Dan Popp
Make your own job
By Dan Popp
March 22, 2016

Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself. – Thomas Jefferson

"Used ta be that ya graduated from high school and went ta work at the factory. Forty years later, ya retired from the factory. All those jobs are gone now." I've heard that lament more than once, living here in the Rust Belt. It's as if one nanosecond of human history on one speck of real estate should represent employment everywhere, for all time. Too many of us still picture the world in an antique, Industrial Age frame.

We need to get out of the mindset of an "employee," and create our own jobs. Think like an entrepreneur. If you're seeking a "position" with a job title, rather than trying to match your skills to someone's needs, then your mindset is 50 years out of date.

My lawn looks crummy. Why? Because I don't want to deal with it. Yes, OK, I'm lazy. Where are the people knocking on my door offering to pretty up my yard? There's clearly a job there. Why is no one stepping up to do it, given that we have 94 million more people than jobs today?

Now, when we get a heavy snow, young men race each other to my doorbell offering to shovel my driveway. What's the difference between the eager beavers willing to work in the winter, and the lack of same in the summer? One answer could be that the snow shovelers aren't paying taxes on what I pay them. They don't have to file dozens of forms and comply with the EPA and the ADA and the ACA and a thousand other government micromanagements. They get in, make a quick buck and get out.

That tells us how jobs are killed: Make a job complex and costly, and it will go away.

Someone said that all unemployment is government unemployment. Of course that's hyperbole. But I understand it to mean that, when individuals are free to make their own arrangements, people naturally hire people to do things. That's called "creating jobs," or to stoop to the Marxist fiction, "capitalism." When people don't hire others to do things, it's not because they don't want those things done. It's because they fear to part with the money because their economic situation may get worse. Or, if they are willing, potential job candidates are not willing. Job non-seekers have a better deal elsewhere: Money for nothing.

During the [First] Great Depression, men would go from door to door offering to chop wood or mend a fence or paint a porch. Where are the progeny of those folks today? They're playing video games bought for them by taxpayers. Or texting on their Obamaphones. We pay people not to work, punish them when they do work, and penalize, terrorize and demonize the people who'd like to hire them. Ah, the "compassion."

It's a startling but reasonable conclusion that the federal government doesn't want you to work. Not more than 29 hours a week, anyway. And this is ultimately our fault. When we allow government to "help" the poor (contrary to the Bible and the Constitution), we create an inverse relationship between the citizen and the state. The more poverty in the land, the greater the prosperity in the District of Columbia. As generations flail in helplessness, government gains power.

I say, buck all that. Make your own job. And then make another one. Can you fix things? Can you set up a website? Can you clean household surfaces? Can you walk a dog? Why aren't there "Ubers" for all these little jobs that could add up to gainful employment? How many large corporations started out as two men and a truck, or two ladies and a sewing machine, or two college dropouts and a motherboard? Maybe your startup will never grow to be a Microsoft, but it could grow large enough to feed you. And your family.

Yeah, finding work is the hardest job of all. I really do get it. But what else are you going to do – crawl into your parents' basement like a good little serf and wait for the government to feed you some cheese?

It's time to think outside the employer/employee box. It does take some "gumption," but it's not complicated. Find a task that someone wants to have done, and do it. And then do it again for someone else. Or do something else. Your wages will be low at first. Don't be alarmed. They will grow along with your skills and reputation. Keep searching out needs and meeting them. The open secret is that that's what employment has always been, and always will be.

Don't say, "There just aren't any jobs." There are as many people wanting as many things done as there were in 2007. Make it easy for people to hire you (in spite of the government's efforts to make it more difficult), and they will hire you. Think creatively. Work your butt off. Learn. Do the tasks that others won't. Smile. Make yourself indispensable. Keep plugging. Spit out the government's bait. Make your own job.

It's the manly, the patriotic, and the Christian thing to do.

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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