Over 80 years ago John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would have advanced sufficiently by now to allow us to work just a 15-hour week. However, it seems technology is now used to figure out ways to make us all work more not less!
How? Well, jobs have been created that are, effectively, pointless. Just think local council managers, their managers and their manager’s managers, and their manager’s manager’s managers and their manager’s manager’s manager’s managers. (This is not a joke btw, I’ve worked under this system!)
Huge numbers of people, in Europe and North America spend their entire working lives performing tasks they know do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul, a bit like using Facebook every day. Yet virtually no one talks about it.
Over the last 100 years an endless variety of new jobs and industries have been created, but very few have anything to do with the production of homes, food, clothes or things we humans actually need.
So what are these crap jobs, exactly?
Well, over the last century, the number of workers employed in manufacturing industries and in farming (i.e. making stuff we all require) has almost disappeared. But, ‘professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers’ numbers have tripled, and now account for 3/4 of total employment.
Production has been mostly automated but rather than allow us more time for leisure pursuits governments have ‘created’ bullshit jobs. Crap jobs. Pointless, meaningless jobs. The majority of which involve pushing paper from one person to another until all the trees are gone. Then they can create a new job – tree planting manager and the cycle begins again!
Think about it. Where did financial services, call centres, NHS administrators, human resources, and public relations come from? And do we need them? Do we hell!
It’s like someone is just making up shit jobs just to keep us all working. If we were living in a communist state where everyone has a job then maybe, but under a capitalist system surely the object is to screw people to make money. So, why create these pointless jobs? Very weird.
Think Port Talbot steelworks. People who actually make things the country needs. Yet our government is happy to lose these jobs and import cheap Chinese steel? But bankers, oh no, we can’t lose them. In fact since 2007 the UK has committed to spending £1.162 trillion at various points on bailing out the banks. That total outstanding support was equivalent to 31% of GDP in March.
Note: at a cost of £1 million a day, this is about 3,300,000,000 years worth of finance for Port Talbot.
The answer clearly isn’t economic: it must be political. The ruling elite must think that a happy and productive majority, with free time on their hands will end up thinking. And they can’t have us mere mortals thinking, that would be a real danger!
Why does society want to limit the numbers of artists, musicians, poets in favour of hundreds of WRU administrators and quango managers? Ask yourself the question – is my job worthwhile or is it just rubbish? Do I contribute to people’s well being or do I just make life more difficult for others? Just think solicitors, hedge fund managers or estate agents.
The other thing you find is that the people with bullshit jobs resent the people with proper jobs, e.g. doctors, nurses, farmers, schoolteachers, dustbin collectors, cleaners etc. How do they react towards them? Well, they pay them less, pile extra (meaningless) work on top of them and if they can, they humiliate, ridicule and ultimately force them out of the profession they once loved! Guilt perhaps?
A world without ship builders, construction workers or aircraft engineers would soon be in trouble, and even one without crime fiction writers or blues guitarists would be a poorer place. But how about a world without derivative traders, BBC TV presenters, PR consultants, job agencies, weather bimbos, celebrities? I think I’d cope.
And what happens when doctors strike? The BBC interview some selfish bitch who complains about how her in-growing toenail operation has caused her so much suffering that she even contemplated thinking of others for once in her miserable life. So much for balanced TV.
Nobody seems to ask why teachers don’t want to do what they always wanted to do. Nobody seems to realise why they are leaving the profession in droves! It’s not the money, it’s not the holidays, it’s not the kids. It’s their constantly changing conditions of service as dictated to them by talentless, over-paid ‘crap job’ holders, like politicians.
Real, productive workers are continuously abused and oppressed by the useless workers. And that is what the ruling class want. It’s a new form of oppression, a brave new world. And the Chinese and Africans want to be like us! Dawkins help us!
Ah, happy days.
Note: I should point out that I have ‘borrowed / pinched’ most of this from a few different columns I read saying exactly the same thing, especially a great article from David Graeber. I’ve tried to put my own slant on it as well to make it more relevant to Wales and our local angle.