Author Topic: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs  (Read 1345 times)

Supernumerary

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Interesting article at The Guardian discussing the concept of post-work. It's main focus lies on work in relation to society as a whole, rather than the individual, which can be refreshing when involved in a community such as this one. I found it a very interesting, with takeaways of both optimistic and pessimistic nature.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/19/post-work-the-radical-idea-of-a-world-without-jobs

bacchi

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Re: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 07:50:35 PM »
Great article. The post-work world is definitely theoretical for the "post-workists;" witness the Academic's trepidation at taking a 4-day work week in order to see his baby more (omg! a 3 day weekend is so scary!). They need to get on the ground and see how it's really done.

They're certainly correct in that work will change in the next 50 years when Player Piano becomes more non-fiction rather than a social critique. The IT/biotech/robot techs/highly educated will (likely) have jobs, and more than enough work, and everyone else will be either service workers or former factory workers. Even surgeons face increasing automation of their jobs.

The Chicago study is so poorly done that it shouldn't even be mentioned. No shit that someone working 40+ hours is not going to be doing super-creative things when they're at home trying to recover from their craptastic job.

I'm planning a deep dive into economics later this year and this article mentioned a lot of authors that I've added to my library list. Thanks.

Blackeagle

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Re: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 08:26:40 PM »
It has crossed my mind that folks who FIRE are basically setting up their own little experiments with a Universal Basic Income.

bacchi

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Re: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 01:37:39 PM »
They're talking about it at Davos.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tech-industry-needs-one-million-workers-now-130452775.html

This author is dead on: “My fear is that political leaders will use that anxiety that crisis creates to blame people who are not at fault like blacks and immigrants.”

It's already happening.

shelivesthedream

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Re: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 05:53:21 AM »
I have thought for some time that the default idea of two-income households (and the virtue thereof) is madness. It’s not about discussing the practicalities of how much you need to earn to pay the bills at your hourly rate or anything like that – it’s the assumption that every household of two adults should have two full-time incomes, and that not doing so is either lazy, sinful or peculiar. Or, indeed, that you need some kind of ‘excuse’ like child-rearing to step back from the world of full-time work.

To my mind, a much more sensible normal would involve a standard work week of 35 hours (yes, entire countries have done this without imploding). A childless couple might consider 1.5 total incomes as normal (either two 0.75 or one 1 and one 0.5) and a couple with children might consider 1 total income to be normal (either two 0.5 or one 1 and one 0). They would have much more ‘spare time’ (timed owned by them, not by their employer) to insource domestic tasks, thereby saving money and not requiring them to earn as much. Their lives would also be more pleasant and flexible.

It seems particularly bonkers, as the author of the article briefly mentions, that part of the population is working far too much (80-hour-a-week professionals) and part of the population is working too little (underemployed). Why not just take the 80 hours and split it between two people? Greater employment, same amount of work done, improved mental and physical health. Again, I know it’s not literally as simple as that, but I don’t see why the principle that this would be a good and sensible thing is so reviled.

However, this would all require people to accept a pay cut and to accept greater responsibility for their own lives. The service industry of hangers-on (dog washers and the like) would collapse. It would require a re-skilling of the population in things like cooking and carpentry and sewing. I don’t see how individuals could manage otherwise. But that’s not such an impossible goal if people want to learn! Home economics could certainly be reintroduced at schools if we accept that it might be more useful for 99% of pupils than learning about infighting between Tudor kings and queens.

It’s a great shame that society has decided that our time has no value unless it can be measured in monetary units. Why are we so worried about maximising pounds per hour rather than hedons per hour or per pound? Cranky though they sound, I do think we should take ideas like Gross National Happiness or happiness lessons at school seriously.

It is, however, profoundly disappointing that the majority of post-workists don’t seem to be doing much to reduce their working hours! The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and they seem to be creating recipes then insisting that someone else try them.

Prairie Stash

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Re: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 08:50:37 AM »
It has crossed my mind that folks who FIRE are basically setting up their own little experiments with a Universal Basic Income.
This entire forum is devoted to the idea of basic income and job sharing.

Unfortunately its currently set up where I need to work full time for 20 years and then share my job for the remaining 20 years I would normally be expected to work. Over the course of 40 years this job will support 2 people, my coworker (in the same position) will be the sole occupant of his desk during the same interval.

However, it has crossed my mind to go to 50% time and start the 20 hour work week. Its pretty easy if you have a savings rate over 45% (tax rates mean you don't actually lose half your pay going half time).

One Noisy Cat

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Re: The Guardian / Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2018, 08:01:09 AM »
They're talking about it at Davos.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tech-industry-needs-one-million-workers-now-130452775.html

This author is dead on: “My fear is that political leaders will use that anxiety that crisis creates to blame people who are not at fault like blacks and immigrants.”

It's already happening.

What a bunch of baloney