Prof: Jobs are just “not working”?

From Rutgers prof James Livingston at Aeon:

Already a fourth of the adults actually employed in the US are paid wages lower than would lift them above the official poverty line – and so a fifth of American children live in poverty. Almost half of employed adults in this country are eligible for food stamps (most of those who are eligible don’t apply). The market in labour has broken down, along with most others.

Those jobs that disappeared in the Great Recession just aren’t coming back, regardless of what the unemployment rate tells you – the net gain in jobs since 2000 still stands at zero – and if they do return from the dead, they’ll be zombies, those contingent, part-time or minimum-wage jobs where the bosses shuffle your shift from week to week: welcome to Wal-Mart, where food stamps are a benefit.

So the impending end of work raises the most fundamental questions about what it means to be human. To begin with, what purposes could we choose if the job – economic necessity – didn’t consume most of our waking hours and creative energies? What evident yet unknown possibilities would then appear? How would human nature itself change as the ancient, aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of human beings as such? More.

Reality check: What those underemployed people really need is automation and non-taxpaying undocumented competition—and poof! They will create several industries:

– Producers of hillbilly heroin
– Cops who arrest, process, and incarcerate those who produce hillbilly heroin
– Social workers, therapists, and death doulas who dispose of the users of hillbilly heroin.

But who needs dignity anyway? Or the right to choose to support a government instead of cringing to be supported by it? Until the death doula arrives.

Today’s global government does not need many human beings, and certainly not free ones.That limits the options of those who support globalism.but would prefer not to be the human equivalent of shelter animals: useless and only just slightly protected by law.

See also: World is begged to learn from Canada’s euthanasia “mistakes” It’s hardly a mistake: Governments like Canada’s did not put away anywhere near enough money to meet the foreseeable health care needs of seniors and persons with disabilities. To say nothing of young, healthy people who are just not needed.

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  • Yet still they insist on unfettered immigration in a time of ever increasing automation and off-shored jobs thanks to free-trade.

    • ismiselemeas

      I’ve been raling about this for years. The new economy will create new jobs although not enough for all. Most people will not be smart enough to adapt to the new technologies.

  • Kathy Prendergast

    Jobs are always going to be a “problem” for people who hate to work.

    • Watchman

      Or those who have gone into $150k debt to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Grievance Studies which qualifies them, in practical terms, for a job that a 12 year old should be able to do. They seem unable to find those entry level $120k per annum salaries they expected to find once they graduated.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    What a bullshit article.
    If work disappears then the workers disappear.
    Just ask the horses of 1910.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Remember when the internet was going to make a job irrelevant? Everyone was going thrive off blogging, making art and music, being creative, inventing stuff and such?

    • That’s okay as long as one does not expect the respect that come from being the boss of government, not its object.

      • eloris

        .. which you still are if you are dependent on the government to force others to buy from you, not the harder working, cheaper competition.

    • Clausewitz

      Yeah my band does weddings, parties, and Bar Mitvah’s. At the end of the year according to my accountant I haul in about $7,000 a year. I’m trying to not spend it all in one place. As I’ve been told many a time, “Don’t give up your day job”.

  • Jay Currie

    It is not going to be so much a job problem as a distribution problem. Right now if you want more than a really crappy existence you work and try to get good at something people will pay well for. With robots and Al that will longer be an absolute connection. We will have the same or better levels of production but how to distribute that wealth in a productive manner?

    This is is the economic puzzle for the 21st century. There is no obvious solution. Largely eliminating immigration would help a bit but not enough.

    • eloris

      That may be the economic puzzle for the 22nd or 23rd century. In the 21st, working hard and trying to get good at something people will pay for is still the way to go. That means “not something that a machine can do better”.