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Old 12th January 2022, 02:12 AM   #1
The Don
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Veneration of a particular occupation

In the "Drivers Stranded Overnight on I-95 in Virginia After Snowstorm" thread it seems clear that coal mining and coal miners are venerated in West Virginia, particularly by those on the right.

As someone from the UK this is somewhat strange. Due to the lengthy miners' strike in the 1980s and the threat that they posed to Margaret Thatcher's power, especially in the North of England and South Wales, miners are viewed very differently in the UK, especially by those on the right.

I also note that having served in the (volunteer) military in the US seems to confer a prestige that would be unrecognisable to an ex-serviceperson here in the UK - whether it's the generous discounts at many places or the expression of "thank you for for service". The police also seem to be revered, at least by white, middle class, middle aged men like me.

This got me to thinking about occupations that are venerated in the UK out of all proportion to the benefits, economic, social or whatever, they deliver. Brexit has highlighted that farmers and fishermen seem to wield far more power than influence than the service sector which is orders of magnitude larger (or at least the architects of Brexit have managed to leverage residual positive feelings to their own ends).

I'd say that farmers and fishermen are venerated, perhaps as some kind of throwback to WWII when they were crucial in keeping the nation fed.

I also think that there's an inbuilt bias to value certain "manly" work over white collar or service sector work though whether that extends to veneration is very debatable IMO.

What occupations are venerated where you live ?

Is this veneration justified ?
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Old 12th January 2022, 02:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
In the [url=http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=356184]...
What occupations are venerated where you live ?

Is this veneration justified ?...
In India it is primarily the Army and secondly the police, that are accorded with the greatest veneration and this is greatly promoted by the government. Comes in very handy when the army is called in to do their dirty work like violently oppress rights groups in various parts of India.

Then the veneration for the rich Industrialists and start-up wiz kids. The average Indian middle class worships its billionaires
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Old 12th January 2022, 03:26 AM   #3
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Farmers tend to be Tory voting land owners. They are on the right anyway.

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Old 12th January 2022, 03:46 AM   #4
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My family venerated mining so much that the children of the last actual miner in the family were encouraged to get the **** out of the pits and do a less dangerous job.

My maternal great grandfather was a miner in the Deerness valley to the west of Durham City and a tribal elder in the pit, the village and the chapel; his 3 sons were all encouraged to get up and out (that's yer Methodist self-improvement for you), and they all did; my grandfather did return to the village for a time, but that was as a teacher at the local school; he, my grandmother and my mother soon moved to the bright lights of Durham City (population then just over 16 000); oddly none of my mum, her cousin who was brought up pretty much as her elder sister, my sister or me have gone into mining...
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Old 12th January 2022, 03:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
My family venerated mining so much that the children of the last actual miner in the family were encouraged to get the **** out of the pits and do a less dangerous job.

My maternal great grandfather was a miner in the Deerness valley to the west of Durham City and a tribal elder in the pit, the village and the chapel; his 3 sons were all encouraged to get up and out (that's yer Methodist self-improvement for you), and they all did; my grandfather did return to the village for a time, but that was as a teacher at the local school; he, my grandmother and my mother soon moved to the bright lights of Durham City (population then just over 16 000); oddly none of my mum, her cousin who was brought up pretty much as her elder sister, my sister or me have gone into mining...
Same here, my maternal grandfather (who came from Windlestone near Chilton in Country Durham and worked in the North East coalfield his whole career) made sure that his children received a good education and got out of mining, or being dependent on a miner's salary. Both of them went into teaching.

When I graduated university and got my first job, with a large American management consultancy, I asked my gran whether my late grandfather might have thought me a class traitor. Her response was that he would have approved on the grounds that "There's nowt too good for the workers".

Here in South Wales, there's a wistful fondness for the sense of community which came from working together in dangerous conditions deep underground and a desire for decent paying jobs for people with little in the way of academic qualifications but no love for the work itself and the dangers it incurred.

