Jobs – what are they good for?

Posted on April 9, 2013

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What is a job?
“A job is a regular activity performed in exchange for payment.” Source – Wikipedia.
So, Why do we need a job?
We need a job so that we can acquire money or currency that can then later be used to acquire the things we need and want, to be able to live, thrive and have fun. Everybody doesn’t need a job though. You might get money from someone else that is willing to help you acquire the things you need, for instance parents and other family members supporting you. But it would be reasonable to generalize that most people need some kind of job to get their hands on money. I also want to point out that companies have to figure out a way to acquire money to be able to keep the business running and pay their employees, buy the resources they need and pay for a space to be in.
So why do we need money?
We need money because that is the current system we have for letting people get access to basically everything. The only things that we can get for free is the air we breath, time, access to certain spaces of land and drinking water (to a certain extent).

Let’s not confuse the word job with the words purposeful and self-developing activity in general. There is a big difference between spending your time on something that is meaningful to you and that develops you and/or other people and having a job for the purpose of getting money. Some people have managed to combine them, but there’s an awful lot of people who are not able to do that for one reason or another. I believe that it is essential to all human beings to invest their time in purposeful and self-developing activities for us to feel happy, content and valuable. Having a job doesn’t automatically mean you feel happy, content and it for sure doesn’t automatically mean you feel valuable. In fact a lot of jobs can make you feel quite the opposite. It is also quite common that as soon as a person takes the step and transform their passion in life that they do in their spare time, into work where they now have to make sure it is generating money for them, it looses it’s passionate aspect. It seems like certain activities has to stay free in their expression and possibilities and not be constrained by the need to make creative and moral sacrifices for the sake of creating income.

Different jobs give you different amounts of money. Since money is our currency that also informs us about somethings value, one can easily draw the conclusion that higher paid jobs are considered to be of higher value than lower paid jobs. A lawyer has a relatively high salary which sends the message that he or she does something of very high value which in turn can communicate that he or she IS of high value as a person. On the opposite side we have a cleaning lady/man who is paid a relatively low salary which is turn sends the message that what he or she is doing is of low value which can result in he or she feeling like they are of low value personally. Specifically since our job is such a big part of our lives, what ever happens there has a great impact on us personally.
An important part to discuss here is what constitutes high value and low value?
Why do we consider the lawyer more valuable than the cleaning lady/man?
I could see a few things that we seem to use to determine this. One thing is education. Jobs that require a long and prestigious education often result in high income job. And jobs that require no education often result in low-income jobs.  There’s are of course jobs that don’t fit this model and they tend to be jobs that come really close to the source of making money. For instance people in real estate, sales and stock brokers. They all require some sort of education or experience of course but not necessarily a five-year university education with a fancy diploma at the end. Most jobs that are in the business of making money are high paid. The further away you get from that source the less paid you are.

Lets take a hotel as an example. The people who do the actual work at the hotel, cleaning the rooms, receiving the guests, carrying their luggage, taking care of the hotel so that it functions, all get the lowest amount of money. The next level up is the people who manages it all, the ones who make the plans for what needs to be done on a daily basis on a longer perspective. Here we also find the people who manage the staff and make sure they are doing what they should and manages their hours. The next level up is the people who look at the even bigger perspective of how the hotel in general is doing and plans the future for the hotel such as: should there be improvements made, should they expand to other markets, marketing the hotel and making sure it is and will continue to make money. Their jobs are directly tied to the money part of the company and are therefore paid more than the ground floor workers. Then we have the few people at the top, the owners and CEOs that makes the big decisions and give the general orders to the next level of people underneath them. They have the last word and the most amount of power. They also get the most amount of money.

Power is thereby also a big indicator for high levels of income. Who ever is in a position of great power also has a high income and vice versa. Since a lot of jobs that are in the epicenter of money-making is also a position of power, they also have high levels of income. So we can draw the conclusion that a high income job also gives a high level of power. To have power means you have influence over something. To have influence means the ability to affect people or situations, both your own and others, to your liking and with a low risk of someone else blocking that effect. Money can for sure buy you the possibility to effect people and situations. Money and power goes hand in hand. Money also give you the opportunity to widen your options. Since basically everything in this world has a price tag, you must have the money to acquire it which in a sense gives you a higher sense of freedom. More freedom to maneuver in society and what it has to offer. Everything you could possibly imagine is for sale, because there’s always someone willing to pay for it and has the money to pay for it. There are for sure a lot of things that rich people buy and show of just for the sake of proving that they can. It’s a display of power. This is obviously an assumption but i think it’s a valid one.

If you have a low-income job it is very likely that you, in comparison to rich people, feel powerless to effect your life situation. Less money means fewer options. Certain products and services only come at a high prices which renders them out of reach for the low-income person. This creates a clear division between the ones with money and power and the ones without it. People with a low-income has often only one option to go with when it comes to a lot of products and services. This way the people with the high income, that are making all of the big decisions, have the power to decide how the low-income people should live and also to some extent the middle-income people.

