If “Unskilled” = Worth Less, Then Where’s Your Money Coming From?

Y’know what really hacks me off about this whole “unskilled labor” argument? It’s the fact that without millions of people doing that “worth less” labor, none of the higher-paid employees, executives, owners, or stock holders would have a company to begin with.


Nobody flipping burgers means no burgers to sell.

Nobody stocking shelves means no goods being sold.

Nobody delivering pizzas means fewer pizzas being sold.

Nobody working as a cashier means no money is passing from the customer’s hands to the company’s bank accounts.

The foundation of this nation’s economy – of any society’s economy, really – rests upon the people who do the dirty jobs. Ayn Rand fantasies aside, railroad executives don’t make railroads. Without tracks, without trains, without people running those trains, without people selling tickets and keeping stations open and monitoring rail traffic and plenty of people who have enough money to ride on trains in the first place, the railroad executive has nothing at all.

Dagny Taggart is a parasite. Without millions of “takers” doing her work for her, she’s a selfish leech with big ideas. And so are the many people who consider Atlas Shrugged to be some sort of revelation rather than six handfuls of delusional bullshit.

Goods do not magically appear on store shelves, nor do they magically sell themselves to the customers. Nor do customers who don’t have enough money to spend buy anything they cannot immediately afford. Nor do goods and services materialize from thin air, fully formed and ready to buy. Every single step of an economy (regardless of the name you attach to that economy) is based on turning labor and materials into goods and profits. And without the materials, the services, and the labor, the profits do not exist.

Why is this so hard for folks to understand?

Why is it considered fashionable, even smart, to declare that a person flipping burgers and selling them to customers is the most expendable link in the economic chain when, in fact, that person is its most important element?


You can have the greatest kitchen on earth. (One built, we assume, by people who design and build kitchens, and who provide the materials to build them.) You can fill it with the finest ingredients (all of which have to be grown, harvested, transported, refined, packaged, inspected and provided before you can get them), and design the best menu in human history. Unless, however, you have people to unpack, prepare and sell your food, keep your restaurant clean, and make sure it remains well-stocked and well-serviced, you have NOTHING.  A bunch of ideas, maybe even materials, but no way to turn them into profits.

How dare anyone claim that the people whose labor lets an entire company function are somehow its most disposable “human resources”?

Fuck that.

If the burger flippers ain’t flippin, the executive ain’t earnin’.

There’s your “unskilled labor,” right there – at the foundation of every business in existence.

Folks who want the gold without paying the miners are parasites and nothing more.

Papa Parasite

About Satyr

Award-winning fantasy author, game-designer, and all 'round creative malcontent. Creator of a whole bunch of stuff, most notably the series Mage: The Ascension, Deliria: Faerie Tales for a New Millennium, and Powerchords: Music, Magic & Urban Fantasy. Lives in Seattle. Hates shoes. Loves cats. Dances a lot.
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