Tokyo Damage Report



People love jobs.  I mean we hate jobs, but we love the fact that we can eat food not made by Alpo, in a house.

Every pundit, from Communists to Capitalists, from Republicans to Democrats to Friedmanites to Kenyesians agrees that increasing the amount of work everyone does is super, which makes sense considering that their jobs are “giving speeches and writing columns read by millions”, and they probably enjoy those jobs.  Probably a lot of people working at Hot Dog on A Stick would enjoy those kinds of jobs, too, but somehow the pundits and politicians and economists aren’t that interested in creating more of THEIR KIND OF jobs.  So.


Given that we’re running out of clean air, water, and oil, the idea that more jobs is the answer to everything is weird.


Especially weird, given that we in America have so much EXTRA STUFF that even poor people have to spend money they don’t have on giant foul-smelling ‘storage units’ to keep the extra stuff in, while at the same time having to buy MORE STUFF otherwise the economy will crash.


Our whole shit is based on borrowing money we don’t have to buy shit we don’t need so as to keep our fellow humans toiling away in factories making plastic crap, just so they can feed children they don’t have time to raise properly.


Because – despite being the richest country on Earth –  we can’t think of another way to get slightly more food to hungry children besides having Ma and Pa bust ass.  Think about it:  if Ma and Pa DON’T have jobs, they’re ‘unworthy of society’ so fuck them AND their kids.  But get Ma a job working at the printing plant, making tons of junk mail that no one reads? And give Pa a job driving the ‘street cleaning’ truck that doesn’t do any cleaning, because its main function is to allow the cops to ticket the fuck out of all the cars that didn’t move by midnight?  Well then, these are ‘upstanding citizens’ and we should give them our support!  Despite the fact that their jobs just make everyone else’s life worse.


In other words, we confuse JOBS ARE GOOD  (as in, “I need the salary to live”) with JOBS ARE GOOD (as in, “this job helps anyone, ever.”).   .  And yet, we BEG for useless jobs because we need money. And why do we need so much money? Because shit is expensive. And why is shit so expensive? Wait for it – because EVERY COMPANY EMPLOYS WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE, AND THE COSTS ARE PASSED ON TO YOU, THE CONSUMER.  It’s not just that the asshole at Target gets paid to design horrible Hanna Barbera onsies for babies,, it’s that that asshole needs a janitor, a lunch cook, a tax accountant, and a HR supervisor, and several copyright/contract lawyers, and each of those people wind up employing many other people, which is weird as fuck when you think all that economic activity depends on YOU, PAYING EXTRA FOR A HIDEOUS SCOOBY-DOO BABY-WRAPPER. DO IT FOR AMERICA! DO IT FOR TARGET! BUY A HIDEOUS SCOOBY-DOO BABY-WRAPPER, YOU COMMIE RATFINK!


With that in mind, here are some of the many jobs we have in our society.


200 jobs at a factory that only makes  nutritionless, glow-in-the-dark frosting, the purpose of which is to make otherwise inedible, unhealthy food JUST sweet enough that working people will buy it.  And MORE jobs: hire a very expensive team of ‘consumer consultants’ to calculate JUST how little frosting they can get away with spooging on the snacks before they stop selling.  The salaries of the consultants are more than the company saves by reducing frosting.  But that’s ok because then the consultants go on to create MORE jobs for plastic surgeons, drug dealers, etc.


Meanwhile, 100 delivery drivers are employed shipping the frosted cupcakes to  the breakrooms of the 3.000 electricians who make sure the server farm stays online forever, just in case google needs to know what you tweeted about bieber 4 years ago.  So much private-sector efficiency right there. IN YOUR FACE, BIG GOVERNMENT.


Wait, I’m still getting warmed up. Here’s a great buncha people:

40 people at the power plant, make electrical power for

20 janitors with electric vaccums, cleaning up after

10 cafeteria workers, serving

5 hungry accountants, processing claims from

4 HR managers, hiring

2 nubile Personal Assistants, helping

1 douchebag ‘consultant’ to think up ‘taglines’ for miserable Hollywood movies

Which no one wants to watch.

But hey, jobs!!!!

Plus, even MORE jobs for the ladies who operate the forklifts taking the unsold DVDs to the boat where they will be turned into a landfill in Africa? Yes!



How about the ‘security’ industry? Lotta useful jobs there:

6 security guards  for the daycare center

for the kids of workers at the  CCTV-watching firm,

who are monitoring the ‘data analysts’ at Google,

who are data-mining the porno-viewing habits

of the cops down at Precinct 24.


Not secure enough?  Here’s more:

So many jobs at a Factory which makes punch-clocks, which are sold to other factories, to keep their employees from stealing time,  which those other factories make cameras,  which monitor the obedience of workers at still other factories, who make RFIDs, which are used to prevent theft of books, about how capitalism is super efficient.


100 leaf-blowing Mexicans hired by 1,000 sales representitives, working at 10 novelty souviner t-shirt companies, producing gifts that the recipients hate.  Otherwise, who would write wacky slogans on sweatshirts for free?  Someone without a job? Poets? Maybe there’s an ancient greek Muse specifically devoted to inspiring new borderline-racist shirt slogans designed to increase awareness of the wearer’s ‘attitude.’


Jobs making stress pills , to help other people stay at their jobs longer without being too miserable about it.  Jobs generated by jobs is a whole theme here!


