Fuck work

Taxing the profits of corporations to finance a welfare state that permits us to love our neighbours and to be our brothers’ keeper is not an economic problem. It’s a lifting of misconceptions – it’s a paradigm shift waiting to happen.

James Livingston writes at Aeon

If you don’t take time to click the link, here’s the synopsis:
We are already living, all of us, on the productive labor of a small handful. The great majority of what we do is zero-sum competition (advertising, advocacy, legal work) security (need for which will be greatly reduced once we eliminate poverty) or financial transactions (which distort the economy rather than contributing to it). There is no economic reason for so many people to be working. Through shorter work-weeks or through guaranteed incomes, we as a society need to be making a transition to the reality that our (collective) means of support is not related to our (collective) labor.

When I see, for example, that you’re making millions by laundering drug-cartel money (HSBC), or pushing bad paper on mutual fund managers (AIG, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Citibank), or preying on low-income borrowers (Bank of America), or buying votes in Congress (all of the above) – just business as usual on Wall Street – while I’m barely making ends meet from the earnings of my full-time job, I realise that my participation in the labour market is irrational. I know that building my character through work is stupid because crime pays. I might as well become a gangster like you.

Bertrand Russell saw this coming in 1932, and even then it was true that non-productive work was already the majority of employment in the civilized world.


Post a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s