Friday, November 26, 2010

Thoughts On Employment

One of the big differences in the working classes is the kind of job you get. I don’t mean industry, or even the pay and title. I mean, there are people who have enough money that they only work in order to pass the time, some don’t work but instead find a way to game the system for money, some work because they have to but have enough that losing their job means they live off their savings until they find a position that pays well enough to be acceptable and offers career growth … and a whole lot of people work hard at their jobs, hoping and praying those jobs will continue because if they lose their job they will be hurting pretty soon. Some of that last group have some savings, but they were naively imagining they might send their kids to college, or pay off their house, or maybe even retire while they are able to enjoy their remaining years. When one of those people loses their job, they pretty much take the first offer they get for another job, because they cannot afford not to work.

This is not an issue that can be quantified very easily. People still argue about tracking unemployment and defining underemployment, there’s not even an official term to describe 'the job that was available, but not in a million years the job I was hoping to do for my life’s work’. It’s not something that will be solved with more education or a higher minimum wage, it won’t be fixed by the government or some social program. It’s the kind of problem that can only be solved one person at a time, and this pretty much means that for most people it won’t be solved at all.