A Joblessness Roundup of Sorts

With the new jobless numbers plunging the nation into further uncertainty, my piece in this weeks OSV seems pretty timely:

Honorable, honest employment has a spiritual component that positively affects both self and society; just as the fisherman who catches his own supper will always feel better about himself than the one who must beg for scraps, encouragement trumps condescension. But when even low-wage “survival” jobs are hard to find, the whole society is stressed. Earned wages promote not only material wealth but a sense of self-sufficiency — of control over ones choices; this in turn generates hope for the future.

And hope is not simply a feeling. Hope touches the spiritual realm. It says, “awake, O Sleeper, arise from death!” Hope is the builder of bridges, the tamer of winds, the harnesser of ideas and possibilities. A poor man with hope is immeasurably richer than a wealthy man without it, because he carries within him the spark that can alight a thousand tomorrows.

Without hope, without that interior sense of capability, a society forced into an exterior dependency will begin to lose heart. It is not surprising that in the same week we read headlines announcing a greater use of food stamps by Americans than at any time in the nation’s history, we also read reports that alcohol consumption in the United States is at a 25-year high.

Joblessness performs a spiritual battery upon the populace that can lead to despair, which St. Thomas Aquinas defined as “not only a sin, but also the origin of other sins.”

Also note David Goldman’s The Publicly Employed and the Underemployed:

In order to maintain the privileged position of a small number of public employees, the Obama administration has put the rest of the economy at risk, and left a fifth of the workforce in danger of permanent unemployment. The best way to create jobs is to let business startups create jobs, and the best way to encourage that is to eliminate taxes on capital income and cut back regulatory requirements, but the hard-to-employ, less-educated workers need something more drastic, like the National Infrastructure Corps I’ve proposed.

Such a program would also provide a needed counterweight to the public employee unions who are going to have to face reality sooner or later. Getting them to that point might take the bankruptcy of a major state, and that is now a growing possibility—which is why credit protection on Obama’s home state of Illinois costs twice as much as protection on Russia.

Cutting Food Stamps: for the teachers?

Should have gotten that cushy government job like my best friend did, out of high school She’s retired, already.

Glenn Reynolds has links here and linked to this.

A few MUST READS for you, today:

Heather King’s Facebook Note: beautiful and instructive.

R.R. Reno’s Mary and the Modern University

Hitchens: writing on the Ground Zero mosque. Frum also wonders about it

Col. West: certainly has charisma but I’m not sure about the rhetoric. Then again, he is a warrior.

Nancy Pelosi: Will we ever really know what she knew about Waterboarding? As long as the question is there, I notice, we hear no more about it.

Prop 8 ruling: a piece by from the social conservative side and from a social liberal who is troubled.

Eucharistic Desecration: More thoughts

87 Years: of celibacy.

A self-less life, recalled and death penalty for Evangelism

Washington vs. Ryan

Satire: Who Reads Stieg Larsson These Days, Anyway and Boys see girls early maturation as unfair!

Also, read Simcha and laugh!

And FINALLY: don’t forget to check out the word of the day is…

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender

    Don’t forget the MSM’s imminent “never mind,” now that we find out that the guy going around killing black people is not some white racist, but is named Elias Abu Elazam, an Arab speaking with a Palestinian dialect.

  • dry valleys
  • Last Sphere

    Eucharistic Desecration?

    Meh. Who cares.

    You can be a real Catholic and not believe that the wafer and wine is really the body and blood of Christ. Just like real Catholics can be pro-choice and still call themselves “Catholics”.

    And don’t any of you judgmental hypocritical traditional “catholics” try to admonish me for those views because I will only dig my heels in and reject you.

    And that would be a terrible sin……on your part.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender

    Eucharistic Desecration: More thoughts

    I think that the tabernacle shown in that piece looks awfully familiar.

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  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Iran was being cruel to its citizens before sanctions, Valleys. If they were lifted, I doubt Ahmadenijad would resign, allow free elections or suddenly become a benevolent despot, instead of, well—an un-benevolent one. Tyrannies always try blaming the West (or the Jews—or somebody else) for their crimes.

