"Jobs give people respect"
Perceptions of social status have changed a lot. In the free-market
bible, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776), the economy
is described in terms of three groups: landlords, capitalists
and workers. It's clear from Smith's language that
those who work for wages are regarded as a lower class of
people. He calls their employers "masters"
as in "the workers and their masters" which
makes it sound like slavery.
In fact chattel slavery co-existed with paid employment.
Smith argued that employment was more economically efficient
than slavery, but proponents of slavery argued that slavery
was more morally justifiable than employment since slave-owners
tended to look after their slaves, whereas employers weren't
concerned about the welfare of their workers (the argument
being that people look after their own property more than
they look after rented help).
The historical lesson (which they don't teach at school)
is that the Marxist term "wage slavery" (for
employment) is accurate and apt. Imagine how differently things
might appear if the media referred always to jobs as wage
slavery, and to employees as wage slaves.