Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Counting stars

Let's be frank. Most jobs are crap. Most jobs are pushing paper or managing other people, or dealing with the mounds of regulations that simply have to be dealt with. There's a certain satisfaction in all of them, but really, most of them just aren't curing cancer or fighting fires.

I don't think that's a bad thing. At all.

I like my paper pushing, regulation enforcing, people and stuff managing job. It's a great break from the caring for my kids job that takes up the remainder of my time and mental space. I feel relatively productive, I support other productive people and help them be more productive. I'm a force multiplier.

I'm also cheap.

I don't have to be expensive because DH makes enough to keep us financially solvent (and because we live pretty frugally). I've spent my entire adult life having really pretty crappy, poorly paying jobs that I couldn't support myself or my family (especially my family!) with, which is really a pretty privileged spot.

The thing is, there are a lot of people who are living on the equivalent of the crap, poorly paying job that I get to enjoy. Instead of getting to luxuriate in the joy of working just for the sake of working, they get to work much harder than me and then stress out because their job doesn't quite give them enough to live on.

The part that irks me most is that there's plenty of work to be done in the world--taking care of others, cleaning, making good food and art and other soul and body nourishing things--but people aren't willing to pay for that work to be done. It's like we really don't value one another all that much, you know?

We have a government in the US that's a democracy and so supposedly is us, but doesn't seem to serve the average and lower classes all that well. It's a longer conversation why we fail to value the humanity of the poor and even average among us, but I do think the government needs to be  heavily involved in the fixing of this situation in which we find ourselves.

I think it would do our country a lot of good if we were to fund the government at a level more equal to its importance to the economy (so, more than 20% of GDP) and allow it to hire the people that are needed by our society at large to do more of the jobs that need doing. We need more teachers, we need more street cleaners, we need more people working at national parks and at the DMV. We need more people doing the jobs that keep the country going. We need to pay more taxes to do that, but on the other end we'll have a more smoothly functioning country (I say, living in a country that has no idea how well things work for them) and, even better, more people who are employed in stable middle-class jobs.

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