Friday Five, January 17

The Department of Labor has a growing list of Books that Shaped Work in America. I was a bit surprised to see some of the books on this list. Given that it is coming from the DOL, it would stand to reason that they would highlight books that deal with the struggle of the working poor and unions. But many of the books are conservative in nature and ones that I would enjoy reading. Review the list and post back what you think.

It was the title of this post that caught my attention: The Dignity of Work. The article itself is focused on getting unemployment benefits extended, but the two implicit admissions are obvious: A) the recovery is really no recovery at all and B) work gives meaning and dignity to one’s life. The latter point goes to the heart of God’s second purpose for business: To give people a place to express their God-given talents and passions. People naturally want to express their talents. They want to grow professionally and personally. There is a sense of “becoming” that is central to the human experience. It is how God has created us. Work is a gift from God. Let’s remember that the next time we’re inclined to criticize those who want to work but can’t find decent jobs.

We don’t hire jerks! Really? I bet you do. Go read Snakes in Suits.

This is what we’ll get if we allow Islam to overtake our country. The combination of religion and the state is a dangerous combination. Hanging people because they don’t believe the way you do is the ultimate form of fascism.

A number of companies are cutting work forces again. Intel will be cutting a number of jobs. Bloomberg keeps a list of workforce reduction stories – if you’re interested to see who else is cutting back. With only 74,000 jobs created in December of 2013, one wonders if we’re starting into another round of significant layoffs. The low number surprised just about everyone. Yet the President found a way to put a positive spin on it. As I like to say, a lower unemployment rate due to an increase of people leaving the workforce is not “success”. To say that we’re in the midst of a recovery – 5 years after a recession has technically ended – is tantamount to standing on the deck of a sinking ship and saluting because it looks much better.

Bill English, CEO