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In other news, sun rises in east

So Chana Joffe-Walt has discovered that, if you work backbreaking menial jobs all your life, and have little to no education [1], it's likely that when that backbreaking job actually breaks your back [2], you will not have the education to go get a desk job. Furthermore, in large parts of the country, especially the rural parts, there simply are no desk jobs.

Chana Joffe-Walt is shocked, shocked, by this! The whole hour-long episode is basically her revelation that much of the country relies on hard physical labor to get by! And that physical labor is hard! That the whole transformation of the economy from manufacturing and farm labor to service and tech has left those are either not suited or unable to get a college degree in a deep dark hole. That the half of the population with an IQ less than 100 might not be able to get a high-tech job, or there might be people who don't want to. Or people who don't want to rip up their families and move all over the country chasing non-existent jobs, and probably don't have the resources to do so in any case. If you're living from pay check (or disability check) to check, paying first, last and deposit on an apartment in a new city might simply not be possible.

The amazing thing is that a large fraction of these people still vote Republican.

And here's another story for CJW – raising the retirement age to 67 might work if you have one of them desk jobs, but if you're working at a fish plant or a factory or a farm or as a janitor, then working another two years is not something to be looked forward to, but rather two more years tacked onto your sentence. It's hard fucking work. I work hard, but it's not the same, and any CEO who tells you that they work harder than everyone else to get their salary needs to spend a couple of weeks digging ditches.

Me, I grew up on a farm/ranch, and that was hard enough that I paid my way through school doing construction. Building houses was way easier. There was no way I was going to spend my life doing either of those. I spent enough time shagging plywood that I could tell that doing it age 50 was going to be no fun. And at age 50, my back feels those eight sheets of plywood every time I stand up, even though I stopped when I was a hale 22.

I also knew that there were people who did tougher jobs than me. My dad tried to use his children as migrant workers, and we lasted about a day hoeing weeds by hand, going up and down the mile-long rows, chopping weeds (he had the field cropdusted at the same time, using the active ingredient in Agent Orange, so there's that). Handling irrigation pipe, driving tractors, digging ditches, shagging plywood – all way easier than being a field hand.

This is yet another reason NPR will never get a dime from me. Those folks need to get out more.

[1] Not least because you quit school to take one of those backbreaking menial jobs in order to help support your family.

[2] Of course, that backbreaking hourly job didn't have benefits.