''We need jobs, jobs, jobs,'' is the constant political whine of the hour.
The unemployment rates, along with new jobs created, are tracked daily. Unemployment is reaching record proportions, which exacerbates the already poor economy. Yes, folks are out of work, but it might be well to consider the reason why.
Is it just that jobs are not available? Could the rise of ''underemployment'' be a contributing factor? This term describes those who have taken a cut in pay because of their company's attempt to remain solvent. In hard economic times is it too ''costly'' or unreasonable for a worker to receive a few dollars less per hour in order to keep his job?
What about the many jobs that are available but are overlooked or rejected for various reasons? Is a ''flipping hamburger'' job too demeaning for anyone needing work? Is it not better to have a minimum wage job than to be a ''couch potato?'' Is their not something to be said for the ''work ethic'' that exists somewhere in the human makeup?
Is it not healthier to labor somewhere than to live on the welfare handouts? The latter can only promote laziness and low self-confidence, conditions that already plague our society.
Could it be that even if the job market exploded that there would be that many folks interested in work? Jobs, or no jobs, does this generation really want to work?
With so many ''freebies'' handed out by the government these days, does the idea of working for a living still have any widespread appeal? Other than those folks who have moral integrity and healthy ambition, why would anyone want to get off his ''backside'' and work when he can maneuver the welfare system for his financial benefit?
Moreover, it's interesting that ''seven out of 10 workers'' presently employed hate their jobs! According to a recent Gallup survey, only 30 percent of workers ''were engaged, or involved in, or enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.''
The survey classified three types of employees among the 100 million full-time workers in America. The first type, about 30 million, is ''actively engaged;'' the second type of worker is ''not engaged,'' accounting for 50 million. These folks are simply going through the motions at work.
The third category is labeled ''actively disengaged,'' those who hate going to work. This describes some 20 million employees who ''undermine their companies with their attitude.''
Jim Harter, one of Gallup's chief spokesmen, states that ''the general consciousness about the importance of employee engagement seems to have increased in the past decade.'' This is a polite way of explaining the laziness, disinterest and general bankruptcy of integrity and ambition in the work force. What a sad commentary on a country that once prided itself on character and rugged individualism!
There are even so-called progressives who equate work with the ''curse'' of capitalism. As though work is a curse!
No, work is a gift from our Creator, giving direction, purpose and personal fulfillment to humans for the good of all. Surely sinful greed has done much to deter this lofty goal, but that doesn't negate the purpose of the God-given desire to work; especially is this true when the ''job'' lines up with the talent, gifts and desires of the individual.
That's when the ''sweat'' is taken out of work, making it a delight, rather than a chore. What a privilege to labor in work that fulfills the soul, while supplying financial stability. Yes, even that kind of job demands physical exertion; but how good it is to get tired in the work, without necessarily getting tired of the work.
Finnigan is a Howland resident and former Tribune Chronicle community columnist.