Commentary by R48
In talking about the modest proposed changes to Employment Insurance, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was insensitive and just totally mean to note “there are no bad jobs.”
Knowing it to be true is one thing, but to actually say it?
We should also remember that Jim Flaherty has an Ivy League education and has been very successful, so therefore whatever he says on the matter is wrong.
What he should have said is, there are no bad jobs but there are all kinds of people who think a job in the service industry or doing manual labour is beneath their dignity.
For instance, Peggy Nash, the NDP finance critic said, “If you are a computer software developer, will you be working at Tim Hortons?
“If you are an unemployed teacher or nurse, will you be working in the agricultural sector picking fruit?”
Peggy Nash should think twice about looking down her nose at people who work at Tim’s. It’s also obvious she has not met some of the computer software developers I know.
If she had, she would know that working at Tim’s could only help the development of some of those especially awkward developers.
Meanwhile, picking fruit might be the best education money can’t buy for a teacher charged with helping to form young minds.
Who better to know the value of staying in school?
In fact, you could argue the best possible professional development for many of us would be a week of picking apples.
I doubt the rumours are true that some doctors have a God complex, but if by a miracle a doctor did think especially highly of him or herself, then emptying bedpans might cure them of their delusion.
Working as a member of Parliament is an interesting and sometimes important job, but I can say without reservation there are days in the House of Commons when MPs would do more good for the country if they were working at Tim Hortons.
That would be true public service.
Liberal MP Marc Garneau called Flaherty’s comments insulting.
We certainly don’t want to insult Garneau or any other astronauts for that matter, especially with the sharp drop in demand for astronauts in the current job market.
That would be blaming the victim. But Mr. Garneau is missing the point.
Obviously some jobs are unpleasant, unfulfilling or boring, though we could say that about most jobs at some point.
The idea behind the EI changes is to encourage people to acquire skills so they no longer need to work in positions that don’t utilize all their abilities or keep them challenged.
The problem with EI is, in many instances, it encourages the status quo.
It’s an incentive for the chronically unemployed to stay in their comfort zone instead of pursuing training or new opportunities.
After all, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say picking fruit is a “bad job” and then criticize the government for trying to encourage people to move away from a lifetime of picking fruit for three months a year and collecting EI for the other nine.