Bullshit Jobs

 
ragnarkar
 
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ragnarkar
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Joined  30-09-2019
 
 
 
30 September 2019 08:12
 

https://www.strike.coop/bullshit-jobs/

Although this article is a few years old, what do you think of it? Does the author have a point that a substantial portion of the world’s population is locked up in essentially useless jobs and that both tgese people and their employers would be better off if these jobs are eliminated? The author also theorizes that Wall Street wants to have a ton of ppl in essentially useless jobs getting a fat paycheck in order to keep the current economic system stable but it’s at the expense of human progress and well being long term.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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30 September 2019 12:28
 
ragnarkar - 30 September 2019 08:12 AM

https://www.strike.coop/bullshit-jobs/

Although this article is a few years old, what do you think of it? Does the author have a point that a substantial portion of the world’s population is locked up in essentially useless jobs and that both tgese people and their employers would be better off if these jobs are eliminated? The author also theorizes that Wall Street wants to have a ton of ppl in essentially useless jobs getting a fat paycheck in order to keep the current economic system stable but it’s at the expense of human progress and well being long term.

Thanks for posting this interesting article.

Often such discussions come from a position that undervalues the working class, non-professional, and lesser-valued professions.  However, this author does NOT do that, but concentrates on the value of the work itself and workers’ fulfilment.  And he does this from a position of non-judgement when he points out that he “would not presume to tell someone who is convinced they are making a meaningful contribution to the world that, really, they are not”.

Capitalism has its benefits for economies and general way of life, but it will never create a system of fairness – it is the market rather than ‘actual value’ that will determine ‘worth’.  The star football player makes millions while teachers are often poorly paid; the movie star will make multiple times more than what a physician or scientist makes, etc.  And there will likely always be ‘bullshit jobs’ created by and for the super-rich.  However, I think this must be accepted, but ONLY IF workers are paid a fair and liveable wage.  Unions have often played a positive role in this regard, but have been losing power over time for difficult-to-understand reasons.  But one reason appears to be society’s lack of support for their fellow citizens, as the author points out when describing the London tube workers in a contract dispute; this seems to be a trend everywhere.

Perhaps what’s needed in part is an increase in left-wing ideology, e.g. support of unions, strong labour laws, government support of the arts, regulated corporate fiscal responsibility.  As it says in the article, “the system was never consciously designed”, but it sure could use some conscious revision.

Welcome to the forum, ragnarkar.

[ Edited: 30 September 2019 13:17 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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26 November 2019 11:33
 

The referenced article appears to be more of a rant than a well-founded thesis.

 
unsmoked
 
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27 November 2019 12:43
 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

quote from this article:

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory is a 2018 book by anthropologist David Graeber that argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs. He contends that over half of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a work ethic that associates work with self-worth. Graeber describes five types of meaningless jobs, in which workers pretend their role is not as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. He argues that the association of labor with virtuous suffering is recent in human history, and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution.

The book is an extension of a popular essay Graeber published in 2013, which was later translated into 12 languages and whose underlying premise became the subject of a YouGov poll. Graeber subsequently solicited hundreds of testimonials of meaningless jobs and revised his case into a book that was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2018.

Summary

In Bullshit Jobs, American anthropologist David Graeber posits that the productivity benefits of automation have not led to a 15-hour workweek, as predicted by economist John Maynard Keynes in 1930, but instead to “bullshit jobs”: “a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the conditions of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend that this is not the case.”

The author contends that more than half of societal work is pointless, both large parts of some jobs and, as he describes, five types of entirely pointless jobs:

read more in article. 

Do you have a bullshit job, or did you ever have one?  Note:  About 23,000 people work at the Pentagon, and yet . . . https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/military-families-say-housing-bases-has-lead-mold-other-problems-n980956