In the Sunday, July 4, edition of the Indianapolis Star, columnist James Briggs published a column headed, “Indiana’s work fetish won’t help in this post-pandemic economy.”
Here are a few lines and declarations from his column:
“Indiana’s mantra of being a ‘State that Works’ is more than a clever slogan. It is an identity. It is Hoosier Uncle Sam pointing his bony finger at each citizen to say, ‘I Want You...for low-wage jobs.’
“It has been a compelling call to action boosted by coercion. Indiana, like other red states, has fetishized the culture of sacrificial work. The state has bolstered its business-friendly credibility not only through a devotion to low taxes, but also by establishing policies that make it painful for people to live without a job.”
Briggs’ amazing diatribe goes on to include such statements as “Indiana provides weak unemployment benefits and ties even low-income health insurance to job status.” He sarcastically continues, “ The two-pronged justification is that people should have to work in order to meet their needs--accepting responsibility builds pride, after all.” And, “America’s volunteer army of service workers has mutinied and Indiana, as well as the state’s employers, might soon find that the balance of power has shifted toward laborers who are willing to sit out until they’re good and ready to accept jobs on their terms.”
This was all brought about because Governor Holcomb’s decision to opt out of enhanced unemployment benefits was overridden by a judge.
Briggs thinks that people should not become employed unless and until they find a job that they really like and that pays well. In the meantime, they should be paid by some government agency.
Briggs gives us a quick and penetrating insight into his thinking by calling work a “fetish.”
Briggs sneers at Indiana’s absurd thinking that people should strive to work and pay their way in the world. In his mind they are showing more character by sitting at home living on the dole. It causes one to wonder: Where does Briggs think all this “free money” comes from? Does some dumb segment of the population still have to work? He does comment that the federal unemployment benefits “Do not cost Indiana anything.” He apparently shares the mindset that “federal money” is like Monopoly money and doesn’t actually cost anybody anything.
This is radical thinking to appear even in the presently way, way, way far left IndyStar.
If people are now expected to work only when they feel like it and be supported by the taxpayers when they choose not to work, how long can such an arrangement last?
Note: I urge readers to check out Briggs’ entire column on the IndyStar website.
Norman D. Voiles, Rush County