There are pockets in this great wide world playing host to a symbiotic relationship between job security, family well-being and social standing. This relationship and lengthy conversations with aggrieved inhabitants in these pockets has encouraged me to recommend the next addition to my growing list of Radical Proposals to cure the world’s ills.
In the aftermath of 2008, it so came to be that employment and job security became commonplace in dinner table discussions. The economic tsunami that exterminated Capitalism also took with it its Cousins; Competency, Aptitude and Passion. Remembering the evils of Capitalism encouraged people to seek refuge in the welcoming arms of Socialism. All of a sudden, the hitherto-unknown-recently-made-redundant neighbour was remembered by many, who felt mighty sorry for the chap’s predicament. ‘Poor fellow! Poorer family!’, was an oft-repeated line of thought that supplemented feelings of concern; which were also sometimes, self-directed. Great caution was exercised in positing no connection between the extinct Cousins and unemployment.
With time, more jobs were lost, some permanently. The whining, one observed, seemed to bear a direct relationship to the size of the family of the affected. Singles, unencumbered by the responsibility of feeding multiple mouths, were the lowest of the low in the sympathy hierarchy. Nobody batted an eyelid on their situation. Those gifted with families large enough to field football teams, ranked highly.
Their situation was bad, sad, unfair, undeserved, unjustified, unfathomable, unrighteous, dishonourable, inhuman, blasphemous, pitiable, pathetic… Period.
Quick to pick on this development, employers looking to scythe employee count attacked the singles, the unmarried and all other forms of solitary expendables. A few of the football team group that were let go, were sent off with generous helpings of genuinely unfelt sympathy, good wishes for a bad future and a severance package that could barely feed half the football team.
Intent on reversing this decline, the singles urgently needed a fool-proof plan. They had witnessed first-hand, the vast benefits that accrued to the folks of the football team, owing solely to their strength in numbers. In an era where the Cousins were never remembered, much less in demand, numbers were the ultimate end game. Having got the rough end of the stick, the singles wasted no time in conjuring up an expeditious remedy to their malady.
They decided to procreate their way to job security.
The aboriginal football team members, meanwhile, sensed unwanted competition; for jobs and for sympathy. Concerned about their busted futures and in an effort to safeguard non-existent interests, they coerced governments to write into Law, a rule that insisted on a Minimum Family Size as a qualifying criteria for employment. Mindless propaganda combined with mindful lobbying led to frequent upward revisions to this Minimum number, which soon flirted dangerously with triple digits.
Few paused to wonder that when the cake itself was diminishing in size, adding more claimants to the pie was tantamount to idiocy. Procreation was seen as a precursor to job-creation, a necessary criterion to ensure job security and survival. Nobody knew how incremental jobs would be created out of thin air to accommodate the rapidly increasing numbers.
Some suggested creating professions that focused on various aspects and sub-aspects, and sub-aspects of these sub-aspects, of birth control.
They were promptly fired.