  • theresa

    Am I the only one who doesn’t get what’s more funny than disturbing about the “read Simcha and laugh” link? (I don’t think Simcha is the poster btw, though it is her blog, and maybe I missed the joke that it’s just a persona of hers.)

    The comments come across like a bunch of practicing adult Catholics feel like they must demonstrate they’re not offended by any of this in order to be approved by the Internet in-crowd. I fail to see how a joke about getting obscene phone calls from Alice von Hildebrand, or any real live 87-year-old widow, is not way out of line. Call me self-righteous, prudish, and unaware of the need to show the world that Catholics can have fun too!

    [Comedy is not perfect. I admit, I read it fast and concentrated on the movie criticisms, which I thought were hilarious, the other parts, not so much (less "disturbing" than just clumsy, to me) but they can't all be bullseyes, right? -admin]

  • dry valleys

    Speaking of “honourable, honest” employment. Even if everyone had some form of job, would it not still be a concern that too many people were in non-jobs (the public sector is famed for them, but there are more than enough in business too) & not in employment that gives them real satisfaction?

    Not to get political, & it is too early in the morning anyway, but it’s since 1979 that skilled work, especially in manufacturing & mining, has declined & with it the sort of community that was sustained by those efforts.

    In general it is better that we are not living in the old days & those jobs, such as a farm labourer’s job, were fairly thankless. But if you have someone entering numbers on a screen, or his blue-collar equivalent picking things off a shelf, putting them in a box & loading them onto a van, these people become (you may have heard the word) “alienated” from what they do because they can’t point to, say, a piece of hand-crafted furniture or some fine cuisine & say “That was me”.

    People who are alienated from their work can seek fulfilment of their energies by taking up a hobby, doing voluntary work etc, but still.

  • Kerry

    “Col. West: certainly has charisma but I’m not sure about the rhetoric.” Could you elaborate a bit…? Both Michael Barone and Newt Gingrich have said/observed the country is more divided than it has been since the 1850′s, and Barone said that Obama(not!)Care is comparable to the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854. (Here let me recommend all read Lincoln’s Speech on the Repeal of the Missouri compromise. And by way of illustrating the divide, quote Robbie George, “Opposed to slavery, don’t own one”. I think explaining the divide is simple. The dominoes lead back to this-some people want to murder life in the womb, other don’t. ) And puzzle this, “When government doesn’t obey the Constitution, what’s treason?”

  • http://cleansingfiredor.com/ Nerina


    I understand where you’re coming from, but like Anchoress, I found the movie review part very funny. I don’t think I fully appreciate the tone of “the Jerk” because that was my first time reading the blog. I did dig around a little and it is obvious that Simcha is a very serious Catholic (so I don’t think she’d allow anyone to seriously defame another Catholic e.g. Alice VonHildebrand).

    I do appreciate that humor is in the ear of the beholder, and some things that others find hysterical, I just find “meh.” I love that word, by the way. Anyway, I think “the Jerk” is a real person, but I don’t know what relationship he has with Simcha. Finally, (I just read it again), it seems clear that there are many “inside jokes” with “the Jerk.” He often labels picture captions as “I schtupped Angela Lansbury” and he made reference to the “La Leche league attorney, Dame Judy Drench and he and “Hallie Lord” have some ongoing thing.

  • Bill

    Manufacturing jobs have moved overseas. There is a big trade deficit especially with China.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I remember back in the 70′s (dating myself, here!) when the media was lecturing us about how manufacturing was dying, and would be replaced by “service jobs”, which would be ever so wonderful, and so much more politically correct than all those greedy, capitalist manufacturing jobs! In the 80′s, it was all about how we were going to have a “knowledge” economy (which would be a service economy too), where we’d all prosper by selling knowledge to each other.

    Well, if you’ve got a personal computer (or even a library) you can find your own knowledge, no need to buy it from anybody; and service economy jobs don’t pay enough to support a family; they hardly pay enough to support a single person, even one with very modest needs! (I know, I’ve worked in such jobs!) Meanwhile, actual manufacturing jobs (and all those jobs related to them, such as proving parts and material for them, repairing their machinery, etc.) have all gone overseas.

    We have been sold a bill of goods.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Although, one should always be something more than a job, even a job one loves. If your work is alienating, find fulfillment in art, your family, and—dare I say it?—God Himself.