Help fight the War on Work
by Nelson Price
August 31, 2014 12:52 AM | 976 views | 4 4 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We need Labor Day as never before.

W-o-r-k is the new four letter dirty word. There is even a “War on Work” in America, a civil war, a cold war.

The pernicious entertainment community has a war on work. Their depiction of the non-executive, non-professional worker is evidenced by their portrayal of the American worker as an illiterate, unfulfilled sloven buffoon.

The advertising world wages war under such banners as “you don’t need such a hard job,” “you are entitled to more time off,” and “plan to retire early.” Do anything, but don’t work.

Mike Rowe, star of “Dirty Jobs,” says he has learned a lot from associating with working people. He concludes people with dirty jobs are the happiest of all people. They have learned there is dignity in work. They have found honor and pride in doing a job well.

I have long contended the best definition of happiness is that it is a by-product of a job well done.

I have a dear friend who is one such person. He works for the Dixie Stampede in Sevierville, Tenn., a production featuring a lot of horses and other animals. My friend Steve has the job of cleaning all the stalls and he does it well in order to keep the place odor free. It is a good job and pays well. He then sells the residue to farmers who have it spread on fields as fertilizer. He has one son in college and his daughter is studying medicine at Johns Hopkins in Minnesota. He is the embodiment of the happy man working a dirty job.

The War on Work has resulted in a decline in trade school enrollment. The consequence is a lack of trained workers and a loss of interest by many young people in available jobs.

The government has appropriated $2 trillion to rebuild the infrastructure of America and a sufficient number of workers is hard to find. Jobs won’t work if people don’t want them.

Washington has made a contribution to The War on Work. It has resulted in many people rationalizing themselves into believing it is more honorable not to work and to get paid for not working. In turn, these non-workers become a burden on the workers who are taxed in order to pay them for doing nothing. If I am right about happiness being a by-product of a job well done, these have to be the most unhappy people. If Rowe is right and the happiest people he knows are those who perform dirty jobs, then it becomes apparent how to avoid being unhappy and how to be happy.

For example, if you think the dirty job picking up garbage isn’t important, just let a week go by without the pick-up. Take any trade and close it down for a few days and it soon becomes apparent how important it is.

Innovation is done mostly by executives. Labor is most often done by imitators. The imitator essentially replicates the work of the innovator. Without imitation (production) innovation (creativity) is an end in itself. Each is as essential as the other.

Join a PR campaign showing appreciation for laborers. If you can work and there is a job opportunity, even a dirty job, take it and enjoy the happiness that comes not from what it is, but from doing it well.

The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

Comments
(4)
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anonymous
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September 03, 2014
War on Work, War on Religion, War on Whatever...does Price think he's being original with this racist screed (we know exactly who he's referring to)?
anonymous
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September 02, 2014
"Innovation is done mostly by executives. Labor is done mostly by imitators." What nonsenses, as someone who has worked on assembly lines, in foundries, as a welder, supervisor and in management, some of the most innovative individuals are the production workers who day after day figure out ways to do their jobs faster, better, more efficient and profitable.
WestCobbThinker
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September 01, 2014
Right after our county's high school graduation extravaganza weekend I asked a couple of the graduates if they felt like they are prepared for work. Both, good students, said they felt like they are not prepared to do anything. They don't even have a clue what work is about.

A year ago I attended a reunion at my high school alma mater. The staff and students proudly showed us sports facilities, workout facilities, and band facilities. It is obvious where the focus is... sports. I asked a couple of questions about beta club and academics and was met with astonished looks and was taken to tour the faculty workout facility.

So, Dr. Price, I'll argue that the 'War on Work' begins right here with our education system. This system is not preparing people for work, rather, they're preparing a very, very few to excel at college sports, and maybe pro sports, and the masses to sit in sports bars and watch the few who excel.

The word 'Work' in the school system is a four letter word and you know we have zero tolerance for four letter words in our schools.

We used to dress for success. Now we dress for failure. In general, we don't look like we're prepared for work. And because we don't dress the part we don't act the part. We use to say - dress for the job you want. If we follow that logic today then many of us are dressing to be bums. The 'Fashion Industry' is supporting the 'War on Work.'

Then, to your point, is the media which brings all of this together and depicts artificial lifestyles where having a work ethic is not even a footnote on the script.

just saying
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August 31, 2014
Who would know more about hard, sweaty, dirty work than someone who has never had to do it. The problem with W-O-R-K in this country is not Americans but corporations that have outsource millions of jobs to countries paying slave wages to eliminate benefits, increase their bottom line and avoid paying taxes. Conservative Nelson Price, who is no friend of the laboring class or of anyone actually trying to create jobs, "Innovation is done mostly by executives. Labor is most often done by imitators. The imitator essentially replicates the work of the innovator". Words of someone who knows nothing of L-A-B-O-R.

"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration".

Abraham Lincoln
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