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Daniel Boyd

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Educated people should not consider themselves too good for unskilled labour

In Western society we all have the privilege of extensive education in which we have the freedom to choose a direction of our own interest. If work is subsequently available in this area, it is obviously an optimal use of human capital for trained people to do what they are trained for.

On the other hand, maintenance of the comfortable, clean and safe society we live in requires a fair amount of unskilled labour.

The question is what should happen when trained people cannot find a job in their chosen vocation: in other words, society does not need them in this role at this time. Do they have a right to expect unemployment benefits while waiting for a 'suitable' job to arise? Or should they be expected to contribute something to the maintenance of society (in the form of unskilled labour) in return for their own maintenance?

In other words, should unemployment benefits be coupled to community services?


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    Nov 13 2013: If we assume to be talking about productive human activity--is there such a thing really as "unskilled labor"? I think there are a lot of assumptions behind that phrase.
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      Nov 16 2013: Aha! A new take on the question!

      Good point to distinguish manual labour (which is often highly skilled in spite of not being taught in the classroom) from activities that require few special skills of any type.

      The discussion concerns the latter type, since many highly educated people would lack the ability to do the former, which makes it all the more inappropriate for them to look down on others who do have such skills.

      This links in with the related but different issue of the differential monetary value placed on different skills in our society. It is certainly not always the case that more skill equates to more money. In general ( with the exception of sport) intellectual skills are valued above physical ones.

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