Labor Day with not enough jobs to go around

-A A +A
By Roger Snodgrass

“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” is a memorable and usually misquoted paradox from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” It describes a ship stuck in the middle of the ocean, but it applies symbolically to many other situations.

One of them is about work and unemployment.

As we celebrate Labor Day weekend, the painful truth is that there is too much to do but not enough work to go around. Another way to say it is that we have a lot of work that needs desperately to be done everywhere, but there are not enough jobs to do the work.

It’s something like the findings of the Indian economist, Amartya Kumar Sen, who won a Nobel Prize in 1998 for his research in welfare economics.

His book on poverty and famine begins with the observation that starvation is a condition people experience when they don’t have enough to eat, but it is not necessarily because there is not enough food.

He goes on to uncover many other factors that bear on why people are starving, including issues of supply, distribution and ownership and especially deeply structured matters of inequality.

To say people are starving during a famine because of a lack of food is an oversimplification, just like saying people are unemployed during a recession because of a lack of work.

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday