MYTH: People want Jobs

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Posted Mar 09

All the politicians are talking about “jobs creation” (has a nicer ring to it than the singular “job creation” apparently). But nobody really wants a “job”. They want satisfaction, a sense of fulfillment & confidence in the future. They want the pursuit of happiness. But not in the perverted, egomaniacal sense used colloquially. When they put that phrase in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson & Franklin weren’t referring to the vapid notion of “enlightened self-interest” that the free-for-all market wonks like to mindlessly babble about. Jefferson & Franklin intended that the greatest expression of human virtue- and therefore the greatest source of enduring satisfaction -was the pursuit of happiness not only for ones self but also for one’s community at large. They felt that this was an inalienable right for which government should be structured to support and protect. Great contributions to happiness in general should be greatly rewarded.
And therein lies the myth of “jobs creation” being a source of happiness. Shouldn’t workers also share in the rewards of their productivity?
Between 1990 and 2006, worker productivity increased 135%. But during the same time period, average wages were up only about 10%. Workers have been disconnected from the fruits of their labors! Where did it all go? The rewards were siphoned to the top and/or out of the country. See Follow the Money. Between 2001 & 2007 (the Bush years, remember?) the top 400 income recipients saw their after tax income skyrocket 476%. During the same period median family income soared, well . . . zero %.
Our government has failed- by the design of the multinational corporations that run it -to create a level playing field, a place where everyone has the freedom to pursue happiness for themselves and their communities, a place where creation of value- rather than decimation of it -is fairly rewarded.