They Took Our Jerb! How Inner West Champagne Socialists Conspicuously Telegraph their Ignorance of the Casual Workforce Heartland
“They took our jerbs!” Yet another sarcastic attempt at virtue signalling most often heard from Champagne Socialists. I’m sure you’ve all heard it. It’s one of the more irritatingly repetitive pejorative attempts at humour by the regressive left along with: ‘Please Explain?’, ‘Murica!’, and ‘Mansplaining’, among others.
Whenever these simplistic, parroted catchphrases are questioned, they are usually closely followed by something resembling a squid squirting a diversionary trail of ink to evade further scrutiny. Racist! Sexist! Homophobe! Islamophobe! You’re on the wrong side of history!
A sharp wit requires intelligence. And intelligence requires a sharp wit. Champagne Socialists have neither of these attributes. They are purely instinctive reptile brain types, heavily conditioned to think in a certain way by years of free thought-crippling tertiary education and lazy Facebook memes. So you’ll notice that they are big on insults (and small on genuine solutions) that really don’t mean anything tangible and exist only to patch the holes in their leaky logic.
One of their favourite catchphrases that always screams a complete lack of self-awareness, lack of perspective, and lack of understanding of the world outside their safe space occupied by those less fortunate, is surely, ‘They took our Jerbs!’. This humorous (only if you’re well-to-do, white, self-loathing, and left-leaning) sound byte dictates that all the ‘dumb hicks in flyover country’ have a completely unfounded paranoia about brown-skinned people competing against them for employment here and abroad with outsourcing.
A popular quote by comedian Louis C.K. reads “Of course foreigners steal your job. But maybe if someone without contacts, money, or speaking the language steals your job, you’re s—…” The quote was lauded as being clever and witty, but like ‘They Took Our Jerbs!’ it shows that leftists can be just as obnoxious, out of touch, and elitist as the wealthy old conservative white guys that they continually telegraph their superiority to, yet live in all the same electorates as.
It’s easy to see why a left-leaning, Greens-voting couple who lives in a unit in the Inner West that was formerly occupied by an Indigenous family before they were squeezed out due to gentrification, might think that the idea of a migrant or worker overseas taking their job is preposterous. They are in a specialised field. Both are in advertising. Nobody can just waltz in from Syria and offer their unskilled, non-English speaking illiterate expertise in our couple’s chosen field. Nor can it be done in a call centre abroad.
Nobody they know feels threatened by migrants or outsourcing in the job market either, just like they always remark with a degree of childlike wonder that nobody they know voted for Tony Abbott, so they have absolutely no idea how he ever got in.
Their neighbour runs a prominent Film Festival. He’s been doing it for years. The pay isn’t great, but he subsidises it with his consultancy business. Of course a migrant without any connections who only speaks in broken English isn’t going to threaten either of his streams of income any time soon. Nor will a guy in a call centre in New Delhi be programming Goddard films long distance.
The festival director’s friend Trish runs an Eastern Homewares Store, and she feels quietly confident that a family from that part of the world isn’t going to react to her shameless appropriation of their culture and open up right next door.
Trish has a loyal customer base of Green-voting white people who prefer the ambiance of buying a carved wooden Burmese bowl from a cultured white middle-man (or -woman) rather than experiencing the awkwardness of haggling with the brown-skinned people that actually make the stuff. That just feels too uncomfortable and kind of colonialist to them… which is bad. Better to just let Trish go to Asia every few months to exploit the natives and bring back the goodies so that they can be purchased from her at astronomically-marked-up prices.
Trish’s second cousin is in finance. Steve is on $300,000 a year, but of course he shares disparaging Facebook memes about the 1%. He is very confident that he won’t be replaced by a guy in a Philippines call centre. It’s just not going to happen.
So you can see why people moving in these kind of circles think that the concept of unskilled migrants arriving and competing for jobs, or of jobs being lost overseas, is nothing short of preposterous. Why they see it as the paranoid fantasy of the great unwashed, and a concept to be ridiculed. Everyone that they know has made it and is secure, so obviously everyone else in the country has made it, haven’t they? Guys? Plenty of prosperity to go around?
