Relating to working class people
I listened to the first two debates between Obama and Romney. Both of these folks could be considered “elites”. They went to ivy-league colleges, hung around with very successful people, and have the drive and motivation to run for President of the United States. If you mostly hang around with the highly successful how hard is it to identify with “regular people”?
Who are the “regular people”?
I watch some of the current spate of reality TV programs. Are these “real people”?
Storage Wars. A group of people bid on abandoned storage lockers. They buy and sell in resale shops.
American Pickers. A couple of guys who go through barns of junk and look for items to resell at a profit.
American Restoration. Fix-up junk for resale.
Pawn Stars. Resale of items for a profit.
Hard-core Pawn. A pawn shop in Detroit for those who have few choices to get immediate cash.
Shipping Wars. A group of people bid to move items across the country.
Swamp People. Shoot alligators and sell them
Iceberg Hunters. Pick the droppings from icebergs and sell them to a water company.
Repo shows. Repossess cars from people who can’t make their vehicle payments
Market Wars. Try to find deals at flea markets and resell at a profit.
All of the shows above are small business. They at least provide some value to others in the process of carrying out the business.
There is a show that is unique – Gold Rush. In Gold Rush there is an exchange of pure labor for Gold. No one else benefits from this enterprise other than the people performing the labor. In short, the Gold Rush folks do it for money. There is another show like this: Bering Sea Gold. There are more “Gold Rush” type shows planned. The point is that these enterprises are unique in that there is no customer, product, or service to be delivered to someone else. Gold Rush is a direct exchange of labor for Gold.
Change-the-World type people
What elites might find amazing is none of the jobs represented by these popular reality shows are really “Change the World” type endeavors. Regular people seem to be satisfied with “only” earning a living – an exchange of labor for a pay check. In the extreme case, with Gold Rush, one see’s the extreme case of direct exchange of labor for money – the world, society, or even a segment of customers do not benefit from the labor through a product or service.
It is so extraordinarily rare that you can find people who really want to make a difference. The majority of people are satisfied to simply “get by”. What is the purpose of these people’s lives? To just “get by”?
So all these plans of the Presidential candidates to create innovation, new products, and new businesses to jump-start the economy. How can this happen?
How can this happen if the “regular people” (the mass of people in America) are: buying and selling used items, fixing up junk, taking advantage of poor people, shooting alligators, picking up ice cubes, digging for Gold, and repossessing goods that people buy but can’t afford? And those who are not actively doing the above “regular jobs” are watching these reality shows or finding other ways to entertain themselves into a stupor.
The new standard for accomplishment?
I wonder if these Reality TV shows are setting the standard of what is acceptable work in America.
Surely, if the jobs depicted in these Reality shows are understood by the American people as what is successful accomplishment in America then these presidential candidates hawking (and expecting) innovation, creativity, and a renewed building Americas great corporations – they are going to be in for a surprise.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – if this is what engages America then we’re all in trouble.