The Private Sector made of people who have to hustle to survive, and the Public Sector who get paid a cushy salary and do not have to hustle.
There is no other culture here.
You can extend Public Sector to those who get welfare or government grants, too.
You either get paid by the government, or you have to survive on your wits.
And now that the Public Sector is getting the cuts they so richly earned, they are throwing fits because they lost face in public. Vote-shaming did not save their careers.
They were smug, insular, and ungrateful. No matter how much money they got, it was never enough. They always need more, and they can always find some other fringe group that needs to be put on the dole.
Now there is plenty of narratives of doom and gloom, but it’s bullshit.
Listening to people in the Public Sector was always amusing to me: they were the pampered house cats telling the feral alley cats how to live. They always spewed some philosophy how their manufactured ecosystem had what ought to be, such as how women were better leaders because they use consensus to achieve goals.
I worked for women in both the private and public sector. I do not ever recall consensus being an actual leadership style or having women get the job done through consensus.
I worked for both at the same time. I taught college, which is a public sector job. You cannot compare those worlds: if I didn’t get the job done in the private sector, I knew there would be a line up of other people who wanted my career. Public sector was dysfunctional. People were always complaining how hard their job was, and here I am, happy to be teaching because it was so easy compared to hustling for freelance work, and then having to research and get people to give me an interview. I could never understand what all that whining was about.
People would literally hold a mug of coffee and march up and down the halls complaining how busy they were. Sure, busy marching up and down the halls holding a mug of coffee telling people how busy you are.
But there were buffers the public sector had that the private sector never did. I know people who always looked for public sector work because they wanted a good job with great pay and benefits where they wouldn’t actually be busting their humps the same way they’d have to if they worked in the private sector.
The Liberal regime in Ontario always caved in to the public sector, and having unions had nothing to do with it. Public sector jobs are a two-way hack: the government can pretend the economy is healthier than it actually is as more and more people get on the Sunshine List, and people in those jobs can get things those in the private sector cannot. Everyone can pretend to be doing better than they actually are. The public sector’s mantra how they are essential for survival is pure bullshit, but it ensured they kept their jobs.
The province went into insane debt because of it. Kathleen Wynne’s press secretary made more money than US President Barak Obama’s press secretary, which is insane.
But those in the public sector got greedy and abandoned Wynne in the last election, defecting to the NDP because they thought now they’d get even more.
Except private sector workers had enough. Forty percent of people in Ontario have minimum wage jobs. And they work harder because minimum wage jobs are not easy jobs. They voted for Doug Ford who promptly halted the gravy train, and the predictable bitching is coming out in full force — and Ford has been prepared for their antics. He slashed Toronto City Council seats. He threatened to use the Notwithstanding clause. He is ensuring people can’t sue the Ontario government. He is slashing public sector jobs to be realistically aligned with current realities.
Because he is a private sector man, his culture is vastly different than the cushy one of the public sector. He knows, for instance, you don’t actually need 650,000 public sector workers. You can do just fine with one third of that. You have too many bullshit jobs there.
Public sector jobs were usually lower-paying than the private sector and it was the place where war vets were given employment after their tour of duty as a thank you for risking their lives in dangerous places of violence. It got co-opted as an easy way to look more financially healthy.
Except that kind of pyramid scheme can’t last forever, but there are consequences to its inevitable collapse: you have people who have been indoctrinated into that culture and honestly believe that to be reality. It is a socially-engineered environment that requires rote thinking, and no real transferrable skills that can mesh into the culture of private sector. You don’t have to produce widgets in the sense where you need to bring in a profit. You don’t have to hustle, innovate, compete or have some sort of edge. It’s a safe job with a Zero Risk Mindset.
So what you are having now is people who cannot get back into the realm of public sector — they may be educated, but they are worlds away from the private sector mindset where you are primed and groomed in a completely different way. They are not going to find the same pay, benefits, or protections they have become adjusted to, and think they are entitled to have. The more jobs losses in this sector, the bigger the problem because these were the people who had disposable income, particularly teachers.
