Dear Mr. Capitalism,
My name is Aaron and I have a problem: money. Now, I don’t want to complain too much because, after all, there are literally billions of people worse off than me. On top of that, I live on my own in Oakland, California, which means that I only have to support myself. I am very lucky that I don’t have any children or other dependents, because then I would be totally screwed.
I’ll tell you a bit more about my situation before I get into my question. I am a university graduate, in Latin American history, I grew up in the Northeast but moved out here recently for a change, and hope to find more fulfilling work. I am not a stupid person, but my education doesn’t exactly offer up a lot of skills that prospective employers require. I can write, am proficient with computers and have good people skills. Sorry, Capitalism, I didn’t mean this to read like a job application, it’s just that I haven’t been making enough money since I’ve been here to pay my rent or buy enough groceries.
Here’s the big problem: I care about what I do for work and want it to fit in ethically with what I believe in. I am interested in the environment, so I don’t want to work for any companies that damage the local ecology; I don’t like the idea of giant multi-national corporations, so I don’t want to work at any chain stores—I’d much prefer to find some sort of small scale, mom and pop type place to help out at; and finally, I’m vegetarian, so I don’t want to work anywhere where I’d have to handle meat or where the company derives a significant amount of revenue from the sale of animal parts.
I know this sounds like a lot of requirements in looking for a job, but shouldn’t you strive to find something that you can actually believe in when you get a job? Won’t you be a better worker if the job you do is something you actually care about, rather than simply a pay cheque?
Thanks for listening, Capitalism, I hope that you have some helpful answers, and I look forward to your response.
I do not fully understand your problem. You have no money, so you need a job. Excellent. Get one. There are many employment opportunities, you just need to pull up your bootstraps and get to it! I encourage you to use the plethora of useful job websites that exist (monster.com, careerbuilder.com and snagajob.com come to mind—my checks better be in the mail for this endorsement, by the way.) You can also do it the ol’ fashioned way, pound the pavement, go door-to-door, look for signs in windows. Grab a Starbucks coffee, a hash-brown from McDonald’s and get the hell out there!
Frankly, the second part of your letter and your concerns about “ethics” just don’t compute for me. I’m sorry, pal, but your priorities need to be based on one thing and one thing only: looking out for #1. If there is anything I have learned it’s that you need to compete, compete, compete, whether it comes to jobs or, in my case, global domination. I mean, can you imagine what the world would have been like today if I had concerned my self with making “ethical stances” or “caring”? When Communism and I were applying for the same job, did I worry about the implications of my deeds? Fuck no! And we’re all better off for it.
Aaron, you need to be more productive and efficient. Think of the people of the Third World. They took a negative and turned it into a positive! Subsistence farming had become a thing of the past, community ties were choking people off from the mainstream economy, so what did they do? They took action! They moved into the city, working at dynamic urban-textile manufacturing facilities and are now employed!
The problem with Americans is that they think that something is owed to them! You gotta get out there and work, you can’t just wait for the jobs to come to you! How did you even have time to write me this letter? The minutes it took it type it should have been used to make yourself money! Chances are you’re one of those American welfare babies, getting something for nothing.
Aaron, you make me sick. Write me again when you do something useful with your life instead of bitching about trivialities like ‘the environment.’
I need a latte.
Keep the letters coming folks, I get paid handsomely to answer them!