Nobody they know drives a car over five years old. Nobody has to work those menial jobs unless they’re too lazy to figure out how to make money esoterically. We’re all doing well, so why not let in several million refugees overnight with few questions asked, to do these menial jobs we don’t want to do, you heartless right-wing bastards?
Most of the positions occupied by those who live in the Inner West tend to be highly skilled (a bit of a misnomer… highly skilled usually translates to highly connected), highly paid, and white collar. They have to be. The mean house price is far higher than other parts of the nation. Commercial property leases are far higher than other parts of the nation. Rates are far higher than other parts of the nation. The price of a lot of things is higher than other parts of the nation.
Our Inner West couple, the festival director, Trish, and Steve do not work unskilled jobs. If they worked unskilled jobs (also a misnomer… let me stress that unskilled basically means unconnected), they would not be able to live in the sanctuary of the Inner West. Even if they wanted to work unskilled jobs they would not be able to live in the Inner West. It costs serious money to live in an area that has undergone gentrification, regardless of how many times you’ve eschewed any sense of self-awareness and tut-tutted disparagingly about ‘all of the white people’ at dinner parties.
Our Greens-voting Inner West Couple, their festival director neighbour, his friend Trish, and her second cousin Steve do mix with quite a few migrants. They see them working at 7/11, at the few remaining checkouts in the local Woolies, and driving taxis. Trish sees the lovely Vietnamese lady cleaning her house. Our Greens couple have a Spanish cleaner. Both pay them cash in hand at less than the minimum wage of $17.70 despite all the ‘Push for 15′ U.S memes they’ve been lazily sharing on Facebook lately. Steve rates the Pho at the place around the corner run by the polite Chinese family as the best in Newtown.
They don’t see any migrants at Pilates, dropping the kids off at school, or at their friends’ places, unless they can find a particularly well-conditioned and gentrified migrant with none of those troublesome cultural nuances (nothing kills conversation deader than an un-vetted Israeli dinner guest who says something totally non-PC like, ‘Imagine how you would feel if Tasmania fired the occasional rocket into your neighbourhood… not very reconciliatory, I bet’). They don’t see any migrants at any of these places because people in unskilled jobs (again, unconnected jobs) are not able to live in the Inner West, so aren’t likely to spend much time there outside of work hours.
Aside from the garden variety champagne socialists, it’s easy to see how this segregated lifestyle helps handsomely-paid leftist media commentators arrive at their warped Cultural Marxist worldview. Most media pundits have settled into the more gentrified neighbourhoods that not only assure them that they’ll never need to actually bump into any of the people that they champion, but give them the luxury of disregarding stories that just don’t seem plausible when you’re looking out across the harbour.
These media personalities enjoy the benefits of the same effective economically driven Cultural Apartheid that discourages the rest of us from visiting, unless we’re there to deliver a pizza or fix a leaky shower head. Charging a dollar extra for a coffee or a schooner of beer does a remarkable job (on top of property prices) of keeping out both migrants and those great unwashed responsible for Tony Abbott getting voted in, if they are planning anything more complicated than a brief foray into the occupied territory of the Inner West (taken by economic force from Indigenous Australians) to provide cheap unskilled Labor.
Beyond the occupied zone, it’s an entirely different story. Highly skilled, highly paid, white-collar positions are few and far between. This is the land of the less-well-connected. Australians of all colours and creeds are forced to compete on a completely even playing field for a limited amount of unskilled positions. If they were connected, they’d be living in the Inner West. In the occupied zone. Things like job security, meaningful wage growth, holidays, sick leave, above board super contributions by their company (as opposed to chasing their casual employer for Super contributions), and additional goodies as part of their salary package would be a given.
But this is the heartland of casual employment and heavy competition for it. Union protection is for an elite few. The rest can go f— themselves, but of course are considered treacherous people voting against their interests if they don’t pay Union dues for absolutely no benefit whatsoever and vote Labor. The casually employed forgo most of the benefits and job security that highly skilled workers take for granted. They can be easily replaced in a heartbeat, and for many, hand-to-mouth is a way of life.
Regressive leftists think that workplaces without things like sick leave, holidays, maternity leave, and bereavement leave only exist in third world countries. They are blissfully unaware of the living hell that is the millions-strong casual work force of Australia.
