A new dealer?
Nope. Third Way has some new rules of the game for us.
TW proves to their own satisfaction that
this old deck of ours ain't really stacked...
well at least not so bad...
at least, errr... nothing like so bad
as these right out of Nowheresville,
barefoot, ringwormed, new populists
are trying to make out. But still, the junior
woodchucks generously allow, we as
"progressive realists" know
there's always room for improvement. Excelsior, cries
the pious monk.
If we can't change God's and freedom's deck, we can
try changing, or rather mending err mending our own
habits, can't we?
So without any further delay,
let's give a warm rube welcome to
Third Way's tablets from the mountaintop,
a new covenant with the Yahweh of international
from lunchpail, to laptop, to scrap heap
in one continuous kaizen motion.
face it, it's not enough to work hard anymore.
Now you gotta work smart too.
In particular, forget a raise
if you ain't got no 4-year college degree.
You are headed straight downmarket, pal to Tiajuana
wages. And oh, keep this in mind --
even after you aquire that 4-year sheepskin,
better convert that student loan into
a 401K as fast as possible.
You're gonna need it,
'cause retirements are getting
longer and the dance of death way way
And don't, whatever you do, look back,
and don't look ahead. Because the old
and infirm are growing faster and faster
than the young and firm.
So, Third Way tells us, I got your
job site strategy right here.
Think portablity, disposability, scrapability.
That's you, your job, and your benefits.
Under the new "you're on your own, asshole"
rules, from day one to night zero.
And oh, you'll need to prefigure
a dry-gulch retirement and health plan.
Well, what can we say?
Brace for whitewater, gang.
And don't blame the corporations, please.
They're endangered species,
the sperm whales of profit,
and they have come under a new set
of brutal market-inflicted rules, too,
just like you -- poor babies.
In a nutshell: because the pirate
gun is at their head,
and the wolf is at their executive
there can be
no more Mister Nice Guy.
If you thought Mister Burns was a bummer,
try 21st century market reality, as seen
from behind the corner office desk.
Can you spell merciless?
This is not Madison Avenue hype here.
Competition these days is really, really merciless.
No more fat dumb and happy lifetime leapfrogging,
no more generous pay envelopes at Santa time.
There are too many lean and hungry Asian
corporations, TW warns us, out there on the
ready to eat my lunch, your lunch, and your coffee break
too, also your
spouse's job and happy hour and....
In fact, you, all of you,
can expect to get downsized
and innovated out the back door,
and sent off on a jaunt of ever
less opportune job opportunities.
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick --
and I mean 24/7,
or Jack be sleepin' on a heating grate,
cause Mister Moto bit off his balls.
To generalize the Third Way vision:
we are now in a sea to shining sea,
totally integrated earthwide economy,
where its not enough to make something. Not
at all. Production is for starvers.
Today, only corporations that make
themselves perpetual creators of
neat new stuff can expect to meet
the same payroll tomorrow they met
just yesterday. So
the Third Way rule of effective
survival play: plan on hoppin' in
and out of Strip Mall Tech,
uppin' your skill bank, just to
You'll need new skeeeelz more often
than a new car,to land on your feet
at your new outfit. Oh, and by the way --
the outfit-to-outfit hop looks to be
getting only faster and faster,
and the skill set strips will be
leaving you nakeder and nakeder.
Fuck Third Way and the horses' rules
they rode in on.
Come that inevitable next job whack,
just shoot your boss on the way out
and let the Clintonian effective-death-penalty
state take care of you. At least you'll get three
squares and central heat until you've exhausted.
your appeals. And when the end comes, it'll be the
most competent and effective medical treatment
you'll ever get.