Monday, July 9, 2012

Job as noun

In the perpetual process of finding simple divisions for people, I propose this:

There are those who think of job and it is a noun.
There are those who think of work and it is a verb.

The first group is trying to get something.  They want a job.  It's a physical thing for them, as if you could have it, hold it, and also lose it.  A job is a possession and therefore it can be stolen.

The second group wants something to happen.  They want cleaning and making and designing.  They don't want a thing, but a process.  As such, there is no ownership, but rather just something to start and stop.

This is why "job creation" is such a strange term.  Those with capital, the second type, aren't going to "create jobs" because they don't see jobs as a thing to create or destroy.  For them, hiring and layoffs are turning on and off a faucet.  You'd not think of a faucet as a "water creator", just a tool to turn on and off the flow when you need water.

It's time we ditched the notion of the wealthy as "job creators".  They will not create jobs because to them, jobs are not something to create.  If we want to create jobs, then the means to do so must be held by those who perceive jobs as a thing.

And indeed, jobs are a thing: they are security, safety, and stability.  They are car payments, mortgages, groceries.  That's why having a job is so important for workers: it's the thing that contains everything else.  To lose a job is to lose everything until a new one can be found.  But the job creators do not exist.

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