Privilege on Labor Day

6 Sep

Last month when we convened in Middlebury, VT, our blog team discussed the elitism of a blog like this. Why do we have the privilege of bitchin’ and moanin’ about not having a job? Who are we to be complaining? It’s a similar issue to one brought up by this Barnard-grad. I’m still struggling with the issue of not having alternative voices on this blog and yet still realizing it’s for a reason.

Either way, this Labor Day, I refer to the infinitely more well-spoken Scott Simon for a glimpse into the unemployed more generally that what we discuss here on this blog:

Having no job means that things people talk about so much these days — iPads, Android phones, 3-D movies, new music or meeting friends over $4 coffee drinks — are just beyond reach. You worry about getting dull, having nothing to talk about and losing friends. You worry about life leaving you behind.

You may be sure that your family loves you, but worry that they’ll start feeling sorry for you, and wonder why you have to be the one person in 10 who doesn’t have a job. You may blame politicians, brokers and bankers, but in the middle of the night, you might turn your eyes to the sky and wonder what you did, didn’t do or should have done.

Any one of us who is lucky enough to have a job today must worry about losing it. This Labor Day, we might salute the millions of Americans who don’t have jobs, but who in many ways work harder than ever.


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