All of the guides at The Big Pit mining museum were ex-miners when we've visited there. I suppose that in due course, as the old miners retire, new guides will have to be trained and, because it's still classed as a working pit, will have to be trained to the same level as miners were.
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Old 12th January 2022, 05:44 AM   #6
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The current state of kneejerk coalminer veneration is a bastardization of a class consciousness from a prior era that is extremely venerable. Huge swaths of working people used to be employed working in these mines under terrible conditions for terrible pay, and coal country was the site of some of the most radical worker agitation in this country's history leading to unionization and increased worker power. Venerating the coal miner was very much an expression of class solidarity standing in stark contrast to the coal barons who would otherwise maximize their profits at the expense of the miners. If the miner prospered, entire communities would prosper. These communities literally fought (rifles, machine guns, and bombing raids included) to defend worker power against the thugs of the coal barons and the state that always seems to defend capital in any dispute.

Societal progress and technological advancement has largely stripped away this context. Coal is increasingly a smaller and smaller source of energy and modern machinery requires fewer workers to mine this material. The manpower requirements in this job can no longer support a community and increasingly the worship of coal is just an excuse to defend the profit centers for a handful of coal companies.

It's a real shame. In general, venerating working class professions is a good thing.
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's a real shame. In general, venerating working class professions is a good thing.
Why ?

Why should someone who does manual labour be valued ahead of a doctor or nurse, a teacher or an engineer ?
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Why ?

Why should someone who does manual labour be valued ahead of a doctor or nurse, a teacher or an engineer ?
Objectively this is not true. Doctors and engineers get paid good money and are generally well respected.

I don't see how treating manual laborers well hinders the respectability of white collar professionals. Dignity isn't a zero-sum resource.

Teachers are an interesting example, often plagued by low pay and poor treatment. Increasingly the solution to this is the same as the coal miners from eras gone by, unionization and worker solidarity to demand better.

As we continue to circle the neoliberal toilet bowl, we are increasingly going to find that these white collar jobs aren't so safe and prestigious as they once were. The gaping maw of capitalism demands cheaper labor and already we see the screws being turned on professions that were previously thought to be aloof of such nastiness.
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:05 AM   #9
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I need a "Like" button for both The Don and Suburban Turkey's posts 6 & 7 there.

I left Durham in 1976, after most of the Durham coalfield was gone or on its last legs, and the disintegration of communities was well advanced, prior to subsequent re-occupation as dormitory villages for Durham and Newcastle. I went to Sheffield, just in time to watch the destruction of the steel industry there, said industry occupying a similar position in the local psyche and history.

Returning to the North East in 2000, it was easy to see how the old industries had never been replaced and their communities cast adrift. The "brain drain" of young folk (which I was arguably part of in the '70s) continues...Up in north Northumberland, around Berwick especially, bairns have to go away just to do certain A-levels, as the local high school is not big enough to support a full range of subjects. Not to mention there is very limited vocational training available there. And once you get to university level...Newcastle at the closest...Hardly anyone comes back...Some off comers move there to be the teachers and social workers, butr their kids leave in turn...
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:23 AM   #10
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Coal mining is the largest industry in a swing state.

Conundrum over.
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
My family venerated mining so much that the children of the last actual miner in the family were encouraged to get the **** out of the pits and do a less dangerous job.

My maternal great grandfather was a miner in the Deerness valley to the west of Durham City and a tribal elder in the pit, the village and the chapel; his 3 sons were all encouraged to get up and out (that's yer Methodist self-improvement for you), and they all did; my grandfather did return to the village for a time, but that was as a teacher at the local school; he, my grandmother and my mother soon moved to the bright lights of Durham City (population then just over 16 000); oddly none of my mum, her cousin who was brought up pretty much as her elder sister, my sister or me have gone into mining...
We were an ironstone area in and around Cleveland and the North Yorkshire Moors. Our last pit closed in 1962 at North Skelton, most closed in the 40s and 50s.
No one was sorry to see the back of the. We were lucky though, ICI was expanding rapidly at Wilton and Teesport was moving in to Offshore Oil infrastructure and rig building. There was plenty of work for the ex miners.
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Why ?

Why should someone who does manual labour be valued ahead of a doctor or nurse, a teacher or an engineer ?
And holding them in contempt and as examples of failure to motivate accademic success or you might be one of those people is what you are after?

There is a difference between veneration of the vital jobs that often don't get respect or decent wages to try to get them better wages and a good standard of living, vs the fetishization of them.
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Why ?

