burgers for a living? Heck no - those folks are
manufacturing edible infrastructure, according
to the Bush administration.
the same administration that promised to deliver
us 2.6 million new jobs - and then scaled that
back to, uh, "I'm not a statistician" - has come
up with a more foolproof way of creating jobs:
Just reclassify the old ones.
why Bush's chief economist, Gregory Mankiw, suggested
last week that dead-end fast-food jobs be reclassified
as far more uplifting "manufacturing jobs." His
argument, perhaps made under the influence of
a fermented shake, was that burger makers are
constructing entire sandwiches with their bare
(or, we hope, latex-gloved) hands. And if that's
not manufacturing, what is?
to think of it - Mankiw has a manufacturing job,
too. He's manufacturing a robust economy out of
reclassification trick is something the Republicans
have had a lot of experience with. It was Ronald
Reagan's administration, after all, that came
up with the ingenious way of making sure kids
got enough vegetables in their school lunches:
Just reclassify ketchup as a vegetable.
recently, the Bush administration took it upon
itself to cover a factory's worth of "Made in
China" merchandise with "Made in America" stickers,
right before a press conference. This effectively
reclassified offshore manufacturing jobs as good
ol' American jobs. So simple!
war in Iraq was reclassified as a war against
Saddam Hussein instead of a war to protect us
from weapons of mass destruction, once those WMD
were MIA. And to assure us this was a "mission
accomplished," the President flew onto an aircraft
carrier that had to be kept at sea an extra day
- and turned around - to make it look as if he
had no choice but to fly out to meet it. Thus
a trip made solely for dramatic purposes was reclassified
as a trip of necessity.
can the Bushies reclassify next? Some ideas:
Tax breaks for the rich. That would be a very
bad choice of words, George. And whatever you
do, don't say these staggering breaks are ballooning
our deficit. Reclassify them as "economic stimulators."
I'm sorry. You already did that.
Large-scale tree massacre. Can't call it that.
Allowing for more logging on public land should
be reclassified as ... hmmm. How about a "Healthy
wait. You've done that already, too. You are so
ahead of me!
Pollution-palooza! Allowing factories to duck
environmental controls should definitely be called
something else. How about the "Clear Skies Initiative?"
darn. You got to that one first, too!
maybe there's nothing left for you to reclassify.
Except - wait! What about the words "compassionate"
all, way back when, "compassion" meant reaching
out to the less fortunate, not succoring the captains
of industry. And "conservative" meant a person
who wanted to keep things they way they are, not
chop them down, pollute them for eternity and
create huge new piles of debt.
I'd say that is a perfect reclassification project
for you, Mr. Bush.
the meantime, I believe the Democrats will be
working on a reclassification of your job, too:
From "commander in chief" to "senior-level manufacturer
in charge of bun preparation."
Posted: February 28, 2004