If you read either the comments attached below my posts, or the comments attached to the news stories, you know there are people out there who believe we are simply a bunch of whiners and we need to remind ourselves that "at least we have a job." This has become a phrase spoken with such frequency in America that we might as well make it our motto. "At least You have a Job" might not sound quite as cool as "In God We Trust" or "E Pluribus Unum," yet it is definitely a more fitting tagline for modern America (especially the latter.)
When did we go through such a pathetic change? This nation was created by a bunch of hell-raisers, people who would not tolerate being abused by the powerful. I highly doubt you would have ever heard one of our Founding Fathers say, "At least I have a job." Or let's even look at more modern hell-raisers. Do you think our nation would be a better place if Martin Luther King Jr. said "Thank God you have a job!" instead of "I have a dream?" Do you think immigrant farm workers would have it better off if Cesar Chavez just gave them a pat on the back and said, "Hey, it sucks, but its a job."
Now I am by no means trying to compare myself to these great individuals, but these are the people who inspire me. They did not wait for the people to learn about their causes, they brought their causes to the people. They did not wait for elected officials to recognize the error of their ways and fix things, they stood up and demanded change. They aired their grievances (which today is defined as "whining"), marched in the streets, told their story to anyone who would listen until change was made.
Neither one said that they were happy to simply have a job.
When did we become a nation of spineless employees? When did we actually begin to say things like "at least I have a job" whenever we found our pay cut, our benefits reduced, our hours increased; and actually find comfort in such a weak statement?
I am not talking about us teachers, but Americans as a whole. Look at these poor folks at American Airlines, who have made concession after concession to AMR since the first airline collapse in 2001, and yet 13,000 of them are still being laid off. Some of those people spent the last decade reminding themselves that they had a job when AMR took their pay and benefits away. Now what do they have?
It is time the workers of this nation retake their dignity, and stop telling themselves that having a job is simply good enough.
Thank you all for your continued support,