A lot of things have irritated me this election cycle, but few get under my skin as much as jobs creation as an election issue. It wasn’t until this week, when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ completely DIY album hit number one on iTunes in America, Germany, and probably a couple other places, too, that I put together the messages of “Thrift Shop” and “Jimmy Iovine” to see just what was eating me about the jobs creators.
The spin-doctored term for the oppressed minority of rich white men upon whose backs the rest of us stand, ungrateful for the life-sustaining jobs they have given us with their very life’s blood assumes that jobs are simply created out of thin air the same way that the jobs creators’ wealth is created on paper. It denies the possibility of jobs growing organically out of the work that actually needs to be done to sustain our lives on this planet.
Jobs creation treats jobs like commercial products that must be endlessly regenerated to keep the system rolling, whether the outputs of those jobs are actually valuable or not – which I guess is an accurate depiction of the current system.
Like Macklemore, I prefer to make wise use of the commercial products and jobs we already have, rather than wastefully producing new ones without regard to their usefulness. Imagine if, instead of protecting the privileges of the tiny minority of jobs creators (who, let’s face it, haven’t served that purpose very well lately anyway) we as a society collectively said, “Fuck the jobs creators. Let’s find a system that allows musicians, sculptors, painters, writers, parents of small children – all the people whose creations sustain us – to make a living creating things of value instead of commercial products.”
Then, all the jobs currently held by value creators could be recycled to employ the folks who actually want them.
Our society doesn’t seem quite ready to ask the question, “What about the arts creators?” and we’re not very good at choosing collective responses to social issues. Until the day when proper funding of the arts becomes an election issue, I’m glad to see Macklemore proving it’s possible to DIY without the jobs creators.