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Why I'm Anti-Work

Nick Englehart

Posted on September 23, 2020 21:49

7 users

And what that means.

"Anti-Work" is likely one of those terms that will cause an immediate visceral reaction. "Anti-work"! What do you mean? You're just going to sit around all day and let other people pay for you? That's ridiculous!

Anti-Work is more or less exactly what it means, but also not what you think. Anti-work doesn't mean that I am against all work or labor. Labor is vital for the comforts we enjoy. It is likely an essential component to a well functioning human condition. Anti-work means that you are against work as it is understood now. The pointless and exhausting low wage 40 hour work week that is often cruel for no reason and at best is highly inefficient.

The 40 hour workweek as we know it today was popularized by Henry Ford. He is praised for that decision as a hero of the worker. Henry Ford adopted the 40 hour workweek, "more than 60 years after workers, through their unions, began organizing for an eight-hour day in the 1860s." That was if you were lucky enough to be deemed worthy of it upon inspection of your home by Ford's Sociological Department. Even then most workers (including those who worked for Ford) did not end up with a 40 hour workweek until the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 under President F.D.R.

This was the last radical change to the American "Idea of Work." The Federal minimum wage set in 2009 is $7.25 or $2.25 more than Henry Ford offered some of his workers in 1916. You are not guaranteed sick leave, vacation, health care, and increasingly, your safety.

To be fair things were going in the right direction until 1978 when the wage to productivity gap began to widen fast. Since 1978 the productivity of the average worker has increased over 69% while the wage (adjusted for inflation) has increased 11%.

LETS STOP! Right here and take a breath. That was a lot of information, but what does it mean? It means that the individual worker no longer receives the appropriate pay for the amount of work they do. That pay gap isn't being subsidized with government programs. (Healthcare, rent control, etc). It means that in the American economy, you are not being treated fairly. It means that you are no longer able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. It means you are no longer a free American.

That is what Anti-Work looks to change. It is simply the recognition that this isn't the way things are supposed to be. Two solutions exist: the first (and my preferred) is to radically rethink the way work functions in the United States. No longer the 40 hour workweek, no longer relying on work alone to survive, no longer finding life-fulfillment from pointless labor for people who do not care about you. The second is to pay workers fairly so they can afford to survive.

Our choice.

Nick Englehart

Posted on September 23, 2020 21:49

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Source: FOX News

After years of sluggish pay gains, the economy may be starting to work for America's low-wage workers.

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