We are the 34%.

Yesterday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal reported that 34.3% of Americans who say they don’t want a job.

Now, meaning no disrespect to Mr. Ryssdal (who has one of the top 3 sexiest voices of public radio), the actual Wall Street Journal article cites a study of Americans who are “not in the labor force” so it seems disingenuous to apply their findings to all Americans, including those who already have jobs. I’m sure that if I read the actual scientific paper that Barnichon and Figura published, I would learn more that the WSJ got wrong also.

It’s not a terrible to assume, I suppose, that if you have a job, presumably you want it for some reason, but we all know what happens when you assume. I’ve had plenty of jobs that I didn’t want except for the paycheck. Is it fair to say that I “wanted” those jobs just because I couldn’t afford to give them up? I love my current job and I am very happy there, but if I didn’t need the money, I probably wouldn’t seek full time employment even if it was offered. Unfortunately, for the time being, I do need the money.

I’d be interested in seeing a study that asked all Americans, in the labor force and out of it, if they want a job. Not just if they want their job, but if they want a job, period. From my perspective, I can’t see why you’d want a job when you could have total freedom instead, but I know my father has said he never plans to retire and there are plenty of people like him out there.

It’s not that I dislike work, I love work. I just don’t like being interrupted when I’m working on an essay, a knitting project, a poem to go to a job. I would rather decide for myself what I’ll do each day. This is probably why Mom has been known to say that my sister and I may be better suited to self-employment. No arguments there.

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