Why We Need to Say Goodbye to Work

Published: 2017-08-11 18:29:41
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Harvey Mudd College
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Why We Need to Say Goodbye to Work

This article is an excerpt adapted from James Livingston's new book titled No more Work: Why Full Employment is a Bad Idea where he argues that although work has been a central part of our lives believed to be critical in character development and a source of livelihood, these notions are now misguided. Additionally, he argues that we have trusted in the efficiency of the job market and its ability to provide enough work for people and reasonable compensation. These sentiments are misguided due to the unavailability of enough work for everyone and the inability of the work available to provide an adequate source of income. Livingston argues that despite the popular belief that the remedy is full employment, it is not. He also contradicts those who advocate for raising the minimum wage to $15. Although he acknowledges the noble intentions of the suggestion, he believes that raising the minimum wage will not be enough to improve the standards of living.

Livingston cites researchers who claim that two-thirds of the existing jobs are at risk of being taken over by computers increasing the unemployment rate and plunging more people into poverty giving rise to a moral and economic disaster. He argues that projections into the next fifty years and those of the last fifty years indicate that this problem with the labor market is not temporary but is only going to worsen. Livingston argues that this situation forces us to consider alternatives to work. One alternative is an increase in the already growing transfer payments and entitlements. He claims that we can increase them by raising the tax rate on the corporate income and the wealthy and contend that although increasing tax rate is perceived as disincentive on investment and job creation, that is not the case (n.p).


sheldon

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