A Tale of Two Types of Workers

Once upon a time, traffic was backed up over the hill. When the driver of a certain car finally rumbled over the crest and arrived at the bottom on the other side, now terribly late for work, he spied the source of the disruption. A gaggle of fat, masked communists stood in the road blocking traffic. They waved red flags and held banners complaining about wanting more money. As the driver of the car finally inched past these griping layabouts, he yelled “Communists! Communists! Communists!” and gave them a thumbs down. Finally free of the disturbance, the driver could go about his day in peace, albeit very late.

As the driver made his way through town, he saw a different man in a different street for a different purpose. With plywood and nails, he had built a little stand which he pushed to the convergence of two streets. On the front, he painted the simple words, “Jumbo Hot Dogs.” The driver was struck by the difference between this hard-working fellow using his ingenuity and elbow grease to make a living selling hot dogs on the side of the road and the group of entitled Marxist complainers disrupting other people’s lives for the sole purpose of demanding more money for no work. With this stark contrast in mind, the driver eventually went back in the direction he had come, smiling to see that the kind police had escorted the demonstrators to a more suitable location – out of sight. The End.

I hope you liked my story. It is true. It happened to me and my wife today. If you couldn’t tell, I was the driver of the car. The image of the hot dog vendor with his little homemade stand situated right at the point where two major streets converged was such a clear contrast to the overweight, flag-waving complainers blocking traffic that it inspired this small article.

Street vendors are a common sight here in Panama. Not only kiosks or food trucks on the side of the road, but sellers who stand in the middle of the road with traffic brushing past on either side. As much as it frankly annoys me to have to look out for these people, I have always admired how industrious they are and how they are willing to do jobs to support their families that many people in our entitled modern society would deem beneath them. The coruplent communists are a prime example. Here you had a collection of mostly overweight brainyacks who think society owes them a higher wage and who are willing to make other people late for their jobs to selfishly demand that higher wage. Perhpas no one has ever told them, but it is not society’s job to give them a wage. No one owes them anything; certainly not high wages!

As Rocky Balboa once told his whiny son who thought his father’s big shadow was holding him back:

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”

These communists obviously never had a Rocky Balboa to set them straight.

Certain people wiser than I have advised not calling communist dupes “communists.” Most of these dupes – workers and laymen – would likely recoil at the label, after all. To them, they’re fighting for a cause and have no conception that this cause is straight out of The Communist Manifesto or that it aids world communism and disrupts society. Perhaps it is wrong of me to use the communist label, yet I feel compelled to. If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, why shouldn’t I call it a duck? Whether they are dupes or willing conspirators, these people are supporting a wicked cause that is the wellspring of society’s ills, and that makes me mad.

It made me even angier when I got home and looked up the group. The picketting and demonstrations today were organized by Suntracs, which Wikipedia calls “one of the leading trade union forces in Panama, with 40,000 members and a militant style of class war unionism.” You can confirm this by looking at their website as well as their slogans touting “revolution” and their union logo – a worker dressed in revolutionary red holding a hammer aloft in the classic communist pose.

I have seen this group protest before. And I have yelled “Communists!” at them before from my car as their sign-carrying trouble makers blocked my exit from a clinic parking lot last year. Thousands participated in the society-disrupting protests today. Tires were burned in the streets. Roads were closed down during rush hour. Union leaders bullhorned while bloated “workers” cheered.

When I was sitting in the car this morning, I thought there were perhaps protests going on up ahead. This has happened several times in the same general location. On one occasion, I had to wait in the car for two hours before police were able to clear them away. In most of those cases, however, the protesters were justly demonstrating against vaccine mandates, government overreach and corruption, and other worthy causes.

Though it’s an inconvenience, I understand those types of protests. Those are big societal dilemmas that impact everyone and should rightly be taken into the public square for resolution. This, however, is not the same. Whether or not you feel satisfied with the salary you earn at work is none of my concern. Why should I be made late and have my life disrupted because you don’t like your job or because you feel someone owes you more money? Work harder. Be like the hot dog vendor. Standing up all day in the hot sun making an honest buck selling things might help you lose a few pounds, too!

In all seriousness, it is not the purview of government or society to raise your wages. That is an entitled, socialistic, collectivistic mindset. Society doesn’t owe you a home or a car or a living or a job or a salary – and especially not a high salary. If you are dissatisfied with the terms of your contract – a contract which you agreed to and gave your word of honor to follow – there are solutions better than disrupting other people’s lives. How can making other people late for their jobs and appointments possibly convince your boss to give you more money? It doesn’t even make sense.

Change jobs. Learn new skills. Go into business for yourself. Relocate. Talk with your boss. Organize with your co-workers. Write a strongly-worded letter. Make a petition with your grievances. Protest at your work, if you must. There are a hundred different ways to solve the problem. But none of them involve society or government.

Also, as I pointed out, these protesters were portly. One out front in the road was particularly rotund. I find it hard to believe these obese complainers are so lacking in funds. They obviously have enough to buy big banners demanding more money, create red flags to wave in the street, and print fliers to be ignored by angry drivers. They also clearly have enough money to buy fatty foods, eat larger helpings than I eat, and, like most “men” here, guzzle beer by the barrel. I am curious how many hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year these people spend on booze, junk food, extra food they don’t need, and all the other vices that made them slovenly.

One final observation. These poor, obese workers are obviously well enough off to feel safe taking the day off to protest. How much money could they earn today if they worked instead of standing in the street demanding money be given to them? I am not a math wiz, but it seems to me a person can earn more working than waving a flag and blocking traffic. Yet, now that they have lost out on a day’s wages, they will likely complain even more, never stopping to look in the mirror to see the source of their problems.

This is not the same hot dog stand, of course. The one I saw was even humbler.

God bless the little hot dog vendor who understands that to make money you have to actually work, and that wanting money doesn’t give it to you magically. God grant him superb success. God help him earn the salary his elbow grease deserves. And may God humble the disrupters and teach them how to work for an honest living.

Zack Strong,
April 1, 2022