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When did “service to others” begin to entail “taking a job”?

Paid employment is not the only form of “service to others” ever carried out. And I am not referring here to philanthropy, or charitable work. Many “jobs” are not monetised, yet they add great value to society… parenting is one of them.

Many would-be creators and innovators lack capital, and are trapped in jobs that are less valuable to them, and perhaps even to society, than unpaid work they would otherwise perform. Open source programmers, for example, are living examples of this: they spend their time writing code that will ultimately benefit us all. Having a job just for the sake of having a job, isn’t always the best thing in the world. There are very many productive people who would fare better in themselves, and who might even add more value to society, if they didn’t have to do a menial, unnecessary job just to survive. It shouldn’t just be down to luck – being born into the right family – that such people are enabled to flourish.

You say that there aren’t going to be enough jobs around in the future. I agree, so why make people do more “bullshit jobs” that ultimately, as we’ve seen with various such attempts at job creation, end up being exploited by profit making employers as a labour subsidy?

I am not arguing against job guarantees; I am all for them in the current environment. But whilst currently a necessary element in the world as we have made it, I do not see them as enough in the future; as jobs do become scarcer we need to enable those who might flourish without them to do so, it frees up jobs for those who want them.

The idea of a UBI should not be dismissed easily.

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