For these people (both hard working migrants and ‘ignorant white Tony Abbott voters’ alike), ‘They Took Our Jerbs!’ is far from an amusing catch phrase or meme about perceived ignorance to be chuckled at by wealthy white regressive leftists who are always punching down.
It is a very real and ominous possibility, to be laughed at nervously, if at all. The joke is an elitist luxury of people who will never have to deal with concepts like their occupation being outsourced to another country, or an influx of competition for jobs and basic services callously orchestrated by politicians who similarly will never have to personally be affected by a sense of conspicuous altruism that always compromises somebody else’s standard of living.
It’s safe to say that whether you’re a Sri Lankan contract cleaner in Casula, a Caucasian delivery driver in Campbelltown, an Indigenous plasterer in Minto, or a Vietnamese hospitality worker in Liverpool, any indication that unplanned mass migration of the kind we have seen in Europe is on the agenda, as it is with Labor and the Greens, is bound to be of concern and far less of a laughing matter.
Of course job losses, whether through outsourcing or an influx of migrants, isn’t going to effect things at the grown-ups’ table, because they’ll never be welcome at the grown-ups’ table. But if you’re stuck down at the kids’ table trying to argue the toss with somebody who has offered to do the same job you do for half the money, there just isn’t going to be enough fairy bread to go around. Sure, new migrants both legitimate and illegal need to put food on the table too, but it doesn’t make the concerns of those whose livelihoods are most directly threatened any less valid.
Through pretty much dumb luck, I now find myself in a job with a reasonably high level of expertise. Not to such a level where I can live comfortably in the Inner West, but certainly more secure than any of my former factory or hospitality jobs that made up my first two decades in the workforce.
Naturally I am a lot less concerned than the lady at the Woolworths checkout about the possibility of a migrant (or an automated machine for that matter) taking away my livelihood. That is the least of my concerns. But I’m not going to stupidly pretend to be more well versed in the intricacies of the supermarket industry and the terms of her employment than she is. If anything, maybe she isn’t being paranoid enough. Nor am I prepared to throw her under the bus just so that I can feel warm, fuzzy, and altruistic.
Chuckling over unskilled workers’ concerns over very tangible threats to their employment, and fist pumping over a Louis C.K. quote tells us much about the mindset of the regressive left. These people like to talk the talk, but in practice they see the rest of society who are not in their inner periphery, regardless of race, as an expendable unskilled (again, unconnected, as Louie stresses) underclass to be ridiculed, exploited, and pitted against one another over limited resources. Their endgame is exactly the same as the neocons.
Before regressive leftists become too judgemental of others and decide to try and debunk their often-valid concerns, perhaps they need to honestly answer a few questions about the way that they themselves live their lives in practice.
Whose electorate has higher unemployment rates and more stretched social services? The electorate where the bulk of refugees are resettled, or the Greens electorate that they live in that has taken almost none?
Whose neighbourhood is whiter? The Inner West neighbourhood that Cultural Marxists live in, or the Lakemba neighbourhood of the Christian Lebanese guy they feel contempt for because he likes to go game shooting and doesn’t fit their desired Middle Eastern victim profile?
Whose workplace has greater ethnic diversity? Their Inner West office, or the factory that a Caucasian Liberal voter works at in Minto?
Whose pre-school more closely resembles the genetic makeup of the Aryan brotherhood? The Inner West pre-school that their own kids attend, or a pre-school in Casula where a few of the mums and dads would be racist in their book because they refuse to call the 26th of January, ‘Invasion Day’?
If they were to answer these questions honestly to themselves, many on the regressive left would soon realise that they are the ones who should be checking their white privilege post haste.
Your average regressive leftist would be absolutely mortified if somebody approached an African American at a Black Lives Matter rally and told them they were just being paranoid, yet seemingly feel completely justified in completely ridiculing and discounting the fears and concerns of a casual/part-time employee from the Western Suburbs.
They have about as much comprehension of the life experience, fears, and hardships of the average One Nation voter in the Western Suburbs as they do about an African American, or a Syrian refugee for that matter, so dictating what these people should and shouldn’t be concerned about employment-wise from the comfort of a gentrified Inner West suburb is nothing less than textbook white privilege.
Photo by peter4k