Attitude and Metatude

Understanding Your Vision – Nearsightedness/Farsightedness/AstigmatismGenerally, attitude is taken to mean a settled way of thinking or outlook. Scientific inquiry requires an attitude that embodies elements of careful judgment, open-mindedness, critical mindedness, and curiosity to limit personal bias in the inquiry. On occasion, attitude may be informed or even formed by quantification, e.g., college or professional team rankings.

In the overall cognitive process, attitudes may evolve and be shaped through experience and exposure to the views and opinions of others. Significant influence on attitudes can occur via media – public and social – to form, reform, modify, or affect personally held attitudes. For the most part, this process is characterized as learning.

Recently, Gary Cohn, former President Trump’s economic adviser who crafted his tax cut legislation, said in a Yahoo interview that “We now need to get people back into the workforce and we need to force people in many respects to re-enter the workforce.” These words, of course, are more than a hint that the nation needs some type of mandate to solve the matter. Cohn stated that he “is worried the current shortage of labor threatens the ability of American businesses to compete at home and globally,” Yahoo reported.  Forcing folks back to work is acceptable; mask and vaccine mandates are not.  Some attitude!

Some critics have griped that unemployment benefits have encouraged folks to remain at home. Cohn agreed with that assessment, asserting that the federal funds were obstacles to recovery. For the record, Cohn was a leader at Goldman Sachs during the 2007-08 financial crises; the firm received a $10-billion bailout from Uncle Sam. It might be said that Cohn’s attitude is that an investment in his company was a good one, while investing in workers is not. Goose and gander reciprocity, a hallmark of Trumpism.

The US Department of Labor has reported that there are nearly 3 million more jobs available than unemployed workers. Some critics have griped that unemployment benefits have encouraged folks to remain at home. Cohn agreed with that assessment, asserting that the federal funds were obstacles to recovery. For the record, Cohn was a leader at Goldman Sachs during the 2007-08 financial crises; the firm received a $10-billion bailout from Uncle Sam. It might be said that Cohn’s attitude is that an investment in his company was a good one, while investing in workers is not. Goose and gander reciprocity, a hallmark of Trumpism.

CNBC, a business media outlet, recently boasted that the Commonwealth of Virginia ranked number one as a business-friendly state five times, with back-to-back ratings. That honor, CNBC noted, was due to a “strong workforce and a solid education system,” with the Old Dominion retaining a deep cadre of trained workers.

In the past, the number one honor often receiving praise from the business class touted the state’s right-to-work laws as an advantage to doing business there. Political candidates and leaders echoed in unison. No one uttered a negative word. This absence of a labor ideal was not mentioned in the 2021 press release by CNBC. From campaign to campaign and included in platform blather, the first place honor was prominent. Virginia is, of course, the headquarters of the National Right to Work organization, yet another element of industrial pride.

Neither Cohn nor Virginia’s cheerleading offered suggestions that would promote the Commonwealth’s reception as the number one location for workers, the engine of the businesses that frolic in first place. On the contrary, through 2019, Virginia ranked as the worst state for workers, according to Oxfam, the international anti-poverty not-for-profit. The Commonwealth’s last-place victory repeated that of the prior year.

As noted, attitudes may harden in age without refreshment but more importantly by challenges to reliability. Neither Cohn nor Virginia’s cheerleading offered suggestions that would promote the Commonwealth’s reception as the number one location for workers, the engine of the businesses that frolic in first place. On the contrary, through 2019, Virginia ranked as the worst state for workers, according to Oxfam, the international anti-poverty not-for-profit. The Commonwealth’s last-place victory repeated that of the prior year.

Oxfam, by all considerations and criteria, is not CNBC. In 2020, it ranked Virginia the 24th best place for workers and the 18th best place for working women. These advances are astronomical. In 2021, Oxfam rated Virginia 23rd among best locations for workers. The odd thing is that Virginia media hardly noticed the seismic changes. It’s almost as though praise for the worker rating might be deemed a betrayal of the longer held attitude about the favorable business atmosphere in the Old Dominion.

Perhaps Virginia media is under the spell of business favoritism in a type of metatudinal vision. The Urban Dictionary defines “meta” to mean “about the thing itself, appreciating the thing from a higher perspective instead of focusing on the thing itself.” The suffix “tude” invokes quality. It does not necessarily follow or correlate that praise for the rise of worker acceptance into a higher ranking means or even suggests that apostles of business are losing faith in right-to-work laws. When business commerce is lauded by CNBC or other rating agencies, the Virginia media are sprinkled with laudatory comments and rationales from representative spokespersons, perhaps in homage to the Virginia Way. A search on the Internet revealed no similar quote from labor organizations on the Oxfam findings.

Sadly, mainstream news media appear to be mimicking the Facebook business model of increasing attention to their output with emotionally provocative content. Incestuously, Facebook users republish that output to “friends.”

It makes one wonder about the certitude of one’s own attitudes and metatudes.

 

 



Categories: coronavirus, Issues, labor and unions, Local, National, political discourse, politics, republicans, State, wealth inequality

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