Public Square

Blue-Collar vs. White-Collar: Which Is More Important?


Are you a blue-collar worker who believes your work is less important than white-collar work?

If so, you are far from alone. This way of thinking is pervasive in American society, according to my colleague Kristie Eshelman,

…our society still thinks in these terms: some work is respectable, important, and prestigious while other jobs are mundane and meaningless.

Eshelman recently wrote an excellent piece on AEI’s Values & Capitalism blog entitled “The Diversity of Work in the Market Economy” where she explained why this way of thinking is so damaging, not only to us as individuals, but also to the greater economy.

Work should not be divided into two opposing classes—one that is seen as creative, intellectual, and socially prestigious and the other that is seen as manual, unintellectual, and undistinguished.

Rather, we can embrace our unique skills and realize God does not see any division of importance among professions. In the end, we all need each other, and God has given us each a unique vocation to meet a particular need in the world.

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  • Lance M.

    The division of labor does not reduce the dignity of labor. Whether with head or hand, there’s no such thing as a bad job. All jobs are opportunities and it’s up to the individual to make the best of them. There is no such thing as an excellent organization, only opportunities for individuals to practice personal excellence on a daily basis. The world owes no man a living but it owes every man an opportunity to make a living, earn success, and pursue happiness.

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