Friday, 2 March 2012


I'm not one for putting things in conceptual boxes, but jobs seem to all into these categories. Here they are with their fate in an RBE. Although it's true that some work is truly worthwhile and/or rewarding, realisticaly we have to have jobs in this system.

1) Jobs purely relating to money. Cashiers, bankers and financial investors, insurance, etc. An RBE has no money so these jobs don't need doing (though if they want to carry on playing, I suppose they can).

2) Jobs that can be automated. Already an increasing number, but if a machine can do your job you won't have to, which by any sane measure is good. Unhindered, automation will take on more and more work with technical progress.

3) Jobs with perverse incentives. I'm thinking of things like jobs in the health sector. Yes, making people well is good, but the system contributes to making people ill, and that keeps health workers in work. In an RBE, ill health prevention would precede making people well.

4) Jobs that are actively destructive. For example, selling cigarettes. Whilst an RBE would not be puritanical, selling people something that makes them ill is insane. In our current system it creates work for the stop smoking industry, and those who must try to cure the illnesses smoking cause. More seriously, arms manufacture, which depends on war being started and escalated.

5) Futile jobs. I'm thinking of menial jobs, like giving out leaflets that people don't want, or selling things that people don't want. In an RBE ther would be information about products snd services, but no-one dishing out leaflets about pizza places miles away.

6) Advertising. I think this is a class of its own. There is a creative element in some advertissing which can be admired and enjoyed. It is the end to which that creativity is put which is pointless or perhaps even destructive. Trying to get people to buy what they don't need, or a different brand of what they do need.

7) Jobs fixing things that shouldn't have broken. As we know, the need for consumption to generate 'growth' means "make to break". This generates work in the repairs and maintenance field.

8) Jobs of duplication. It must be dreadfully inefficient to have people making different species of the same widget. We just need the best  washing machine / car / mobile phone / computer or whatever. By co-operating, technologists can make ever more reliable and functional widgets. To compete you need built in obsolescence (see 7) and pointless variation between products, so that parts aren't interchangeable.

What is left is only work that helps meet human need and cannot be automated (transitionally - has not been automated yet). 

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