Despite the picture being painted by some leaders engaged in political posturing, the vast majority of adults are working to earn a living. But it is employers who don't seem to value much of what everyday Americans do on the job.
As an excellent piece in The New York Times today highlights, society is quick to judge people on the work they do and categorize them and their salaries. Often, whether one uses their mind to complete their duties is the deciding factor. And if it is determined that a job is unskilled or low-skilled, any respect or dignity for that worker is thrown out the window:
The labels “low-skilled” or “unskilled” workers — the largest demographic being adult women and minorities — often inaccurately describe an individual’s abilities, but play a powerful role in determining their opportunity. The consequences are not only severe, but incredibly disempowering: poverty-level wages, erratic schedules, the absence of retirement planning, health benefits, paid sick or family leave and the constant threat of being replaced.
Instead of improved job quality, the rewards for task-oriented workers are pats on the back and the constant encouragement to aspire for something better.