By Rob Roper
Google hosted a three day summit on climate change in Sicily. Attendees, including the likes of former President Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry, utilized no less than 114 private jets to get there. Makes you wonder if they really think spewing carbon into the atmosphere is all that catastrophic an activity.
More likely, what they believe is, yes, releasing carbon may be a huge problem, but my need (in this case to virtue signal at a swanky Mediterranean boondoggle) is justified because I’m, well, me and what I’m doing is important. It’s all you other common folk abusing fossil fuel for unjustified, unimportant purposes (like driving to work or getting your kids to school or staying warm in winter) who need a serious beat down.
A similar argument popped up Tuesday on the Dave Gram show as the host interviewed State Sen. Anthony Pollina on, among other things, the topic of a $15 minimum wage. Gram noted that even our own Sen. Bernie Sanders, supposed champion of the working stiff, is having trouble paying his campaign staff at that level. (Thanks, Dave, for the plug of my most recent column on the subject!)
Pollina shot back that if you want to work a 40-hour-a-week job and earn more than $15 an hour, then joining a political campaign “is not signing up for the right kind of job.”
And he speculated that most of Bernie’s staff are happy to be putting in the long hours for low pay “because it’s the right thing to do.” I guess the “Bernie Rule” is if the job is emotionally fulfilling (and, I guess, advances a progressive agenda) then the wage earned and the time put in shouldn’t be an issue.
Well, Pollina is right. Working on a presidential campaign, particularly if you want it to be successful, mostly means accepting long hours at low pay. What you get in return is a chance to do something you feel is important, and a tremendous experience to help build your network and your resume, and, if your candidate wins, there’s the potential payoff of a much more lucrative job in the future. It’s up to you to decide if risk/reward is worth it or not.
And here’s where Pollina’s myopic arrogance kicks in. Why doesn’t his Bernie Rule apply to a convenience store clerk or a childcare worker? If you want to earn more money and work fewer hours you’re simply “not signing up for the right kind of job.” Do something else. Don’t blame or expect more from the employer.
Similarly, who is Pollina to decide what is “the right thing” for you, me or anyone other than himself? Maybe the opportunity to work with kids is what’s important to you, or maybe the chance to be in on the ground floor of a new business is what’s meaningful, or what’s emotionally fulfilling is to earn something rather than nothing.
Why is it that this socialist politician believes only those who choose to work for a socialist political campaign should be allowed to decide it’s OK to work long hours for less money for the experience and/or the potential springboard to a better job down the road? It is a tremendously elitist, not to mention hypocritical, point of view.