… on the table, right now. You see, economically speaking, employment means more money flowing in the economy. It means more taxes for the federal government. It means more production and consumption. And in our capitalist world, this is a very good thing. But employment is about something more.
Employment makes a person feel productive. They are productive in their job, which provides them money. They spend the money, or save it, which also creates a feeling of productivity, or at the very least, enjoyment. Employment is also vital for social standing. Unemployment, at least at a certain age, is a social stigma so harsh, that it can prevent friendships, dating relationships, and other social relations. More than any of this, employment is a way to add to the world in a way which generates a feeling of significance. This is not to say that this feeling stays with us for very long. Insignificance is one of my own personal worst fears, and the feeling creeps upon me too often. Yet, for moments in each day, when I am working and I am busy, I feel like I am actively participating in something. I matter. I am serving someone or doing vital work that assists someone else. I feel as if I am participating in something bigger, and my participation is a positive thing. Employment provides me dignity.
Our country is ridden with debt, and more debt seems to be impending. We are involved in costly wars and diplomatic Catch-22’s. Regardless of all this, when a population is unemployed, when its dignity dwindles, then a country has real problems. People need to add to this arrangement of society we have all made, and they need to feel as if they add.
I recently acquired another part-time job. I work M-F, and I am usually exhausted. But the idea of working more, of adding more, is a thrill. It feels like the best thing that has happened to me in months. It is adding to my dignity. Creating jobs, necessary jobs, is a way to instill dignity and faith back in the people. Let’s get them out, moving, participating, and regaining the knowledge that no matter what they feel, they are still significant.