The goal of an advanced economy in the 21st century and beyond should be mass unemployment, with one estimate putting the ideal number between 75-80%. Now that you’ve spit your coffee all over your computer, here’s why far fewer jobs would be mean a much better world.
The Day From Hell
Having recently survived another Black Friday “beautiful disaster,” we once again bore witness to the prominent embodiment of everything wrong with today’s capitalist machine. In a display which perfectly exemplifies irony, tens of millions of Americans gathered around a table to be “thankful” together, while simultaneously watching the clock for “doorbusters” to commence—many of which no longer begin on Friday morning, but rather on the evening of Thanksgiving itself.
Every holiday season we see a PG-version of The Purge come to life. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a representation of a very different America—a “cleansed” utopian version where unemployment remains steadily under 1%, and crime is virtually non-existent. Trailers allude to perfect suburbian families; briefcase-wielding men in suits, feminine women minding the home, and little kids skipping past white picket fences towards approaching school buses. The American Dream is back! The catch happens to be that one day out of the year all law enforcement and military activity are suspended, and for 12 hours the American people are allowed to engage in mass murder, rape, robbery, and arson.
Instead of this comical exaggeration we see in the movies, real life recently saw millions put on their coats, rush to the stores, and stand in the freezing cold before feverishly wrestling and trampling each other in a dangerous relay race to the front of the store. And while murder and rape weren’t government sanctioned, robberies and lethal violence are always a sure thing on this day, to the deranged amusement of corporate overloads and the news anchors who relay the footage with poorly contained smirks on their faces.
Black Friday represents a watered down version of this idea of catharsis, and shows The American Dream on display in all its glorified stupidity.
Adapt Or Perish
In a world where hotels in China are effectively being run entirely by robots, we must ask why we still have real people working cashier, toll booth, or teller positions upwards of 60 hours per week in a first world country. With mass technological advancement, a strong argument can be made that if robots and efficiency of modern distribution means there is less need for humans to do menial tasks, there would consequently be more time for leisure and creativity at people’s disposal.
The result would be a more fulfilling life of purpose and a higher level of understanding, which by extension curtails the compulsion to act like an uncaged animal on Black Friday.
Of course, there are caveats to this unemployment utopia. The reason for the ideal 80% number as opposed to 100% is we will always need warm-blooded humans to fill certain positions that require elite critical thinking skills or the ability to offer people a humane service. Certain occupations exist for the sole purpose of one person alleviating various burdens from the shoulders of another.
There will always be a need for doctors, lawyers, suicide hotline receptionists, and prostitutes, but the fact that we still have grown adults working at fast food and retail joints en masse is troubling. Unfortunately, they are wrongly propped up as martyrs and the hardest working among us, when in reality they frequently took the easy way out to varying degrees.
This is an inconvenient truth and emotional hot button for a lot of people, when you assert that the single mom who raised them by always “working 2 or 3 jobs” wasted her life, but swallowing the red pill means calling a spade a spade.
When they came to that proverbial crossroad in life, instead of finding something to contribute, many just found something to do with their time. The more benign of those with a martyr complex simply walk around with a chip on their shoulder, demanding respect for their “sacrifice” in order to convince themselves it was all worth it, while the particularly loathsome weaklings blame patriarchy or white privilege for their own misery.
Have Both Sides Lost Their Mind?
At the same time, it is easy to understand that the inverse of capitalism is no better alternative. Socialism and communism are the workings of the Social Justice Warrior mindset, and represent the mortal enemy to enlightened males with the entrepreneurial gene.
While America’s pop culture and universities have gone so far to the left that it’s no longer worth owning a TV or maybe even going to college, America’s government has moved to a position where anything but infinitely more productivity is labeled left of Bolshevik. Consider that William Taft, the conservative Republican president in 1910, advocated 12 weeks vacation by law for every American.
He understood that if a century later we had a workforce in which 70% of Americans despised their jobs, there would be a much greater need for time off to allow for spiritual healing and contemplative perspective. Given this potential model, one could venture that the average person could garner enough sense through introspection to avoid the consumerist “hot mess” known as Black Friday and shopping-season hysteria every year that perpetuates this vicious cycle.
There Is A Middle Ground
While certain countries in Europe represent the poster child for social justice to the extent it is now virtually illegal to be a white male, some do have certain ideas about the workforce which are far better than the system we have now. Countries that implement shorter work weeks and higher wages consistently rank among the most content populations in the world. Holland, with its 29 hour work week, consistently ranks high on the list. It is no coincidence that its libertarian system of small government and emphasis on personal freedom goes hand in hand with a shorter workweek.
The system of government which represents the best alternative to capitalist slavery and communist utopia is that of Goldwater conservatism, where we can both walk and chew gum by resisting the accumulation of power by the corrupt, while at the same time holding true to the traditional ideals and principles that once made America a good place to be a man.