The thought of "job creation"—you know, such as how Barack Obama or John McCain are going to create "such-and-such number of new jobs" to stimulate the economy—has been on my mind a lot recently. It's probably because I'm without an assured job, wandering from job to job right now. One man in Washington is going to create jobs for people when I, a credentialed college graduate, cannot even find a full-time job? But I'm not bitter about this latter fact. A college degree does not ensure job placement.
As I scrounge for a wage in the meantime, my eyes have been opened to the truly wonderful market available for those wanting jobs—and my eyes have closed to those who profess they cannot get a job. The only thing holding a person back from working is his/her will. (I'm ignoring the minimum wage argument and such currently.) More and more I think of the Brass Eye (a wonderful British satire) episode on crime. One of Chris Morris's news characters is interviewing a man with his family, a man who allegedly cannot find a job and provide a wage for his house. Morris's character humorously asks him why he can't just clean someone's house and ask for money in return. The man supposes he can do that and Morris's character ends with satisfaction telling him to do that tomorrow. The point is simple: Many people have work to be done, and they will pay you.
I've found this to be more and more true as I've investigated job placement and career opportunity placement agencies and, now, job recruiters. There already exists an entirely successful market dedicated toward getting people jobs. A whole mess of jobs already exist. That the government needs to "create jobs" is absurd (and more absurd when you get into the market argument against public works projects). As long as you're willing to work, there is work for you. Within 90 minutes of my first visit to a job placement agency I had a job. My college degree wasn't important. What was important was my willingness to show up and work. One week later and I've already made enough to pay off my next installment of rent and student loans.
So when the advertisements claim "job creation" you must ask, "For whom?" Jobs already exist, so to "create jobs" further emphasizes the point that "job creation" is really job deletion because of the market extraction of available market labor. The goal, then, I shamelessly assume, is simply to fatten the government payroll, to increase the number of government dependents, to bolden the notion of reliance on and salvation provided by the government.
Closing asside: I've been growing increasingly bitter toward the FDA, particularly as a graduated technical writer. A technical writer's job entails informing the public to the dangers and safety risks of products and procedures through instructions and guidelines. I had a revelation the other night that the FDA arrogantly assumes this task and negates more of the importance of a technical writer by its forced labeling and required safety labels. A government that believes in creating jobs? No, sorry. It only believes in deleting jobs and creating dependents.
I had a thought today about writing a story about the true new American dream. The lede of the story begins:
My father was a self-made man—everything he made, everything he earned, he made and earned of his own accord. And from as early as I could remember I always found him to be a very selfish man, that whatever man I would be made into, well I hoped it would not be that type of man. Perhaps it's a genuine change of the times that this thought was so ingrained into me, that it could not be dissipated no matter what my father did or said. Now, as I make these reflections, I know I stand well and tall and not on my own but with others. I am fortunately not a self-made man—a selfish man. But I am an other-made man with a life and an earning built by the fruits of others' labor. This truly is a glorious time, full of adoration of the work of all men. This is the selfless age devoid of the myopic visions of those like my father. This is an age where others make my own. And I love it.
A closing question: When did the phrase "American dream" originate? A search in the Online Etymology Dictionary reveals that it originated in 1931, certainly well after the fact that the notion of not one America reigned popular.