Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig makes an important point today when she says that we should consider not only the dignity and virtue of having a job and working hard, but also the virtue of having time for rest and pursuit of one’s own interests.
There’s a balance to be struck where it comes to work and rest, but in the United States, values and laws are already slanted drastically in favor of work. I would advise those concerned about Americans’ dignity, freedom and independence to not focus on compelling work for benefits or otherwise trying to marshal people into jobs when what they really need are health care, housing assistance, unemployment benefits and so forth. Instead, we should focus more of our political energies on making sure that American workers have the dignity of rest, the freedom to enjoy their lives outside of labor and independence from the whims of their employers.
Worth a read.