Why should someone who does manual labour be valued ahead of a doctor or nurse, a teacher or an engineer ?
Who says 'ahead'?

Why shouldn't they be equal?
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Old 12th January 2022, 06:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
I need a "Like" button for both The Don and Suburban Turkey's posts 6 & 7 there.

I left Durham in 1976, after most of the Durham coalfield was gone or on its last legs, and the disintegration of communities was well advanced, prior to subsequent re-occupation as dormitory villages for Durham and Newcastle. I went to Sheffield, just in time to watch the destruction of the steel industry there, said industry occupying a similar position in the local psyche and history.

Returning to the North East in 2000, it was easy to see how the old industries had never been replaced and their communities cast adrift. The "brain drain" of young folk (which I was arguably part of in the '70s) continues...Up in north Northumberland, around Berwick especially, bairns have to go away just to do certain A-levels, as the local high school is not big enough to support a full range of subjects. Not to mention there is very limited vocational training available there. And once you get to university level...Newcastle at the closest...Hardly anyone comes back...Some off comers move there to be the teachers and social workers, butr their kids leave in turn...
After the mines closed there was a deliberate policy to run down some of the smaller mine villages in County Durham and force the populations in to the
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Who says 'ahead'?

Why shouldn't they be equal?
If everyone is venerated, then in effect no-one is venerated IMO.

I should have been clearer in the OP in any case.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
I need a "Like" button for both The Don and Suburban Turkey's posts 6 & 7 there.

I left Durham in 1976, after most of the Durham coalfield was gone or on its last legs, and the disintegration of communities was well advanced, prior to subsequent re-occupation as dormitory villages for Durham and Newcastle. I went to Sheffield, just in time to watch the destruction of the steel industry there, said industry occupying a similar position in the local psyche and history.
...snip...
I was "born and bred" in Ashington but left as a child. After the pits closed and the Alcan factory reduced workforce (and then eventually closed) I have never seen a more gut-wrenchingly wretched place in the UK - and I lived in Moss Side in the 1980s! People lost all hope, multi-generational unemployment, massive social issues, drug abuse - legal and illegal ran rampant it was accepted to have a future you had to leave. And people don't return. It was probably the epitome of what Thatcher's politics were all about, the "labouring classes" were simply to be cut away and sod the consequences.

There are now signs of a slight "regeneration".
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:26 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
If everyone is venerated, then in effect no-one is venerated IMO.

I should have been clearer in the OP in any case.
I will settle for no nessacary jobs in society being paid a non living wage and held in contempt.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I will settle for no nessacary jobs in society being paid a non living wage and held in contempt.
I think you have got the wrong end of the stick. The Don thinks everyone should have good working conditions and be paid well, that should be the base line, the "veneration" is on top of that.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you have got the wrong end of the stick. The Don thinks everyone should have good working conditions and be paid well, that should be the base line, the "veneration" is on top of that.
Trying to destroy the fundamentals of modern capitalism I see. Good.

I don't personally think any career choice should be venerated
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Trying to destroy the fundamentals of modern capitalism I see. Good.

I don't personally think any career choice should be venerated
Me neither. I just find it interesting that different countries, or different demographics within different countries, seem to venerate certain jobs/roles/professions.

For example, a disproportionate amount of UK government effort IMO was spent post-Brexit trying to support the manufacturing sector whilst the service sector, which from a GDP perspective is 10 times the size, was almost completely ignored.

Then again, likely the money and political capital that was spent will turn out to have been wasted and/or the barriers that Brexit have introduced will far exceed any efforts to mitigate them.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Me neither. I just find it interesting that different countries, or different demographics within different countries, seem to venerate certain jobs/roles/professions.

For example, a disproportionate amount of UK government effort IMO was spent post-Brexit trying to support the manufacturing sector whilst the service sector, which from a GDP perspective is 10 times the size, was almost completely ignored.

Then again, likely the money and political capital that was spent will turn out to have been wasted and/or the barriers that Brexit have introduced will far exceed any efforts to mitigate them.
I'm guessing this has something to do with manufacturing jobs historically providing people with decent incomes, while service jobs are trivialized and poorly paid.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:48 AM   #22
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For some reason (one I don't agree with to any degree) service jobs seem to fall victim to the "anyone could do that" mentality more than manufacturing jobs.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So we're just pretending this isn't just going to develop into a purely semantic argument over what "venerated" means?
Well, if there are contributions to the thread where this isn't the case, then perhaps it won't.

