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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 17 2013: Sigh, there are far more important ways of employing one's short time on this earth than simply exchanging one's labour for wages. Of course this whole nonsense about employment has only been around for a few hundred years, namely since the Industrial Revolution when corporations were born and public lands began to be gobbled up by the greedy and speculators. For thosands of years Prior to this insanity each and every person was more or less self sustaining and independent albeit at a minimalist level. .

    Today science and technology is removing the all too fallible and often inadequate human component from the workforce at an ever escalating rate and full employment has never been possible and never will be.

    Interesting, while "freedom" is a growing buzzword of the 21st century the vast majority of people are indentured to the tired old outdated work ethic and employment rhetoric. But if we are ever to be truly free - meaning free to live our lives following whatever pursuit we desire whether it be parenting, inventing, volunteering or acquiring stuff then we all must be free of this wage slave relationship that has been foisted upon us. .

    And NO, work will not set you free. .
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      Nov 17 2013: Certainly 'work for wages' hasn't been with humanity from the start (since money wasn't either) but in pre-industrial times I think communities also expeted people to pull their weight rather than just sitting back enjoying themselves and expecting to be fed/clothed/protected etc (ok, with the exception of the aristocrasy....)

      Money is only a mechanism that formalises it. The underlying point is whether you can expect to get something for nothing.

      And work may not set you free, but I do think that it is good for a person's psychological well-being and self-valie to feel valued in a group, which is not likely if you just sit around doing nothing.
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        Nov 17 2013: lmao.... as I said above "there are far more important ways of employing one's short time on this earth than simply exchanging one's labour for wages". and there is nothing in that about "sitting around doing nothing". But too many still seem fixated on the worn out and increasingly irrelevant concept of exchanging labour for wages as the sole form of "employing" a person's time and energy.. .
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          Nov 17 2013: My point is not so much that everyone should labour for wages, but that they should labour for goods. Money is just the middle man - an expression of value which can be applied to labour of goods. People don't want benefits to have the money, they want them for the goods they can buy with that money. The question is whether you have a right to valuable goods and services if you are not prepared to produce any goods or services.
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        Nov 17 2013: and my point is that there are far more community and personally related endeavours people can focus on than simply exchanging their labour to satisfy someone else's agendas.
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      Nov 17 2013: exchange and trading is older than agriculture. a lot older actually. it is relatively safe to say that the starting point of human civilization was that large leap in the division of labor. since then, every step ahead brought about an even larger scale cooperation, and further division of already extremely divided labor. one by one, people quit daily activities they always had since the dawn of time, and create a dedicated profession to deal with said task. we don't grow our own food, we don't make clothing or furniture, and so on. we have experts that are best at that task.

      so it also happened with risk taking and risk management. we have created the profession of the entrepreneur. it is his job to anticipate future trends and prices, and anticipate the popularity of a new or changed product. it is his job to deal with uncertainty. and we just show up, do the job, and get money immediately, whether the plan works out as expected or not. that is, we are employed. it is not a necessity. as you can bake your own bread. you can deal with your own risks. but most people prefer an employment setting, and let risk takers take risks instead.

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