Willy Hutton’s latest claim

US doctors coined a phrase for this condition: “shit-life syndrome”. Poor working-age Americans of all races are locked in a cycle of poverty and neglect, amid wider affluence. They are ill educated and ill trained. The jobs available are drudge work paying the minimum wage, with minimal or no job security.

That’s for the US.

In 2017, 80.4 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.3 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 542,000 workers earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.3 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together, these 1.8 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 2.3 percent of all hourly paid workers.

Or around 1% of all workers.

The minimum wage is, at best, a minimal issue in the US economy.

There is little social housing, scant income support and contingent access to healthcare.

Section 8 vouchers exist, that’s housing benefit in all but name. Most of the large cities have rent control – not a good idea but they have it – which is like affordable housing. It’s true, they’ve stopped having directly government built and owned housing because they realised they were vertical slums even more shit than no housing at all. You’ve perhaps heard of “the projects?”

Income support exists, it’s largely in goods and services in kind rather than cash. And health care? Has Willy never even considered the size of the Medicaid bill?

Finding meaning in life is close to impossible; the struggle to survive commands all intellectual and emotional resources. Yet turn on the TV or visit a middle-class shopping mall and a very different and unattainable world presents itself. Knowing that you are valueless, you resort to drugs, antidepressants and booze. You eat junk food and watch your ill-treated body balloon. It is not just poverty, but growing relative poverty in an era of rising inequality, with all its psychological side-effects, that is the killer.

That’s why Willy’s a fat boozer as he considers the billionaires that infest London.

What our citizens are experiencing is criminal, even if it has nothing to do with the EU, the great lie so brilliantly told by Brexiters and the malevolent political genius that is Nigel Farage. Instead of blaming Brussels and impoverishing ourselves with Brexit, Britain should be launching a multipronged assault on shit-life syndrome and the conditions that cause so many to die prematurely. Acknowledging the crisis, together with measures to address it, will be crucial to winning any second people’s vote on Brexit.

We need (as Andrew Adonis and I argue in Saving Britain) an industrial policy not just for the City, but for the country, a repurposing of enterprise, a re-enfranchisement of workforces and a remaking of our threadbare social contract, in particular the dysfunctional care system. Too many of England’s towns, even some in the south-east, are becoming crucibles of shit-life syndrome. They have become inward-looking, urban islands in which despair and despondency are too prevalent; their high streets in decline while hi-tech, knowledge-intensive jobs pass them by. Train and bus fares are so high that travelling within them has become prohibitively expensive. Stripped of power by the most centralised system in Europe, they are disempowered and sullen about the present and apprehensive of the future. All this can and must change.

Above all, it is an agenda for an effective parliamentary opposition – combining a campaign to stay in the EU with a campaign to change Britain. The life expectancy numbers tell a dramatic story. It is time to act on their message.

Oooh, that’s pretty good. We must decentralise power as we centralise it in Brussels?

15 thoughts on “Willy Hutton’s latest claim”

  1. “Knowing that you are valueless, you resort to drugs, antidepressants and booze.”

    If you’re on antidepressants, you stop feeling valueless. You stop using crutches like booze and drugs. They’re what you take that is the better option than lots of booze and drugs. They chill you out. You stop suffering from anxiety so much and focus.

    “We need (as Andrew Adonis and I argue in Saving Britain) an industrial policy not just for the City, but for the country, a repurposing of enterprise, a re-enfranchisement of workforces and a remaking of our threadbare social contract, in particular the dysfunctional care system. Too many of England’s towns, even some in the south-east, are becoming crucibles of shit-life syndrome. They have become inward-looking, urban islands in which despair and despondency are too prevalent; their high streets in decline while hi-tech, knowledge-intensive jobs pass them by.”

    People hate the fucking high streets. You can’t buy a Kurosawa bluray from HMV at 3am drunk and in your pants without breaking a number of laws. Amazon allows this.

    “Train and bus fares are so high that travelling within them has become prohibitively expensive.”

    Bollocks. It’s £7 to go anywhere in the South of England for a day on Stagecoach. An adult and 2 kids to go to London on National Express from Swindon is £25 return. Oh and they’ve had wifi for longer, e-ticketing, Apple/Android pay, drivers that not only drive but take tickets and sort our your luggage, and probably for half what rail drivers do who only have to manage a straight line.

    Buses take longer but there isn’t much fat in any of the bus services.

  2. Also, whose fault is it that “high-tech jobs” are passing them by? Don’t schools have kids for 11 years? Why are so many leaving without either the skills or a pathway to get those skills?

    Oh, and then we pour billions into university education and we have a shortage of doctors, vets, software developers, engineers. And the people running this are Hutton’s sort. Not us free marketeers, the establishment.

  3. A bit like the shit life the interns and work experience youngsters who work as slaves for the Graun would experience if their daddies weren’t so stinking rich.

    Only a socialist rag could be so hypocritical.

  4. More remainiac shite. Esp rotten–whining about poverty from a fuckwit whose bungling sent a few folk to the dole.

    The loser needs a T&S charge. It wouldn’t stick but some time in HMP Onley –the cell opposite the mosque–would do him a power of good.

  5. Sure train and bus fares are too high since it is cheaper to drive – why? because train drivers get paid in the higher-tax bracket for a part-time job.

  6. What Hutton neglects to mention is social cohesion. People feel happier if they have something in common with their neighbours and society in general. People were happiest according to research in the 1970s in the uk where people felt connected to each other even though they were much poorer than today. Importing millions of foreigners who don’t speak the language or follow local customs doesn’t help, especially as we have imported millions of muslims who apart from bleeding us dry through welfare are quite happy to despise us and think of us as animals when they are not trying to kill us. Hutton thinks this is fine and to complain about this racism.

  7. With regard to the (obligatory?) brexit whinging, is the no shit-life syndrome in the rest of the EU? Where is the managed paradise where they’ve got it right. Just show me and we’ll copy that.

    (I think my happiness is primarily my problem. I don’t need some wanker with a long history of wankiness to fix it for me.)

  8. Short version, there’s still far too much outside the state.

    On the other hand, he’s right about the need for an effective opposition.

  9. One has only to read the words ‘Andrew Adonis’ to confirm that what is being proposed is an immensely crap idea. And highly self-serving, to boot.

  10. I wouldn’t disagree entirely about the breakdown of the social contract, but that is what happens when you bring in loads of people who don’t understand it or don’t care and not have them integrate.

  11. First time I ever heard of ‘shit-life syndrome.’

    It looks to be Leftest projection. Lefties assume that if they made less money, they’d have a ‘shit-life.’ Those who make less money are well adjusted to making less money.

  12. ‘Looking back on the 20th century, it is clear that Marx was wrong in his assumption that most workers and peasants were dissatisfied with their places in, and alienated from, their societies, that they were seething with resentment against the middle and upper classes, or that they in any way were predisposed to revolution.’ – Fr. James Thornton

    What Hutton is saying is, “Dammit, you poor people, let’s see some seething resentment!”

    Declarations of ‘suffering’ by 3rd parties are usually calls for resentment.

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