My business is in a sector which is among those least likely to be venerated (possibly even behind some which are actually illegal ), we provide business and IT services to the business and IT sector - a double whammy. I wasn't at all surprised to find that the UK government wasn't going to invest any political capital in trying to ensure that Brexit wouldn't be too damaging for us - despite the fact that we (both the sector as a whole and my business) contribute significantly to the UK balance of trade.

That said, I'd say that engineers and teachers are even less appreciated than B Arkers like me.
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Old 12th January 2022, 07:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm guessing this has something to do with manufacturing jobs historically providing people with decent incomes, while service jobs are trivialized and poorly plaid.
Depends on the service I suppose. Depends on the manufacturing.

Financial services have been significant contributors to the UK economy for a couple of centuries and Napoleon is said to have described the UK as a nation of shopkeepers (almost certainly this is a fib).

In the UK, manufacturing was very poorly paid and had shockingly poor conditions until well into the 20th century and the unions were able to work effectively for their members. I guess there was a sweet spot between the end of WWII and some time in the 1970s where a man (almost certainly a man) could work in a skilled or semi-skilled manufacturing job and provide for his family but even that requires very rose coloured spectacles and a degree of amnesia about what that standard of living would be. IMO anyone from today living the lifestyle of a 1960's working man would find themselves bored, cold and wondering where their car, electrical appliances and foreign holidays have gone.
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Old 12th January 2022, 08:26 AM   #25
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We were poor but happy...
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Old 12th January 2022, 08:31 AM   #26
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When I was at school, the venerated jobs were the ones the upper classes went into: acting and the old school standard: law, medicine and accountancy. Whilst there are no written barriers to these professions, everybody knows you need financial support to get through the years as you try to get to the bar, working for nothing or next to nothing as an articled clerk, or a junior doctor. Those who were less academically inclined went into teaching or nursing, which then, you 'only needed six O-Levels' to get in. Nowadays, of course, you need a degree, even to get into the police.

What jobs are revered in Finland? Definitely there is high respect for academia. Teachers are very well paid. It is no surprise Finland often comes top in world educational attainment rankings, and that is because teachers in Finland are allowed to use their own initiative and treat teaching as a business enterprise, moulding their lessons to meet the needs of their pupils, unlike the standardised regime in the UK, where one-size has to fit all.

Also in Finland, going to a vocational college to 'learn a trade' is perfectly respectable and middle class, unlike in the UK, where a trade is looked down upon, notwithstanding plumbers and electricians earning as much as bankers and lawyers, if not more.

The UK is limited by its class system, which is still strong (just look at the state of the government, Etonians having preference). The Finnish PM, Sanna Marin came from a working class town (Tampere) to a single mother, in a same sex relationship in a small apartment. I can't see that happening in the UK, any time soon.

The middle class here, consists of roughly 80%, with perhaps a 10% tail either side to represent the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor. Private education is not allowed, unless it meets certain criteria, which means in essence, you do not get an advantage by sending your kinds to a private school.

The police and army are well respected, as police are allowed to carry guns, and thus have to have first-class training and be graduates, in a highly competitve selection system.

With all males having to do conscription in the military (look who's next door!) between age 17 and 28, depending on study demands, Finland also has one of the highest number of military personnel per capita. IIRC it is something like 14th in the world, as compared to the USA 172, or so. Thus it is no surprise that mechanical and telecommunications skills are highly prized.
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Old 12th January 2022, 08:33 AM   #27
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I don't know if the exact same mentality is at work other places (although I'd be shocked if some vaguely equivalent cultural mentality isn't in there somewhere to at least a tiny degree) but in the US we still get a lot of echoes of the vague idea that certain jobs should just sorta suck as sort of a penance for not being able to get a better job.

The most common version of this is the oft repeated whine about "Oh so you think flippin' burgers is worth blah blah blah."
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Old 12th January 2022, 09:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
My family venerated mining so much that the children of the last actual miner in the family were encouraged to get the **** out of the pits and do a less dangerous job.

