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It's not just that jobs are gone.  It's that few good jobs are left.  Few jobs that offer something they call "job security."  People know this reality.  Wall street doesn't care about it much, but it should. Confidence is related to certainty.  More over the river.

Career used to be a word ordinary people threw around all the time.  Deciding what field to pursue was a life decision.  Middle class odd balls were the ones who didn’t want a career (or didn’t have one).  Now, most of us have little choice in the matter.  There’s fewer and fewer career jobs.  And with careers came things like healthcare and pensions.  For those that didn’t have a pension available, social security was there.  

But we all know those days of career jobs are behind us.  We know where this is going.  We can see America turning the clock back to a time before WWII or even WWI.  To a time when we didn’t lead the industrialized world.  When we were more free-for-all.  And those days are slowly returning.  We know it, and we feel it, hear it, everyday.

Without job security, there is no certainty.  Even more so in a country without public healthcare. Without long-term welfare.  We know security is important.  We pass Patriot Acts and fund the largest military ever created.  We start wars of preemption to make sure we’re more secure.  We violate treaties and common sense, just to believe we’re more secure.

Our biggest corporations know how important security is, and we make sure to keep them secure.  We give them money–even if they’ve screwed up–to make sure they’re secure.  We hire lots of police and lock up more than any other country in the name of making our streets secure.

And we try to create jobs in order to create "stability."  Stability in the financial and housing markets. We know without stability, there is no security.  

But we (the media, politicians, economists, pundits and fundits) don’t really talk about what happens when someone doesn’t have a job.  Or what really happens when someone loses their job.  We boil those thoughts into figures like "weekly new unemployment claims" and  "non-farm payrolls".  Sure there might be a quick two-minute piece on the news about a Nancy who’s out of work, but it usually ends with a "we’ll get by" moment.

We don’t talk about the effects of layoffs on security.  The effects of students worried about finding jobs.  We pretend all will work out, if we keep everything else in place.  

We live in modern America, with all the benefits of humankind at our fingertips.  But as with healthcare, we deny ourselves the one thing we all crave; security.  The knowledge that even if things don’t work out for me in one job, I can pick up and work hard in a different job.  That when I graduate, all the money I’ve borrowed will be paid back because I’ll work hard and a job will be there.  The knowledge that hard work will pay off in The American Dream sort of way.  We vote for that dream, but we don’t ever really live it.  We even dream of winning lotteries, because then we’ll live that American Dream we’ve all thought about.

There’s something in us that won’t let the truth come out.  Something that won’t say, "we should have a right to a job."  Something that scares us about capitalism not working if we all are assured a job if we show up, work hard, and expect the basics in life.  Are we afraid we’ll fail?  Are we afraid to believe in something because it might let us down?  

Only in socialist-like societies are jobs assured.  Very few such places exist.  Even China (so-called Communist) has high unemployment (especially in rural areas).  But without more assurances that the basic, long-term job is there, we won’t see a full return to the capitalist cycle that drives growth.  

Wall street, Republicans, some Democrats and others may be upset about using TARP funds to provide jobs, but the fact is, we need jobs more than we need new housing construction or Christmas bonuses.  We need assurances more than we need to pay down the national debt.  And we’d better start doing something about jobs or we might have a population that is willing to pass radical legislation in the name of security.  Job security.

Originally posted to Grateful Deadicated Marxist on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  See, my grandparents would have recognized this (0+ / 0-)

      So would my great-grandparents.  While the world of farms has changed unrecognizably, the world of industry and service jobs seems to be very much like that in the 19th century.

      I'm not sure we need jobs per se, what we need is to guarantee everyone a living.  Jobs would be the capitalist way to do this....

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 03:50:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, Rogneid

    to a first-rate post. Tipped amd rec'd. It's sad but true.

    "We are all New Orleans now."--Barbara O'Brien Economic -7.88 Social -6.97

    by Louisiana 1976 on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 11:53:19 AM PST

  •  It's called "Flexible Labor Markets" and it's (0+ / 0-)

    good for the economy.

    ...
    With Larceny and Cheap Labor For All.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 11:56:26 AM PST

  •  economic security comes from marketable skills (0+ / 0-)

    I have never been the member of a union and I have never lived in a place with laws that guaranteed my job security, but since I finished college, I have never worried about finding a job.

    And neither have my children. I have always insisted that my kids study subjects in college that lead to jobs. And even during the heart of this recession, they are finding work.

    Nothing is guaranteed in life, but the best way to be secure is to obtain a degree or skill that is in high demand by the general public but is difficult for others to obtain.

    Normally, that means studying math and science. Or going through a rigorous apprenticeship program.

    I think we all dream of a better America, but the rent bill comes whether America changes or not. The car payment is still due whether we improve our safety net or not. So, while it is correct to rage against the machine, you still need to put food on the table.

    •  Unfortunately most people are not as fortunate as (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, Rogneid, Deadicated Marxist

      you are.  I meet with people all the time that have skills that are amazing but they are still unemployed.  The market is tough right now and their are millions of people that have done all the right things and are still falling between the cracks. This "I got mine so screw you atittude" is one of the most damaging features of American life or the "If I can do it then you can too" which assumes many things that are not in evidence.  If you are that good a getting jobs then help others...it may open your eyes a bit.

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 01:19:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yellow catering van: there's an alternative. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, neroden, Deadicated Marxist

      Stop buying into the myth that you must have the best newest thing (much of which is hype).

      Planned obsolescence was a bad idea when GM came up with it. That the government is now (failing to) bail out the company that invented the concept of the disposable car (seriously. It's the second-biggest investment most people ever make, this automobile. Why buy one that's only good for a year or so less than the payments? I see GM is now offering 72 months at zero interest to qualified buyers) makes absolutely zero sense in a world where we ought to be taking better care of our air, water, and rainy-day accounts...

      There's nothing wrong with studying math and science.
      There's nothing wrong with studying language or art, either.

      What's wrong is kowtowing to the big corporations as though they were ... idols.

      Texas: Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Lady Bird & LBJ, Ann Richards, Sam Rayburn, Dan Rather, Ike, Sully Sullenberger, Lloyd Bentsen. It's No Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 02:12:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny Thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      I actually have a very secure specialized job with a pension.  I went to grad school, and it paid off.  But I work with the public, and I realize most people can't all be in high demand jobs.  In case you haven't noticed, those jobs are becoming scarcer.  

      We must recognized that our biggest contribution to the economy is via consumer consumption.  Without jobs, that consumption doesn't consume much.  And that effects everybody.

      knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

      by Deadicated Marxist on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 03:38:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, ACTUALLY, (0+ / 0-)

      economic security comes from control of land, water, and labour which allows you to grow your own food.

      Or possession of skills which the people who are growing the food are willing to pay you for.

      Or control of weapons and skills with which to take the food from the people growing it.

      Everything else is much more indirect than that.  I figure farmers will always need accountants (they date back to ancient Sumeria and ancient Egypt).

      Studying is loverly, but it doesn't really have a direct link to jobs.  If everyone gets a good college education, it improves society greatly, but doesn't change the number of jobs needed with any particular collection of skills.  That number is changed by technology and it's going down for all fields.

      This is a good thing.  It means that we should be able to feed, clothe, house, and entertain everyone with everyone doing really very little work.  Isn't that the utopian ideal?  Unfortunately this is not how we have structured society so far.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 03:55:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Couldn't agree more (0+ / 0-)

        Therefore the goal shouldn't be job creation (unless we're creating good jobs).  The goal should be realization of what we are and what we need to exist.  Rationalization anyone?

        knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

        by Deadicated Marxist on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:59:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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