Jobs suck!!

We hear a lot today about how jobs are important. “It’s all about jobs”, “This economy has to get back on track with job creation” and similar statements are what the politicians and TV’s talking heads are telling us. We hear lots of talk about “good jobs” too. Let’s think about that for a minute… I mean really think about it. Imagine a person whose job is to go out each day and pick up rocks from a field. For some reason someone is paying this person to go out and do this. There are no plans to put up any buildings on this field, no intention to farm crops there, nothing of the sort. The work being done accomplishes nothing towards raising our standard of living. There is no product produced and no service rendered that improves anyone’s life.

Now imagine that there are a lot of people doing this. If someone suggests that expenses be cut thus putting these people out of “work”, the uproar will be loud. The screams of concern regarding “What are these people supposed to do?” will echo across the country. There is little concern for the fact that we are using valuable time, energy and resources for people to do things that produce no product or service that improves our standard of living. The focus goes entirely to the short term affect on the people who will be “out of work”. How about the long term affect? What would happen if these people were no longer paid to perform a task that does not produce any valuable product or service? They would have to go out and seek someone who was willing to pay them to provide a valuable product or perform a valuable service… and they would!!!! They are not nearly as helpless as we like to pretend they are. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric, they are fully capable of doing so, virtually everyone has some capacity to provide something of value to society. They would do it by either one of two ways: knocking on doors and looking for people who can benefit from what they have to offer, or by convincing a team of people who are already set up and doing so that they can help by becoming part of the team.

If you have a way to get lots of products and services without expending any effort, you would of course choose to get them the easy way. While it may be impossible to get the products and services that are required for a good life without working for them, we certainly want them to be provided in the most efficient manner possible. Getting them for the least amount of work is what it’s all about. Hence the title of this article. It’s the products and services that make our lives better, not the job. The job is just usually a requirement to get the things we want. But this fact has become lost on our society. We automatically think that any “job” is good and the removal of anyone from any job is bad. I guess you are losing out on a big opportunity every time you wash the dishes… you should hire your neighbor to wash them for $10,000 and he will hire you to do his dishes for $10,000. Now you’ve both got “jobs”, theĀ  economy is looking good, unemployment is down, it’s a winning scenario by the standards we use. Of course this strikes you immediately as silly nonsense (or so I hope) but is this how we think? Is the work of picking up rocks in the field a “good” job? Good for who?

If we make the above scenario a 3 way pass along: person A pays person B to do the dishes, person B pays Person C, and C pays A, it gets harder to see through it. Now if we make it a little more involved by having person A do the dishes for person B, B does the laundry for C and C vacuums the car of A, it can easily appear to be a thriving economic situation. But the truth is that this is no different than having each person do their own dishes, laundry and vacuuming. Swapping the people doing the work and passing money around as part of the process does not improve anything. Improvement comes in only one of two ways:

1) More efficient methods are used to produce the products and services that make our lives better

2) More people chip in to produce the products and services that make our lives better

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