A plastic surgeon for the banker for the Federal Regulation Inspector of the beauty-school, for $500 haircuts, for popstars, for tweens who would be better off listening to a dryer go ‘round.  That’s gotta be like 2,000 jobs right there, and what would happen if those went away? Tweens would start listening to Venom again, that’s what.


200 jobs at a factory making Sexual Harassment Panda suits, special-ordered by a Corporate Seminar Planning Company (30 more jobs), which is hired by HR Department to help stamp out potentially litigious office romances at the distribution center (75 jobs)  for little plastic baggies (baggie factory: 200 jobs)  for speed (mafia:  100 jobs) for hookers (60 jobs)  for ‘rough necks’ at a fracking camp-town (2,000 jobs), so we can all get gas to go to our various, super necessary, jobs.  Well we could of gotten the gas ANYWAY, but it’s better karma to buy the gas from rough-necks that are not super sex-frustrated, and THAT means Sexual Harrassment Panda needs a damn suit, somehow.


Another great use for gas: powering ocean boats to haul toilet paper from UK to Suriname so that Suriname sweatshop workers can put perfume on toilet paper FOR PENNIES LESS THAN IN THE UK, and then ship it back.  The perfume is un-wanted by customers, resource-depleting, the boss is a dick, and they charge the customer more for it.  But, hey, at least everyone gets to bust their ass for 8 hours a day until they’re old.  Win-win!


Here’s some CYBER jobs for you ‘90s hackers:  take 100 of the most smart computer people, and give them a job hiring 1,000 average schmucks, to ‘Focus-group’ a ‘more lifelike,’ ‘emotion detecting’ robo-call program, which can automatically choose which fake tone-of-voice wastes your time, depending on how mad you sound at being interrupted at dinner.  OK, that means the telemarketers get fired, but then re-hired by the focus group! Progress.


Go work at the plastic factory making mile-wide tarpulins to cover the small oceans of liquefied pig poop at factory farms. OK?  One job.  But your boss cuts your hours and benefits, and now you have to finish work, and  moonlight across the street at the OTHER plastic factory making polyfiber regatta sails for the CEO of the holding company that owns the bank that owns the factory farm. Boom!  That’s TWO jobs! You’re welcome!


Insurance companies employ , oh, say, 60,000 fully-loaded secretaries to process and deny and rebut the medical claims coming from another 60,000 fully-loaded secretaries working at hospitals, who then rebut the rebuttals, de-loop the loop-holes, and re-submit the claims. To that, add ANOTHER 10,000 people to run the accountant schools that the secretaries had to go to, 100 MORE people to check if the schools are properly up to the accreditation standards for such a productive enterprise, and finally 10 ungodly-expensive Taylorist ‘efficiency experts’ to just see maybe if the secretaries can’t circulate their utterly useless paper at twice the speed.



Hire 100  people

to train people

to train safeway clerks

to train customers how to use the self-checkout aisle that will eventually take away their jobs.

But who’s going to train the first people what uniform to wear, or what logo should be on the uniform and matching clipboards,  and who’s going to tell them to have facial hair or not?

Better hire some more people!


3000 people making toxic paint for

2000 people to make billboards with, and

500 people to glue the billboards to the sides of buildings

To convince us that one particular toothpaste is better for the environment.


To simply glue signs saying “this space for rent”


Here’s a good one:  An ankle monitor factory, needs an ‘ergonomics expert’ to design the most form-fitting bracelet, and the consultant needs a proprietary 3d modeling software, for which the software designer needs a patent attourney.  The patent attourney needs an in-company computer network to share the legal files with the other experts, so they have to hire an IT manager, who needs a Systems Engineer, who has to hire 10 temps to convert all previous company files into a single format compatible with the network.  The resulting fees threaten to put the whole company into bankruptcy, so the CEO simply bills the prisoners for the cost of wearing the ankle bracelets.  Unfortunately, the Systems Engineer was so busy training those goofy temps that she didn’t have time to hire a Security Engineer, and now the fucking Chinese are bootlegging the ankle monitor, which means MORE JOBS FOR THEM, and an ankle bracelet for the fucking systems engineer, who –unbeknownst to the Chinese – was trying to sell the blueprints to the Ukranian mob.


Last one, people, bear with me:

Get 1,000 of the smartest graduates, who would otherwise be stuck finding cures for diseases or building solar-power jetpacks, and set them to work making ‘analytical risk models’ for hedge funds, which the models don’t work, at all,  which is fine, because the ‘models’ are just there to give a plausible, legal explanation of how the CEO constantly outperforms the market without insider trading.  So that’s a great use of talent AND 1,000 jobs.



3 Comments so far

  1. Anon February 12th, 2015 11:24 pm

    I can’t tell which scenarios were based on real life examples and which ones were just imagined for absurdity’s sake.
    Except the last one, that was clearly the product of a demented mind.

    Graeber wrote an article on the subject from a somewhat different angle:

  2. admin February 13th, 2015 8:43 am

    @anon: fuck, you beat me to it! I KNEW i should of linked to the Graeber piece.

  3. Francois February 16th, 2015 11:08 pm

    Unfortunately, most of the times, the salaries of the consultants are less than the company saves by reducing frosting. Or replacing meat by meat-flavored-stuff.
    Which is why this kind of parasitic entity is allowed to flourish.

    As a demotivational poster says: If you’re not part of the solution, they’re good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

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