When my mother taught jewelry-making, she had a diverse ratio of public and private sector students. She had factory workers, white collar types, and she also had public sector workers such as teachers, professors, nurses, people who worked for crown corporations, police officers, and even federal and provincial workers. There a lot of people who worked at casinos (public sector) who got paid to take courses as a perk and they kept signing up for her classes. She was a very popular teacher, and I was managing her career.
But I knew this wasn’t going to last forever, and warned her that having full and run-off classes wasn’t going to go on forever, and what she was doing was just a nice, albeit temporary thing. She got very angry at me and thought I was being a jerk. I wasn’t a jerk. I was working as business journalist at the time, and the one thing I could do extremely well was feel a change in the winds. It’s why I could easily predict the collapse of newspapers.
But then when the recession hit, almost all of her private sector students stopped signing up, and few new ones were joining. The casino workers lost their perk and also vanished. A computer virus hit mom’s account, and accidentally sent emails to her student email list — as many had used their work email as a contact, when all those bounced back as being no longer in use, I knew why. They all lost their jobs. The factory workers and the white collar types. None were close to retirement, either.
The only ones left standing were the public sector students. It never changed after that. Teachers had the most disposable income, followed by crown corporation workers — and when their company was sold to the private sector, most lost their jobs in the bargain.
It never recovered from that bloodbath a decade ago, and now that delayed culling has come to the public sector. When almost have of your workforce is earning minimum wage or is precariously employed, no one can possibly expect that the public sector is going to skirt paying their dues.
The temper tantrums and virtue-signalling isn’t going to change the reality, but there is something very dangerous here all the same: in this province, women in the private sector have an extremely tough road. Many private sector white collar types are on contract, and it is not easy being a business owner: banks discriminate against women in many underhanded ways.
Where women in this province skirted that problem was to work in the public sector. It was a hack for educated women to earn a decent wage and have a shot at upward mobility, but at the cost of losing that hunter’s instinct needed to not only thrive and survive, but to deal with obstacles such as losing a public sector career.
For many Ontario women, they are about to enter a nightmare world in which they are not fluent. The jobs available are going to most likely be minimum wage jobs or those with precarious security, no benefits, and have no chance for advancement. The previous job experience and university education won’t alter that reality. Make no mistake: this is a serious blow for white collar women in this province.
The cultures are polar opposites. The edge is given to driven hunters who have a sense of the winds around them. There is no consensus: you either latch on to a demand and strike first to obtain a high market share, or you go out of business.
I see a lot of women who are small business owners, from restauranteurs to groomers to aestheticians to publishers to marketers to haute boutiques. The amount of work they have to put in day in and day is shocking. Their businesses are first-rate. They do things you cannot find in a corporate chain store or company.
And they are not just good at what they do, they are superb. I see the amount of work they do with no outside help or support — the kind the Big Boys like Elon Musk get at the drop of a hat, even if he will bleed it all out and have nothing to show for it.
They are getting no help. There are no supports or cushion. They have to hustle and take abuse on a daily basis. They were hit hard by the Liberal’s minimum wage hike. They received no “basic income” in terms of business grants. They had to do it all by themselves, and they are repeatedly ignored — they were ignored by the Liberals, they were ignored by the NDP, and they will be ignored by the Conservatives.
And that’s not acceptable.
So what we have is women on the brink of losing their public sector careers because there isn’t any gravy left on the train, and you have the ones in the private sector who are marching forward in the private sector who are hyper-competent, but have no structure that allows some sort of incubation of their business to breakout just enough where they can expand their business.
But those are two cultures and two languages. Women get divided in odd ways, and the private-public divide masks the truth about women in Ontario: women are being held back, either by getting lulled by working in the public sector where they are at the mercy of a government’s whims, or being so overwhelmed in the private sector that they often do not have a chance to stop for a moment and think about the big picture.
And getting out of the shackles of both cultures and finding a new set of clearer filters to see both the reality and the solution is crucial to strike the problem at its core would be the first step to creating a different kind of economic revolution…