Who needs jobs?
October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
The wonderful Design Mom recently pointed her readers to this article by media theorist Douglas Rushkoff. In summary, it’s a response to the lack of jobs for humans created by the increase in jobs for machines; he challenges the assumption that we need traditional jobs at all, and proposes a selling of ideas, creativity, stories etc. to buy luxuries, with food and shelter provided free of charge (can you hear the ardent capitalists grinding their teeth in anger?).
I agree with him in that perhaps it’s time to re-think how we distribute basic necessities, and maybe let the government have more control over things like the food industry, so that this can be more effectively and fairly done. But while selling intellectual property is a good idea, why not put more people to work in the voluntary sector? How about all of these people who can no longer work for the Post Office – and are getting their basic needs provided for by the government – be asked to ‘work’ as a companion for an elderly person, or in hospitals so that our nurses are less stretched. We all need something we have to do, whether it be in an office or looking after our children, to make our downtime limited and therefore more precious – but perhaps more voluntary jobs in a more government-subsidised world would make our working hours that much more fulfilling, too.