Now for something completely different . . .
Why don’t I know any lazy people? I suppose you could call drunks and other addicts lazy but they are usually working so hard to get hammered or to get over being hammered that they don’t have time for much else which is not the same as being lazy. Kids can be lazy but that’s usually because they aren’t doing what they want to do so they don’t do anything. Actually as any parent or grandparent knows that doesn’t last long because they’ll pretty quickly figure out some trouble to get into and then you’d wish they were lazy. So why is it that we have so much concern with making sure that we don’t facilitate people being lazy? Think about it.
The War on Laziness
We have a rapidly collapsing political system in the US that is predicated on the primary goal of preventing laziness. At the same time the biggest problem that people have is that they don’t have enough time to do all the things they need to do to survive while desperately trying to find time to do some of the things that they really want. Like take care of their kids are sick parents or grandparents, or help with their kids or grandkids education, or working in their community. Or even just doing something they always wanted to do like learn to paint or make wooden dolls. All of this is officially forbidden unless, of course, you inherited a whole lot of capital that is invested and you live off of the dividends. Then it is fine. But even those people aren’t lazy. They are really busy doing the things that they want to do.
Wait . . . something wrong there. The people who can be lazy and it’s ok aren’t even lazy but we need to, first and foremost, make sure no one is getting anything that might give them a minute to be lazy because then it’s all over. Don’t let them have a government tit to suck on because, by god, that’s all they’ll ever do and we will have to support the lazy shits. That “we” and “they” are a bit hazy here but you can be pretty sure there are clear distinguishing characteristics that differentiate the two groups. Clear as day, we know the difference. We know those lazy shits when we see them . . .
When I was a kid, and I’m definitely old enough to get away with that, there was a major comedy industry dealing with hillbillies, as they were called. The cliche was a guaranteed easy laugh because those folks didn’t have anything but they were happy. That was the joke as they were too dumb to realize that they weren’t supposed to be happy and they were like that because they were lazy. Part of my family and the kids I grew up with had come from or had relatives from the Appalachians or Tennessee, Kentucky or the Carolinas but we all had a good laugh, too. And the times we actually went to see relatives or other people who lived in those places and were classified that way they were pretty nice people who were just really poor. Later in life I put together the history of this a bit and realized it was earlier immigrant conflict and leftover propaganda from the civil war. But no one else ever seemed to figure that out.
And the focus of one of our two failed political parties has always been making sure that no one could get away with being lazy. Better that they starve or get sick and die in order to prevent the scourge of laziness that has destroyed so many civilizations since the beginning of time. Yeah, I’m having a little trouble listing those civilizations that collapsed from laziness also. Actually laziness isn’t a characteristic of any of the primates. Hmmm.
Maybe we need to take a very serious look at and rethink this laziness thing. Why all the effort, laws, and angry speeches about preventing all those people from succumbing to laziness at public expense when people really don’t tend to be lazy? This is a very big issue now as the great Orange Trump and little Trumpkins have the opportunity to remove the threat of laziness from millions for years to come. But wait, we are already losing jobs with a livable wage because of automation and AI. We are going to have a rapidly increasing percentage of the population facing the horror of laziness because there won’t be jobs for them to do. Of course they will probably starve before they face the horror of laziness as the only way they can afford to eat is with a job and our failing political system has handed the reigns to the party most dedicated to preventing people getting anything unless they do a hard days work for someone like themselves. The really rich need to have their free time protected and expanded if possible because they, of course, aren’t lazy. They can’t be as they are the wrong color and speak the wrong language to be lazy.
The Real Issue
The full phase shift that we are in, that has completely distracted us with the clowning of pseudo fascists, will need to convert to a new economy to deal with no jobs. This is already generally understood, except by those who haven’t figured it out yet, that we will need to move to a fully sustainable economy that distributes resources on the basis of something beside wage slavery because we won’t need wage slaves. It’s also becoming obvious that this will not be a redistribution of income but will need to begin with a basic guaranteed dividend on our shared ownership in this planet because the whole wage thing will only support maybe 30% of the population. This is very exciting and will be so challenging that we may all die before we get there unless we clean out the shills, hoarders and people who think greed is a virtue (it’s not if you were uncertain about that and that’s based on evolutionary ethics as well as neolithic mythologies).
We need to think about this in a whole new way also because of what this will allow us to do to improve our life on this planet. Allowing the human population the ability to live and work without the fear of starving to death is obviously kind of important but there are things that may make this more palatable to our Trumpkins. It will also allow us to fire useless people with impunity. Now think about that for a minute. You’re fired! Somebody used to say that a lot. Oh, yeah, it was the orange buffoon sitting in the White House who pretended to run a business.
But how many times have you worked with people who were neither functional nor competent in their job who were still there because terminating someone, particularly if they had been there for some years, was a terrible thing to do. And many managers simply would not do that for very obvious reasons. I bet that you just paused to think about several people who fit that description. Despite what you see on TV, most people survive in jobs because the burden of getting rid of them, even if it is the official concern with lawsuits and federal regulations, has kept many people working who really shouldn’t be there. This has actually destroyed businesses and organizations. You may even know of some.
I really suspect that the removal of “making a living” from consideration of how people function in the setting of work that is important and affects other people, i.e. being able to make adjustments without threatening someone’s living, could be conducive to general efficiency, innovation, and happiness. And it would warm the cockles of the Trumpkins hearts to fire people although the pleasure is lessened somewhat by them not being threatened with eviction and starvation. We could now think of Universal Basic Income with benefits of full automation as a true win-win situation giving the folks who didn’t get this paradigm shift thing something to enjoy while they catch up with the rest of us.
Just to make things clear, the idea wouldn’t be to turn the world into the Apprentice, but to make it easier to accomplish the things we want to do. People will still get upset and it may affect some of their “income” but it won’t be as destructive and therefore easier to handle as a blow to the ego rather than the death and suffering of their family.
There are many things to think about as we work to understand the changes that we will face as the old systems fail and new ways of organizing and working replace the old ways. This will happen and it will happen quickly. With a little creativity we can figure this thing out with benefits for everyone. Even the surviving conservatives.