Daily Gimpei goes economic populist

by Gimpei | 17:31 in |

Hourly Worker raised a good point in comments that I think deserves highlighting:

You put the clocks back and that costs me an hour. Under the old system i get that hour repaid at the end of the winter. Under your system, I’m missing an hour for the rest of my life. You’d better pay me that hour before you fuck with my clocks, Gimpei.

I am nothing if not sympathetic to the plight of the hourly worker. Also, I see economic populist rhetoric making a big comeback in the next few years, so I offer the following modest proposal:

Hourly Worker–let’s call you Steve. Is it okay if I call you that? Good. The way I see it, hourly worker Steve, is this:

Think about the average hour of the high paid corporate executive: bossing people around, having sex with unqualified but ridiculously attractive secretaries, golfing at pebble beach, taking vacations in St. Barths and planning trips on Learjets to remote conferences where they have sex with the ridiculously attractive secretaries from remote branches. Let’s face the facts, hourly worker Steve, those corporate fat cats are getting way more value out of their hours than us regular folk.

Remember, too, hourly worker Steve, that there are those even less fortunate than yourself: the poor and destitute. Think of the average hour of Jagged-Face Jimmy, the crack addict. He has to steal piping from someone who is slightly less poor so that he can sell it for some crack. Then just as he scrapes together enough money, he gets beaten up by a slightly larger crack addict and so has to go and beg his 16 year old son, who’s dealing on the corner, for some crack. He tries to get on his son’s good side first by playing a game of basketball, but this kind of thing has happened so often that the son knows exactly what’s going on. Also Jagged Face Jimmy’s fingernails are falling out so his jump shot is a mere shadow of its former self. Jimmy’s son racks up yet another oedipal victory that is as easy as it is dispiriting.

So on behalf of Jagged-Face Jimmy–and the rest of us regular folks–we need a bold plan to redistribute hours. We need to take some of the hours of the coddled top 1% and give them to the rest of us hard working regular Americans. The only way I can think to do this is as follows:

Give every hardworking American the right to change places with a member of the elite for an allotted period of time. Imagine laying for thirty seconds on a beach in St. Barths, or slicing a shot off the fairway on hole nine in gleneagles. You could even have fun with it: play chicken with the golf carts; the possibilities are endless.

Of course this would have to be a progressive system of hour taxation with the ultra poor getting fractionally more time. So once a year Jagged-Faced Jimmy would be able to move up from crack for 5 minutes and join the hollywood set as they freebase pure cocaine, while you, hourly worker Steve, would probably only get 30 seconds to smoke pot in Seth Rogan’s apartment. There’s always the risk that the far more volatile cocaine will explode lighting Jimmy’s head on fire like it did to Richard Prior. But I’m sure that’s a risk Jagged Face Jimmy is willing to take.