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“Worthiness of employment (job) and work (Que gagne-t-on en travaillant)?” was one of the philosophy questions in France’s Baccalaureate (high school diploma) exam.

Some people enjoy working but dislike their job. Working is not synonymous with employment (job). Work is any endeavour involving the use of effort to achieve a goal, such as to repaint the house or to earn money. A work may not be a job but a job requires working.

Job, e.g. teaching or plumbing, is specific referring to a particular activity or employment. Repainting your house during your free time is work but not your job (employment), which can give you satisfaction and joy. However, work can sometimes also be un-enjoyable that’s why we often describe it as the opposite of play, e.g. cleaning toilets at home.

Politicians have been elected into, as well as thrown out, of office due to their views and policies on employment and jobs.

Back to the French philosophy question: what do you gain by working? by having a job? I hope that our French high school graduating students, after 4 hours of writing on this subject under the watchful eyes of Education Departmental staff and detectors, acquired a more positive attitude and behavior towards work and jobs in the midst of a bleak economic reality. What happened to our ‘Right to Work’ philosophy, “Just Wage for Fair Work” ethics and socially-responsible business model?

Back to the French philosophy question again: Why should young adults work for the retirement of the very people who spoiled the global economy? Why work when governments take some of your earnings in the form of fines and taxes (e.g. French Government has imposed a tax of 75% to those who have an annual income of more than 1M Euros)? We need governments to ensure public services (hospitals, schools, security, etc) and stability but… is it possible not to borrow money externally to pay for these? Are these borrowings wisely spent? Should governments bail out banks and ailing companies to avoid making individuals unemployed?

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