My maternal great grandfather was a miner in the Deerness valley to the west of Durham City and a tribal elder in the pit, the village and the chapel; his 3 sons were all encouraged to get up and out (that's yer Methodist self-improvement for you), and they all did; my grandfather did return to the village for a time, but that was as a teacher at the local school; he, my grandmother and my mother soon moved to the bright lights of Durham City (population then just over 16 000); oddly none of my mum, her cousin who was brought up pretty much as her elder sister, my sister or me have gone into mining...
We get the odd thing here in the U.S., that efforts to move away from coal as an energy source are met by objections not just about job loss, but by a particular focus on Coal Mining jobs as a sort of dying tradition that needs to be preserved. As I said in another thread, I kind of half blame the impact of Loretta Lynn's Coal Miner's Daughter song and the movie and everything else associated with it.

It didn't help when some of the efforts to deal with the loss of coal mining jobs was met with efforts to teach the miners software coding. The idea was that coding could be an up and coming job series that was not very location-specific. They could stay and live in their communities and develop new careers that were less dangerous.

Except, the average coal miner has about zero interest in coding, it was a very tone deaf concept. Such that "Teach them to Code" became a bit of a meme.

And, as Joe Morgue pointed out, the worst of the coal job losses are in a swing state, which give some of their politicians outsized influence at the federal level while also ensuring that both parties in that state continue to support the use of coal.

The biggest coal mines in the U.S. are in northern Wyoming. Huge strip mines that are vastly more labor-efficient than West Virginia's underground and mountain-clearing mines - but better quality, cleaner burning coal too. On lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (not the Bureau of Land Management or private lands as people might expect). The coal jobs in Wyoming seem less fetishized than those in West Virginia.

In Wyoming there are at least potential new career paths that are not vastly different. The state produces a lot of natural gas, many coal-fired electric plants have converted to gas - it burns much cleaner per watt. Wyoming, especially southern Wyoming, has huge potential for wind energy. Not all of that is working up on the big towers, much of that is building/grading the access roads putting in the foundations, trenching and burying utility lines, all that. They recently completed a big DC powerline running wind-generated electricity from Wyoming all the way down to southern California. Some of those jobs - digging foundations, rebar and cement work on the foundations, building roads and trenching then laying buried electrical lines, are not vastly different from running a surface mine (unlike coding).

Last edited by crescent; 12th January 2022 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 12th January 2022, 09:40 AM   #29
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Coal mining is the largest industry in a swing state.

Conundrum over.
Looks like 6% of jobs? I'm not sure how big of an industry it is.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:05 AM   #30
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Steel Mill jobs in the U.S. used to viewed a bit like Coal Mining still is, like a job that is horrible and dangerous but which needs to be preserved because the people that do it are working class heroes.

The Deer Hunter, All the Right Moves, probably a half dozen others.

Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs was pretty good in that it didn't just stick with the dirty jobs that are traditionally venerated in society. He also covered jobs that some people might actually be embarrassed to have, like people who need to go down into sewer lines, work in tanneries, drive the tractor at the landfill, that sort of thing. Nobody makes songs or movies about the guy who has to go down to clear blockages in the sewer, but they at least got to be on that show.

Last edited by crescent; 12th January 2022 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:31 AM   #31
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Journalists. A lot of people seem to think journalists are a special class of superior citizen.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:34 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Journalists. A lot of people seem to think journalists are a special class of superior citizen.
Including the view they should not be forced to testify to the identity of source that broke the law even if given criminal immunity.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:35 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I don't know if the exact same mentality is at work other places (although I'd be shocked if some vaguely equivalent cultural mentality isn't in there somewhere to at least a tiny degree) but in the US we still get a lot of echoes of the vague idea that certain jobs should just sorta suck as sort of a penance for not being able to get a better job.

The most common version of this is the oft repeated whine about "Oh so you think flippin' burgers is worth blah blah blah."
Except during a pandemic when we really, really need these "essential" workers to please keep everything running while white collar professionals hide in their homes.

