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.
A few MUST READS for you, today:
Heather King’s Facebook Note: beautiful and instructive.
R.R. Reno’s Mary and the Modern University
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.
Eucharistic Desecration: More thoughts
87 Years: of celibacy.
Also, read Simcha and laugh!
And FINALLY: don’t forget to check out the word of the day is…