Downton Abbey ING of America

Service jobs and served privilege are the focus of Downton Abbey. America is in danger of becoming Downton Abbey where there are people with money who can afford to be served, and those who serve them.

Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour contributes to the Downton-ing of America. If you want people to shut the hell up and serve the gravy, you’ll pay them just enough to limit their opportunities such that they’re afraid to let go. And with the machination of everything from grocery checkout to bank teller, there will be nowhere else to go, many decent skilled jobs are now done by machines.

One subtext of Downton Abbey is the rising of people above their servant circumstance. Tom the chauffeur who marries into the “Lords” family, a maid who studies typing and becomes a secretary.

America needs a return to decent jobs making things, jobs in which people who aren’t cut out for college can excel. The industrial revolution has turned into the industrial avoidance of human labor. Sure there are reasons, among them cost and reliability. We can’t afford not to return to people making things. What else are people going to do except be servants to increasingly privileged classes?

Throwing money at service jobs is not the answer unless all we want is servants. America is in danger of becoming two classes, like Downton Abbey, the served and the servant. Putting a “living” minimum wage in place only ensures that lord and servant becomes the status quo. Pay the hamburger flipper at McDonald’s $15 dollars an hour and he/she will flip your burgers for life. McDonald’s was an after school job when I was a teen and it paid $1.05 an hour. McDonald’s wasn’t a career choice it was a way to learn important job skills, a way to earn a car and money for dates.

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