Facebook Post: 2021-10-17T13:41:27

My dad was lineman for the railroads for 33+ years. It took a wide range of knowledge but also a great deal of labor, right down to something “basic” like digging a ditch. He said, you could always tell the new guys because they didn’t know how and where to dig. You see, my dad worked in the north – MT, ND, WY, and it is a miserable bugger during many months of the year. High winds, terrible cold and snow, too. The experienced guys, they knew to use their truck to shield them from the worst of that as they did what they had to do. The new guys- they didn’t know any better. Most of us have probably heard the expression, “Well, you could always go get a job digging ditches,” usually used when somebody was telling another person that if they didn’t like the work/pay, they could just go be “labor”. It turns out that labor needs skill and knowledge, too.

My mom never graduated college, but she can cook for 2 people, or 50. She can run a kitchen, manage servers, wait tables and remember what everyone was drinking and when they needed refills. She could do that for 10 hours a day and do it with a smile even when that’s the very last thing she wanted to do.

Labor is a skill.

I was talking with a guy a bit back and he was frustrated that all these potential employees were demanding more money, which in turn would “cause” existing employees to want to make more money. I wanted to point out to him that if they went and did the same job as a self-employed person, the amount they charge per hour would easily be 5 times as much. The conversation wasn’t going to head down that road, so I just told him that yes, they should be paying the other employees more, too.

Labor is a skill.

For my Ayn Rand loving, Capitalism worshiping Libertarian friends – if you really do love a free market(and not just when it benefits corporations) then understand that currently, the free market is telling you to raise wages and bring in more workers.

By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

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