Friday, August 04, 2006

Profiles in Liberalism #1

Who are liberals? What do they believe? And why do they bother posting their childish scribblings on the Internet?

Daring to seek answers to these questions, Too Cool for Words has ventured forth into the "sinestrosphere" (h/t ACE) to actually read liberal blogs, and to summarize them here for you, in what we hope will become a semi-regular feature, Profiles in Liberalism.

And we begin with ...

Joseph Hughes
http://hughesforamerica.typepad.com

Why pick on poor Joe? Well, he's just so ... typical.

He's a 27-year-old who calls his bio-page "raison d'etre." Let that be a lesson to the rest of you lefty bloggers: Nothing like faux sophistication to grab the attention of Too Cool for Words.

Another great thing about Joe: He's way overeducated:
I have a bachelor of science degree in journalism (news writing and editing) and a master of science (journalism/public relations) from Ohio University. My areas of specialization as an undergraduate student were history and sociology. My master's professional project focused on the reaction at Ohio University to the Kent State shootings in 1970.
Why? Why hang around school to get a master's degree in "journalism/public relations"? With that degree and $1.95, Joe, you can get yourself a decaf latte. Kids, listen to Uncle Chuckie: Unless you want to be a teacher, don't waste your time with a master's degree except (maybe) an MBA. If you're going to be a research scientist or a college professor, forget about the master's degree and go straight for the Ph.D. Other than that, the only excuse for graduate school is to become a doctor or a lawyer.

Having wasted his time and money on a master's degree, what's Joe doing with himself nowadays, other than writing a blog?

I have written for print publications, television/radio as well as for the Web, am a trained copywriter and copy editor and am also well-versed in public relations. As a designer, I have worked for myriad clients, ranging from a middle school drama department to a university's athletics ticket office to a city looking to promote itself. My emphasis is on printed design, but I am also well-versed in creating Web graphics and creative consulting.
Translation: I don't have a real job. And bonus points for the inept use of "myriad." (Try "several." Not quite as pretentious, but surely more accurate.)

Well on his way to being an overeducated, underachieving loser, Joseph Hughes therefore demonstrates the ideal attitude of a liberal blogger: "My own life is a pathetic joke, so let me tell you how to live!" And do not doubt that Joe is infinitely superior to you -- certainly, he does not doubt it for a minute.

Disagree with Joe on gay rights? You're an ignorant hate-filled "bigot"! And though there is no suggestion that Joe himself has ever darkened the doors of a recruiter's office, he's more than happy to denounce you as a "chickhawk" if you don't share his views on foreign policy. Oh, and even if you've got a Harvard MBA, that won't prevent Joe from labeling you "dumb" if you happen to be Republican.

Something you notice about Joe's posts: Most of them are just like that "Bush is dumb" post. A one or two sentence intro, then five paragraphs by someone else.

Like other liberals generally, Joe doesn't know anything about economics. And so when Neal Boortz -- a guy who's infinitely more knowledgeable and creative than Joe -- talks about the minimum wage, Joe calls him a "gas bag." But what did Boortz actually say?
I want you to think about this, folks. You know, most of the people that earn minimum wage are teenagers. They're in the job market for a short period of time, they're learning some job skills, they're learning workplace skills. Most of the people who aren't teenagers that have a minimum-wage job, it lasts about three to four months, and they're off making more money. I want you to think for think for a moment of how incompetent and stupid and worthless ... is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage?

Does Joe disagree? I suppose there might be someplace in the country -- some declining steel-mill town in West Virginia, maybe -- where you could put up a sign "Help Wanted: $5.25/hr." and actually get somebody to fill out an application. But Boortz lives in Atlanta, a bustling, booming Sun Belt city. In Atlanta, you couldn't hire an ex-convict, fresh out of prison, to sweep your parking lot for $5.25 an hour. In Atlanta (or Houston, or Tampa, or Denver, or Las Vegas), you've got to offer $9 an hour just to attract applicants with a high-school diploma.

The turnover in low-wage jobs is enormous for the very reasons that Boortz talked about. The unemploment rate is about 5%, which means that 95% of people already have a job. So the people you tend to attract to minimum-wage employment are either young or temporarily down on their luck. Maybe you can hire some guy to stock shelves at the grocery store, part-time, just to bring in a bit of extra income while their wife is home with the baby. But these aren't career positions, so most people don't stay in those jobs long. If they've got something on the ball, they work a few months for minimum wage until they find something that pays better.

But if you find yourself stuck at minimum wage year after year, the problem isn't the economy, the problem isn't your boss, the problem is ... you!

Boortz said that in his typical colorful manner (which is why he gets paid the big bucks) and this sparks Joseph Hughes to say that Boortz is "continually, regularly embarrassed himself." No, Joe. What Boortz is actually doing is "continually, regularly" saying things that clueless liberals don't understand. And when you act so snippy and offended, you're just demonstrating your cluelessness. Boortz is not embarassing himself, he's embarassing you.

Congratulations, Joseph Hughes: You are Profile in Liberalism #1!

Linked at Outside the Beltway.

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