Steve Kitay, laid off from Fidelity Investments, made a vow to stay upbeat during his job search, even as his wife, Cilla, was diagnosed with breast cancer. “Nobody wants to talk to you if you’re negative,’’ said Kitay.And he's right, unfortunately. But the rest of us, those who have jobs, should not stay positive. It's our duty to be critical--and even negative.
We should think critically about the claims that people are personally responsible for their unemployment. It took years and years of rapacious profits and mendacious politics to get us to this point. Close to one out of every six people in Massachusetts are not living in poverty because of character flaws. This is a social problem.
We should also think critically about the claims that government has done all it can do and that it's time to worry about deficits. There is no history to back that up, and the economic theory that supports laissez-faire and trickle-down is the same theory that got us into the recession in the first place. Even Alan Greenspan confesses that.
We should be negative. We should say no to tax breaks for the rich, bonuses for the speculators, and war profits for Halliburton and Xe (which is really Blackwater but dares not speak its name). We should say no to wars that waste the lives of people back home as well as those who are killed and maimed in battle. Unemployed people cannot afford to be negative? Then they must depend on us to do it. We cannot afford to be brightsided any longer.