The word “job” used to have a magical connotation in this country. It was something you had to do the best way you knew how. A job might be unpleasant, dangerous, or trivial, but it still had to be done, and it had a claim on your skill and ingenuity. Even the simplest job had its mysteries; and once you fathomed them, time flew …. American workers … have indeed become a lesser breed of intellectuals, and their attitude toward work fits Marx’s description. They feel demeaned and dehumanized by the work they have to do, and see a job as a trap … Workingmen who have never read a book talk glibly about frustration, alienation, and relevance. Like intellectuals, they expect a job not only to give them the wherewithal of a living but to fill their lives with meaning.
- Eric Hoffer, 'What We Have Lost', from In Our Time