The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lifting bales and toting barges...

As I was perusing the internet the other day, I came across a discussion about immigration on the website [link]. The story that had the discussion was mostly a hit piece on newt Gingrich and Republicans but, as discussions usually do, the comments wandered far afield of that.

"The vast majority of illegal and legal immigrants work harder than you have at anytime in your life. "
(written by someone calling himself "mtbr1975")

It gave me pause. I realized almost immediately that the vast majority of the nation worked harder that I have at anytime during my life. In other words (even though he wasn't referring to me but some other person), he was correct in my case... in a sense.

Very few people in the U.S. labor all that hard except for short periods, usually very short periods. And the ones who do engage in heavy labor for longer periods often make the least amount in terms of wages. It's a truism and it does not apply absolutely so spare me the stories of how hard you work at your job. This was something I observed in my late teens or early twenties. It's blatantly obvious in places with strict hierarchical structures. Like the military... where I first noticed it. The "unrated" seaman worked the hardest on a regular basis than any "rated" seaman. The terms "rated" and "unrated" refer to official job designations such as Sonar Technician or Radarman or Machinist's Mate. As you moved up the chain in your job, you did less physical labor and got paid more. If you had the brains/skills to get a rating, your initial job was less physically demanding (often, not always) than those who lacked a rating.

Once out of the Navy, I learned this was true in the civilian work force also. The more your job depended on brainpower, the less it depended on physical strength and endurance. Being lazy, I took as much advantage of this as I possibly could.

There was something else I learned in the Navy... work very hard for a short period of time and you are likely to be rewarded with a position where you do not have to work nearly as hard. Being lazy, I tried to keep that short period of hard labor down to a few weeks at most. I was quite successful in that, as I recall.

Don't get me wrong, I admire those who engage in backbreaking toil most of their working lives. I stand (well, usually "sit" or "recline") in awe of their willingness to work so hard. I do not look down on them. It is just something I am not willing to do and never was.

"mtbr1975" was mostly right... because illegal immigrants (as well as many legal ones) usually start out in physically demanding jobs. But he was especially right when it came to me. He just didn't know how right he was.

1 comment:

The Jules said...

Ha. Recline in awe! Loving that.