Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
The word “job” carries a lot of intangibles: income, security, pride, identity, retirement & healthcare. There is the myth that once Americans worked most of their careers at a single employer, lived comfortably Middle Class, and retired with a gold watch while still admiring their boss. Whether that's true or not, it glamorized work ethic & increased productivity. Work ethic is important on several fronts: as a natural resource, to minimize resentment from those who do work & to economically balance consumption with production.
During most of America’s history, tariffs, quotas, and some kind of trade balancing was maintained. However, job flight occurred when those barriers were removed in the mid-1990s, along with deregulation. The benefits being cheaper & cheaper goods paying lower & lower wages, called “the race to the bottom.” How many people do you know today who are willing to pay more for a shirt made in the U.S. versus a significantly cheaper one made in Vietnam? As Steve Jobs famously said, “those jobs ain't comin' back.”
But the jobs issue is much, much bigger than who's out of work today because ever increasing automation will continue to eliminate low-skilled jobs, regardless. A huge unemployed leisure class seems impossible to maintain for long if people become consumptive without also learning to be productive, so some kind of paradigm shift that focuses on keeping people working must occur. Though it seems obvious, public works projects would do the trick: old-time pyramid building, aqueduct construction, Appian roads & moon landings would keep everyone employed who wanted to be, and all the ephemeral things that go with having a job.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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