Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ooh, this is fun, it's a new prejudice trend!

Yesterday the SF Chronicle ran a striking phrase: "...the state is stubbornly stuck with the second-worst jobless problem in the nation..." Ever since the Reagan dispossessions we've been hearing about "the homeless problem" as though the people who lacked homes were the problem, but "the jobless problem" is new.

Well, nearly new. I see the Chron used it once before in 2009; in 1995 it ran an LA Times story from Paris that used it; in 1998 the phrase was buried in a feature on European economics. That's only once before in a domestically written and focused article.

So I was grumbling over this yesterday morning and Joel kindly teased out the thought: "Yep, those jobless... they don't really want to work... they smell... sometimes I really find them threatening..." (That's irony, FYI.)

And, whaddayaknow, in today's load of emailed political appeals, there's a further suggestion that prejudice against the unemployed is hardening the way prejudice against the homeless did about 25 years ago. It's from ColorOfChange.org, captioned, "The Unemployed Need Not Apply." Apparently Monster.com is allowing employment ads that specifically refuse jobs to people who don't have them.

So, new trend, whoop-de-doo, you heard it here (almost) first.

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