It is also clear that the ones deciding on what value jobs have are made by the people in power since they are the ones at the top that are making all the big decisions in all businesses and organizations. They have the last word. Some values are created by what people are willing to pay for what ever it is that is being sold, specifically when it comes to services. A doctor that has his or her own practice can charge a lot for their services since there will always be people in need of health care and quite often the patient don’t have a choice to turn down their service. Health care is also something of high value since it is directly connected to saving lives and we’re willing to pay for that. A carpenter is also selling his or her services but in this case they are offering something that isn’t necessarily a life or death decision. People can wait and research other cheaper options or chose to not use their services and try to do things on their own or get help from a person in their network who knows how. Therefor the carpenter is more in need of adjusting his or her price to what people are willing to pay, than the doctor is because he or she offers something that people will need regardless of if they want to or not.
This results in the doctor having a higher income than the carpenter.

So the power structure is largely created by the monetary system and thereby job structure and creates a lot of socioeconomic problems because of the division of rich and poor. This system feeds emotions and attitudes such as greed, envy, egoistic behavior, fear, frustration-aggression, the need to dominate, evil, lower levels of empathy etc. Having fear of being powerless and having had the experience of being dominated can drive a person to strive for money, power and revenge which feeds greed, envy and hate. Having a lot of power can easily lead to that person abusing it. For what is the purpose of having power if you don’t use it?
A real display of power is when the person in power forces one or more people to do something they don’t want to do. To be able to make people do something they initially don’t want to do for sure proves that that person has great power. Some times that is being performed as persuading them to change their mind other times it’s directly forcing or threatening them into doing something they don’t want. This creates a dangerous structure which makes it hard for people who are not in power to challenge the ones in power. When a group of people understand each other and agree on the goal for which they are working towards, collaborating together to reach it, there is no need for power struggles. They are using their internal power of mind and body to collaboratively reach the goal. For power to be displayed there has to be a counter part to be exposed to it. Displaying power is a sort of fight where who ever wins is the one in power. When it comes to jobs, who ever is paying you for the work you do has great power over you. You have to obey him or her or else you might lose your job and you need it to get the things you need to survive. We rarely question our bosses orders. We have been persuaded through history to obey the authority that pays us and we have seen through history the effect on disobeying the authority.

I would argue that it is a very dangerous model we have of having to work to earn the money to buy what we need to survive. It enables people who search for power to  actually gain it and use it to their advantage and all others disadvantage. Creating a society where people don’t have to work to get what they need puts the masses of people back in collaborative power. Then masses of people would be able to prohibit ideas and people who are trying to benefit by destroying the lives of others.

We don’t have jobs because things need to get done in this world. That is a completely different problem to solve. The concept of jobs is for the sole purpose of earning money because that’s the system we have created.
If we would really dig into the question of how to supply us with what we need, without the direct need to employ people, we would come to completely different solutions that what we currently have. We could also start questioning what it is we really need and want. A lot of jobs exist because people need jobs, not because it’s the best possible way to create that product or offer that service or the best usage of people’s potential. If we didn’t have the monetary system there would be a lot of jobs that wouldn’t even be necessary. Bankers, stock brokers, investors, a lot of lawyers, insurances, cashiers, money press industries, sales persons, markets and advertisers, business managers, financial economists etc. Some of these jobs would be replaced with something else. Industries would still need to be managed in some way and economics is still a valid area of expertise for the management and inventory of our resources and their usage. If we didn’t have to tie up people in jobs, we could also start automating a lot of our productions systems, where we today are treating people like machines already, performing one monotonous task over and over again pushing performance times etc.  We could also make it our goal to take all humans away from doing tasks that are directly harmful or even lethal to us such as handling toxic substances or working on construction sites that involve a lot of dangerous situations.

Being delivered from the need to work does not imply that we all of a sudden will feel useless and not do anything with our time. This is a myth. If the norm in society was that everybody had the power to choose what they wanted to do with their life, no one would feel bad about what they did with their time. Some tasks would still have to be performed by humans and there’s a lot of tasks that people WANT to do as well. And I’m gonna make a wild assumption here but I think that people would want to contribute with their time, mind, body and enthusiasm to a society that is clearly giving people freedom, comfort, respect, a sense of value by default, life-supporting goods and services and an opportunity to directly affect it all. Call me a delusional dreamer but I don’t think that is far-fetched. People put their faith, time and energy into the things that they believe in and respect, self-value, comfort, safety, freedom and the possibility to search for happiness are things I believe every human being on the planet would be willing to support and work for to sustain.

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Posted in: Foundation, Problems