There was much speculation that this crisis might lead to a new appreciation for people performing these essential jobs. Doesn't seem to have materialized. The height of lockdowns and covid fear was the perfect time to collectively demand better wages and conditions, but the moment has passed and they're back to being subjects of contempt.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:37 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
We get the odd thing here in the U.S., that efforts to move away from coal as an energy source are met by objections not just about job loss, but by a particular focus on Coal Mining jobs as a sort of dying tradition that needs to be preserved. As I said in another thread, I kind of half blame the impact of Loretta Lynn's Coal Miner's Daughter song and the movie and everything else associated with it.

It didn't help when some of the efforts to deal with the loss of coal mining jobs was met with efforts to teach the miners software coding. The idea was that coding could be an up and coming job series that was not very location-specific. They could stay and live in their communities and develop new careers that were less dangerous.

Except, the average coal miner has about zero interest in coding, it was a very tone deaf concept. Such that "Teach them to Code" became a bit of a meme.
It wasn't vastly dissimilar here. But promised jobs rarely arrived, all the promised investment was conspicuous by its absence. Some call centres were opened, but they didn't pay very well and were not popular places to work.

There was the Nissan plant at Washington, which brought a cerrtain number of skilled and well-remunerated jobs, but sod all else of significance.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:38 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Including the view they should not be forced to testify to the identity of source that broke the law even if given criminal immunity.
I have a lot of respect for journalism, ethically practiced. Including the protection of sources. But it should take a lot more to earn that respect than simply getting a job at a mainstream media outlet.

Anyone can practice ethical journalism. Being assigned the job title by your employer (or arrogating it to yourself) is not a reliable proxy for that.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:43 AM   #36
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In South Korea, teaching is a prestige profession, while cops are not taken seriously.

In the US, movies about teachers are usually feel-good stories about teachers trying to get their hard luck students to succeed academically. There was a popular movie a few years ago in Korea called Punch in English, which is more or less the opposite of this--a teacher who doesn't care about his gifted students fighting for space for a student who obviously isn't going to succeed academically.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:58 AM   #37
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I'm an (retired) engineer. It's not exactly veneration, but I have tremendous respect for the many skilled production workers like machinists, welders, and mechanics I worked with over the years.
Management, not so much.
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Old 12th January 2022, 10:58 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Except during a pandemic when we really, really need these "essential" workers to please keep everything running while white collar professionals hide in their homes.

There was much speculation that this crisis might lead to a new appreciation for people performing these essential jobs. Doesn't seem to have materialized. The height of lockdowns and covid fear was the perfect time to collectively demand better wages and conditions, but the moment has passed and they're back to being subjects of contempt.
I think what happened (and I'm hesitant to make a guess on whether or not this will be a permanent mentality or will mean anything in the long term) is that COVID that the final straw that finally forced a change in a certain mentality.

For the longest time the mentality was (and this was probably true for very specific values of true) was that any job was better than no job.

But that is no longer true. Rates have fallen and cost of living has gotten so high* so that if just have a minimum wage job you can no longer have even a crappy apartment in the bad part of town and a beater car and, as I am fond of saying, at that point what's the point.

The old "I'd rather dig ditches then go on welfare" mentality doesn't really work when digging ditches

For the first time a large demographic has realized "It's gotten so bad that it's functionally the same to have a crappy job and no job" which has given them a negotiating power not seen in past economic downturns.

*including the continued demonization of the idea that standards of living getting better is just a reasonable thing to want, as if the lowest class of citizens wanting to just live better than the lowest class of citizen did 20, 30, 40 years ago is somehow a bad thing.
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Old 12th January 2022, 11:00 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'm an (retired) engineer. It's not exactly veneration, but I have tremendous respect for the many skilled production workers like machinists, welders, and mechanics I worked with over the years.
Management, not so much.
I don't think the argument is that we should have some universal, unchanging, exactly equal opinion of all jobs.

So jobs DO take more effort to either do or get good at. Some people, when talking about their occupation, will always be worth more, both monetarily and (within reason) otherwise. There's no economic, social, or political system that can make that not true.
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Old 12th January 2022, 11:02 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So jobs DO take more effort to either do or get good at. Some people, when talking about their occupation, will always be worth more, both monetarily and (within reason) otherwise. There's no economic, social, or political system that can make that not true.
that's right. o7 salute the troops

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